Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
8 Cultural Gems on the North Side

8 Cultural Gems on the North Side

City Guide 2014: “Outside the Loop” is used as a pejorative by Downtown-centric cool kids, but oases of culture can be found in the sprawling suburbs of the North Side.... By Dan R. Goddard 2/24/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Free Things to Do: Kid-friendly

Free Things to Do: Kid-friendly

Free Guide: It’s almost summer, which means that your government-subsidized free daycare (aka public school) goes on hiatus thanks to an archaic allegiance to a rural agriculture economic system that hasn’t been in play for decades. What to do with the wee ones whining 5/21/2014
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Screens & Tech

The 11th annual Jewish Film Festival moves (back) to a bigger house

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

Sara Forestier in The Names of Love.

The Jewish Film Festival is home again.

In 2002, the festival organized by the Barshop Jewish Community Center of San Antonio held its first edition at Santikos Embassy 14 with only four films. Since then, it has consistently grown in screenings and attendance. Now, after stints at SAMA (2007-08) and the Bijou (2009-11), it returns to its original home with 10 features, including one documentary.

"This is our first big 318-seater for the whole duration of the festival so that our audience always is sharing the same experience," festival director Betsy Cowan told the Current. "At Bijou we had the big theater for the opening weekend, then moved to a 197-seater but had to link two theaters for overflow."

Overflow? At a local film festival? These guys must have a lot of money, I imagine other organizers whining. It ain't fair.

But most of JFF's budget still comes from internal fundraising and ticket sales, Cowan said. And they make it work. The screenings are regularly packed. Its success doesn't come from money so much as timely promotion and, most importantly, the quality of the films. Besides the expected Holocaust-related flicks (each one a powerful and often award-winning piece of filmmaking), the festival never shies from exploring Jewish-Arab relations, as is the case in this year's French The Names of Love (in previous editions, the festival screened the similarly themed musical parody West Bank Story and Oscar-nominated director Joseph Cedar's Beaufort).

This year's edition has its usual share of award-winning films: The Names of Love won Best Actress (Sara Forestier) and Best Original Writing at France's César Awards; the charming The Matchmaker won Best Actor and Actress (Adir Miller and Maya Dagan) from the Israeli Film Academy and the Silver Plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival; and Little Rose won Best Director (Jan Kidawa-Blonski) at the Moscow Film Festival.

But even those without major awards are appealing, including one that didn't satisfy me totally: Eichmann's End: Love, Betrayal, Death. The story of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann's capture in Argentina mixes revealing, real interviews with overacted dramatizations, but remains gripping for the fact it is based on actual statements by Eichmann. The sole pure documentary, Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness, is a fascinating portrait of the Yiddish writer whose stories inspired the Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof.

You can't do wrong with this festival, the product of a year-long selection from a pool of more than 60 movies.

"We are committed to selecting what the committee regards are the best choices [among] new releases that are available to us but are not in stores or online," Cowan said. "It is a very thoughtful, careful, and time consuming project — a huge labor of love." •

11th annual Jewish Film Festival

February 11-15
$8 per film, $70 festival pack
8pm Sat
2pm, 5pm, and 7:30pm Sun
5pm and 7:30pm Mon-Wed
Santikos Embassy 14
13707 Embassy Row

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus