By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire June 23, 2010 at 6:09AM
A host of promising films and speciality events will make up the 30th edition of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF), that runs from July 24 to August 9, it was announced earlier today.
Ludi Boeken' drama "Saviors of the Night" will serve as the festival's opening night film. Based on Marga Spiegel's memoir, the film recounts Spiegel's harrowing true story of when a family sheltered her and her loved ones during WWII. To cap the festival off on a lighter note, SFJFF selected Erik Greenberg Anjou's documentary "The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground." Billed as a concert film and backstage documentary, Anjour's film provides a behind-the-scenes look at four years in the life of the band Klezmatics.
The centerpiece slot will feature a screening of Marcos Carnevale's character study, "Anita." Actress Alejandra Manzo portrays Anita, a young adult woman with Down syndrome who lives with her mother in Buenos Aires. Carnevale's drama follows Anita as she sets off on an enlightening odyssey in search of her mother who goes missing. A film in the lineup that deals with similar subject matter is Frank Stiefel's "Ingelore;" a portrait of the director's mother and deaf Holocaust survivor Ingelore Herz Honingstein.
The program is rich with Latin American features this year. In addition to "Anita," Cristian Jimenez will screen his latest "Illusiones Opticas," itself a Chile/France/Portugal co-production. Other noteworthy additions to the lineup include Robert Guediguian's "Army of Crime," a story of anti-Fascist resistance that takes place in occupied France during 1944. The French entry, "The Wolberg Family" from director Axelle Ropert examines a Jewish family and their Basque town surroundings.
Of the documentaries, Lisa Gossel's "My So Called Enemy" stands out. In 2002, 22 Palestinian and Israeli teenage girls came to the U.S. to participate in an American "peace camp." Gossel's film follows six Jewish and Palestinian girls over seven years, and recounts their individual experiences.
In addition to its lineup, SFJFF will feature the film series "Tough Guys: Images of Jewish Gangsters in Film." Screenings include Barry Levinson's "Bugsy," Joseph M. Newman's "King of the Roaring 20s," Menahem Golan's "Lepke" and the original "Scarface" directed by Howard Hawks.