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January 5, 2019 @ 10:00 am - January 6, 2019 @ 9:00 pm

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The 9th annual Jewish Film Festival takes place January 5th and 6th, with a special preview screening on the 3rd, North County screening on the 12th, and MLK Day screenings on the 20th and 21st. Join us for intimate movie screenings at the Palm Theatre with the filmmakers who made them. You don’t have to be Jewish to celebrate Jewish culture from around the world.

The premier event on the Central Coast celebrating Jewish culture from around the world, it is the 9th annual San Luis Obispo Jewish Film Festival, January 5th and 6th,. With a special preview screening on January 3rd. Enjoy feature and short films, narrative and documentary, then meet the award winning filmmakers in up close and personal discussions after each screening. It all begins with a warm welcome reception on Saturday, and on Sunday, it’s wonderful films all day, a lively kibbitz hour, and a fabulous filmmaker dinner. All events are within walking distance. You don’t have to be Jewish to join the celebration, it is for everyone! Screenings always sell out, so you’re encouraged to buy your tickets early. Sponsorship packages that include tickets to the all the events are available at www.jccslo.com

Saturday, January 5, 2019
5:15 pm • FILMMAKER’S Reception • Quality Suites, 
1631 Monterey Street, SLO

Join us for a delightful welcoming reception for this year’s extraordinary filmmakers and movie lovers. Greet out-of-town filmmakers to San Luis Obispo while enjoying local wines and tasty appetizers. The price of the reception includes a ticket to the 7 pm screening at the Palm Theater.

Saturday, January 5, 2019
7:00 pm • Presentation of The Irina Star Legacy Award • Palm Theatre, 
817 Palm Street, SLO

Irina Starodubzew was a critical component of the Jewish Film Festival. Her contributions to the Jewish community, and her commitment to sharing Jewish culture were at the core of her life’s work. In her honor, the THE IRINA STAR LEGACY AWARD is given to a member of the community whose exceptional contribution to making our world better, is an example for all of us.

7:30 pm Movie Screening I • Palm Theatre, 817 Palm Street, SLO

Feature Documentary, USA, Director Roberta Grossman, 97 minutes

Who Will Write Our History tells the story of Emanuel Ringelblum and the Oyneg Shabes Archive, the secret archive he created and led in the Warsaw Ghetto. With 30,000 pages of writing, photographs, posters, and more, the Oyneg Shabes Archive is the most important cache of in-the-moment, eyewitness accounts from the Holocaust. It documents not only how the Jews of the ghetto died, but how they lived. The film is based on the book of the same name by historian Samuel Kassow.

Q&A with Chris Callister, the film’s editor prior to the screening.

Sunday, January 6, 2019
10:30 am • Movie Screening II • Palm Theatre, 
817 Palm Street, SLO

Short Narrative, director Laura G. Chirinos, USA, 2017, 18 minutes

Inspired by the director’s Jewish Grandmother, Marguerite must decide if she is willing to defy social expectations, her family, and her fiancé in order to join the war effort after the formation of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in 1942.

Q&A with director Laura G. Chirinos to follow the screening.


Feature Documentary, director Bonnie Rich, USA, 2017, 46 minutes

In this real-life comedy, filmmaker and Jewish mom Bonnie Rich schleps her 20something daughters to meet rabbis and noodges them to find joy in holiday celebrations—all in an effort to get them to agree to raise her future grandchildren Jewish. LIFE IS RICH uses humor, family and food to address a timely social issue—how to make tradition and religious ritual personally meaningful.

Q&A with director Bonnie Rich and Lauren Bandari to follow the screening.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

10:30 am • Movie Screening III • Palm Theatre


Feature Narrative, director Stuart Gillard, USA, 2003, 90 minutes

Lamont Carr, an African American basketball star is forced out of the game after a serious knee injury. By chance he meets Alex, a young Jewish boy who plays for his academy’s team. Alex loves basketball, but the team are pretty hopeless and have never won a game. He manages to persuade Lamont to coach them, despite the reservations of the academy’s teachers and administrators, and suddenly the team’s fortunes start to look up. [Rated G]


Feature Narrative, director Robert Mandel, USA, 1992, 107 minutes

When David Greene (Brendan Fraser) receives a football scholarship to a prestigious prep school in the 1950s, he feels pressure to hide the fact that he is Jewish from his classmates and teachers, fearing that they may be anti-Semitic. He quickly becomes the big man on campus thanks to his football skills, but when his Jewish background is discovered, his worst fears are realized and his friends (Matt Damon, Chris O’Donnell) turn on him with violent threats and public ridicule. [Ages 10+]

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Sunday, January 6, 2019
1:30 pm • Movie Screening IV • Palm Theatre, 
817 Palm Street, SLO

Short Narrative, Animated Romance, Brazilian, English, Director Richard Goldgewicht, 15 minutes

A young Jewish couple in Berlin who, separated by the fear of prosecution in 1933 Nazi Germany, make loose plans to reunite on the safe tropical shores of Brazil. The film was inspired by the actual correspondence of the couple, recovered by their grandchildren 80 years later. A peculiar love story tainted by the harsh historical context of its time, with a light appeal of irony and real-life poetry features the voices of German actors Christian Oliver and Elke Sommer.

Q&A with director Richard Goldewicht to follow the screening.


Feature Narrative, Hungary, Director Ava Gadros, 2017, 95 minutes

A murder mystery set in Budapest 1936, just as Hungary was preparing to align itself with Hitler. A young beautiful girl is found dead and no one wants to investigate – except Gordon a crime reporter who has a gut feeling that things are not what they seem.

Gordon’s investigation leads him deep into the city’s dark underbelly – a shady world of pornographers, fixers, all-night “smokers”, boxing rings, seedy brothels, powerful crime syndicates and communist cells – all the way to the highest echelons of power, where one of Hungary’s most influential business figures plans to make a fortune through his political ties to Germany’s leadership – as long as he can somehow keep secret the fact that he is of Jewish heritage.

A Q&A with the director Ava Gadros to follow the screening.

Sunday, January 6, 2019
4:00 – 5:00 pm • Kibbitz Hour • Luna Red no host bar, 
1023 Chorro Street, SLO

Sunday, January 6, 2019
5:00 pm • Sponsor’s Dinner • Luna Red

A very special dinner and celebration of this year’s festival at the lovely Luna Red Restaurant. Fine wines and wonderfully creative menu including local fruits and vegetables and unique desserts. Each dinner ticket includes entry to the 7 pm Movie Screening IV.

Sunday, January 6, 2019
7:00 pm • Movie Screening V • Palm Theatre, 
817 Palm Street, SLO

Documentary, director Rachel Myers, USA, 2017, 14 minutes

This uplifting film is about a group of Jewish senior citizens who celebrate the weekly Sabbath at the local Wendy’s fast food restaurant in Palm Desert. It is a story of rediscovering the joys of friendship and community again in older age, and in the longing for ritual, however unorthodox it may appear.

Q&A with Team Israel ball player and former Mustang, Joey Wagman before the screening.


Documentary • Israel, Japan, USA, South Korea • 91 minutes

A stirring story of sports, patriotism and personal growth, Heading Home charts the underdog journey of Israel’s national baseball team competing for the first time in the World Baseball Classic. After years of defeat, Team Israel is finally ranked among the world’s best in 2017, eligible to compete in the prestigious international tournament. Their line-up included several Jewish American Major League players―Ike Davis, Josh Zeid and ex-Braves catcher Ryan Lavarnway―most with a tenuous relationship to Judaism, let alone having ever set foot in Israel. Their odyssey takes them from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem where they are greeted as heroes, to Seoul where they must debunk their has-been, wannabe reputations. With their Mensch on the Bench mascot by their side, the team laughs, cries, and does much soul-searching, discovering the pride of representing Israel on the world stage.



January 5, 2019 @ 10:00 am
January 6, 2019 @ 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Palm Theatre
817 Palm Street
San Luis Obispo,
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