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Celebrate the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival

by Andrea Rademan The 12th edition of the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival (LAJFF), which runs through May 3, got off to a great start when 87-year-old Hollywood actor and liberal activist, Ed Asner, the recipient of seven Emmys — more than any other male actor — was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Matthew Modine, who directed Asner in the 2016 short film, “Super Sex.” This screened along with the documentary, “My Friend Ed,” which features interviews with Asner, actors Paul Rudd, Ed Begley Jr. and Valerie Harper. It offers a glimpse into Asner’s 50 year career and his indefatigable courage in fighting unrest in Latin America, fair compensation for actors in the Screen Actors Guild, and led to CBS canceling the award-winning, highly-rated show “Lou Grant,” a drama about journalism. Modine said “There couldn’t be anyone in Los Angeles who is more deserving of this honor than my friend Ed Asner.” On Saturday, April 29, at 8:00 pm, head for Laemmle’s Music Hall in Beverly Hills to catch the Train to Zakopané, which iconic filmmaker Henry Jaglom (Someone to Love, Eating, irene in Time) adapted from his long-running play of the same name. It’s a compelling love story based on true events from the life of Jaglom’s father, a successful businessman who meets a captivating young Polish army nurse on a train-trip to Warsaw in 1928. They are immediately drawn to each other but what romance can the future hold for an anti-semite and a Jew? Explore how compassion and intolerance can unite during the Q&A that follows with the director and his knockout stars, actors Tanna Frederick and Mike Falkow. Glories of Tango, directed by Hernán Findling and Oliver Kolker. While doing his psychiatric residency at a Buenos Aires hospital, Dr. Ezequiel (Gastón Pauls) is perplexed by the behavior of patient Fermin (Héctor Alterio), who communicates only by quoting lyrics and titles of tango songs. Suspecting that Fermin has been misdiagnosed for decades, Ezequiel starts researching his history, uncovering some dark secrets from both his patient’s and his country’s pasts. He also falls in love – with tango, and with Eva, (Antonella Costa) a tango instructor and Fermin’s granddaughter. Glories of Tango is as delightful and intense as its thrilling dance scenes. Saturday, April 29, 8:00 pm at Laemmle Town Center, Encino The full festival line-up and tickets are available at www.LAJFilmFest.org or by calling 800-838-3006 MORE 2017 JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS The Great Dictator This 1940 American political satire, nominated for five Academy Awards, was written, directed, produced, scored by and starred Charlie Chaplin in both leading roles: a ruthless fascist dictator, and a persecuted Jewish barber. At the time, the film advanced a controversial condemnation of Adolf Hitler, fascism, anti- Semitism, and the Nazis. A Q&A follows with legendary actor Norman Lloyd who worked with Chaplin and is still going strong at 102 years old. Sunday, April 30, 4:15 pm Laemmle’s Town Center, Encino, free and open to the public but reservations are required. Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love story A fascinating and moving account of the romantic and creative partnership of storyboard artist Harold Michelson and film researcher Lillian Michelson: two unsung heroes of Hollywood’s Golden Age, responsible for the look and accuracy of hundreds of films including The Ten Commandments, The Birds, Fiddler on The Roof and many more. The film is told through a mix of love letters, film clips and conversations with Harold and Lillian, Danny DeVito, Mel Brooks, Francis Ford Coppola and others. During the Q&A to follow, LAJFF will present Lillian Michelson with the Marvin Paige Hollywood Legacy Award. Monday, May 1, 7:30 pm at Laemmle’s Town Center, Encino Bye Bye Germany Drama, comedy/Germany/Luxembourg/Belgium The story picks up where most German period pieces end — after WWII. With the Nazi regime effectively dismantled, a group of Jewish friends want to find a way to America and away from the land that for the last several years had them face to face with death. David, (Moritz Bleibtreu Run Lola Run, Munich) is a Holocaust survivor who starts up a linen business with partner Max (Mark Ivanir, Homeland, Human Resources Manager) and other former concentration camp inmates, exploiting the guilt of their German customers to raise money to emigrate. But U.S. special agent Sara Simon (Antje Traue, Woman in Gold) who is investigating his case, is asking uncomfortable questions about David’s wartime past, even suggesting he may have been a Nazi collaborator. Introduction by Deputy Consul General, Katherin Steinbrenner of the German Consulate. Q&A with actor Mark Ivanir Monday, May 1, 7:30 pm at Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills. Hummus! The Movie Three Israelis from very different backgrounds are brought together by their love of hummus. Jalil, a young Christian-Arab from Ramla who has taken over his family's hummus restaurant, struggles with the urge to forge his own path. Eliyahu is a former dread-headed vagrant turned Hasidic Jew, who opens a chain of successful kosher hummus restaurants. Suheila, the only woman in the Arab market to own her own business has won the Golden Pita Award for Best Hummus, beating ten men for the title. Weaving together their stories, director Oren Rosenfeld demonstrates how food can positively affect cultures and transcend religious and political divides. A Q&A follows with Executive chef Ofir Arbel of the Hummus Bar & Grill in Tarzana, moderated by Eitan Arom of the Jewish Journal. If you love hummus you won’t want to miss this film, or the tastes that follow. The restaurant (18743 Ventura Blvd, Tarzana, CA. 818 344 6606) serves many dishes that you won’t see elsewhere, mostly Sephardi from around the Mediterranean and the Middle East. As for hummus they have a Hummus Corner serving: Garbanzo Hummus; Pine Nut Hummus; Mushroom Hummus; Beef Hummus; Fava Bean Hummus; and Hummus Sabich. May 02 at 7:30 PM Laemmle Town Center, 17200 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA.


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