This weekend (well, Sunday and Monday anyway) come celebrate the 8th annual Central Florida Jewish Film Festival at Enzian Theater. A joint production of Enzian and the JCC of Greater Orlando, this year’s nicely balanced line-up includes both a doc feature and narrative feature each day. Things get going Sunday the 19th at 11:00 AM with Erik Greenberg Anjou’s delightful doc, A CANTOR’S TALE, about Brooklyn-born Jackie Mendelson, keeping the art of “hazzanut” (Jewish liturgical music) alive as he embarks on a nostalgic journey through family, neighborhood, and tradition.
Next up at 1:30 on Sunday is a terrific coming-of-age story, WONDROUS OBLIVION, directed by Academy Award nominee Paul Morrison. This nicely crafted period piece tells the story of a Jewish family living in 1960’s England, whose lives are changed by the arrival of a Jamaican family (including the excellent Delroy Lindo) that moves in next door. But racial tensions are high, cricket can’t solve everything, and the newcomers are not welcomed by all.
Monday afternoon the 20th at 3:30 brings the US Premiere of Paul Smaczny’s International Emmy-nominated KNOWLEDGE IS THE BEGINNING. An inspiring and profoundly moving look at Daniel Barenboim and his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra–composed of a mix of Arab and Israeli musicians aged 13 to 26–the doc is filled with glorious performances and a guest appearance by Yo-Yo Ma.
The festival closes Monday evening at 6:30 with the unforgettable Holocaust memoir, FATELESS. A collaboration between Nobel Prize winner Imre Kertesz, multiple Oscar-nominee and composer Ennio Morricone, and the directorial debut of one of the world’s great cinematographers, Lajos Koltai (MEPHISTO, COLONEL REDL, BEING JULIA), this stunning and provocative work bypassed Orlando in its limited theatrical release last year.
So buy a Mensch pass or Series pass or even an individual ticket, and come settle in for some extraordinary films. As far as the knishes go, you’ll have to ask Chef Josh what’s on the menu.