Ten for Ten – A Preview of the 2010 Dayton Jewish International Film Festival

The Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton kicks off the 10th installment of its annual international film festival Tuesday, April 13 at 7 p.m. at the Dayton Art Institute with the festival premiere of The Clown and The Fuhrer, which may inspire a vague sense of deja vu in audiences still basking in the afterglow of the awards season. Quentin Tarantino garnered renewed critical attention for his typically pulpy vision of an entertaining plot to assassinate Adolph Hitler in Inglorious Basterds. Director Eduard Cortes’ film, set in 1944 Berlin, is inspired by the true story of a chance encounter between the renowned entertainer Charlie Rivel and Hitler.  Here, Rival (Ferran Rane) is invited by a Gestapo agent (Manel Barcelo) to do a routine for the Hitler’s birthday while plans for an attack are underway that could change the course of the war. The use of humor in The Clown underscores the escalating tension and personal intrigue and sets the stage for a dynamic festival opener.

As with each year’s selections, the 2010 Dayton Jewish International Film Festival presents films across a wide spectrum of genres touching on themes of injustice, love, war, politics, religion and family relationships. Highlights include Refusenik, the 2007 documentary feature that explores the three plus decades effort to free Soviet Jews, The Secrets, another 2007 French Israeli film (originally titled Ha-Sodot) about the travails of two women who discover their voices in a repressive orthodox culture where singing is forbidden, and 2008’s Lemon Tree, a joint production between Israel, Germany and France that focused on a Palestinian widow who stands her ground against the new Israeli Defense Minister when the government threatens to tear down her lemon grove. Lemon Tree earned strong critical notice and nominations at the Berlin Film Festival and the European Film Awards during its theatrical run.

This year, the festival runs from April 13 through April 27 with screenings at The Neon Movies, The Little Art Theatre and Cinema Du Lux 14: The Greene as well as The Dayton Art Institute and Beth Abraham Synagogue. To celebrate the 10th anniversary, 10 films were chosen with careful attention to presenting, as chairperson Bob Thum stated in a press statement, “a festival that is truly international in scope with films from a number of countries including Spain, Germany, Israel, Slovakia as well as the United States.” Each and every year during its run, the Dayton Jewish International Film Festival has maintained a strong global perspective and enriched the region’s audiences with entertaining and enlightening fare far beyond the mainstream movie going experience.

In particular, Aviva Kempner’s Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg will close out this year’s film festival on Tuesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. at the Cinema Du Lux 14 at The Greene. Award-winning writer-producer-director Kempner will lead a discussion following the film. Television pioneer Gertrude Berg paved the way for women in the entertainment industry. The humorous and vibrant first lady of early television was the star of the first character-driven sitcom, The Goldbergs, which led to her winning the first Emmy Award for Lead Actress in a Comedy (and being inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1989), but she also won a Tony Award in 1959 for Best Actress for A Majority of One. Learn more about her story, among other influential characters in history, as Mrs. Goldberg makes her one night appearance in Dayton.

From shorts to documentaries to features, the past 10 years of the Dayton Jewish International Film Festival have laid the foundation for an event that can only expand and take its place as one of the premiere regional festivals on the circuit for decades to come.

2010 Dayton Jewish International Film Festival Schedule

Tuesday, April 13  The Clown  7 p.m.  The Dayton Art Institute

and The Fuhrer

Wednesday, April 14  The Clown and  7 p.m.  Little Art Theatre

The Fuhrer

Thursday, April 15  Refusenik  7:10 p.m. Neon Movies

Sunday, April 18  Broken Promise  12:30 pm Neon Movies

Sunday, April 18  The Secrets  5:30 p.m. Neon Movies

Tuesday, April 20  White Balance  7 p.m.  Beth Abraham

                • Synagogue

Wednesday, April 21  Lemon Tree  10 a.m.  Neon Movies

Thursday, April 22  Lemon Tree  7 p.m.  Little Art Theatre

Thursday, April 22  The Fire Within:  7:10 pm Neon Movies

Jews in the

      • Amazonian Rainforest

Sunday, April 25  The Debt,   2:50 p.m. Neon Movies

Short Toyland

Sunday, April 25  Eli & Ben,  7:10 p.m. Neon Movies

        • Shorts from God & Co.
          1. Bound for Gory
      • 2. Not if You Were the
        • Last Panda on Earth

Tuesday, April 27  Yoo-Hoo,   7 p.m.  Cinema Du Lux 14:

        • Mrs. Goldberg    The Greene

Season passes are $65. Season passes plus Closing Reception are $90. Single tickets are $8. Student tickets (with proper ID) are $7. For tickets or more information, call (937) 853-0372 or visit online at www.jewishdayton.org.

Reach DCP film critic T.T. Stern-Enzi at contactus@daytoncitypaper.com

T.T. Stern-Enzi
Reach DCP Film Critic T.T. Stern-Enzi at Film@DaytonCityPaper.com and visit his blog for additional film reviews at TerrenceTodd.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at @ttsternenzi.

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