Two screenings in Rockland

Maine Jewish Film Fest fetes diversity

Mar 03, 2019
Director Ayala Sharot uses animation to tell her grandmother’s story — a Jewish girl travels alone from Poland to Israel on the eve of World War II, never to see her family again — in “Broken Branches.”

Now in its 22nd year, the Maine Jewish Film Festival will present a diverse slate of timely, relevant and engaging dramatic features, documentaries and short films to audiences across Maine.

From Saturday, March 9, through Sunday, March 17, MJFF will screen more than 30 films and host special guests and events. The last two days of the festival, it will offer Midcoast screenings at the Strand Theatre in downtown Rockland.

During a period that has witnessed an unprecedented rise in anti-Semitic acts and hate crimes, the 2019 MJFF will provide a forum for the entire community to come together, build shared experiences and start conversations through films and programs that are as enriching as they are entertaining.

Highlighted documentary themes include immigrants, women’s empowerment the LGBTQ experience and the arts. Dramatic and comedic features will include exclusive screenings of independent films from across the globe. Signature events include a “revival screening” of the 2007 film “The Band’s Visit” with a special guest appearance by Presque Isle native actor and playwright John Cariani. Cariani, who recently performed in the Broadway hit adaptation; as well as the classic silent “Jewish Luck” with live musical accompaniment. Other special programs will include two short film collections.

Screenings for the festival will be held in 10 locations statewide: in Portland at the Nickelodeon Cinemas, Portland Museum of Art, Jewish Community Alliance and the St. Lawrence Center; in Brunswick at the Eveningstar Cinema; in Lewiston at the Bates College Olin Arts Center and the Public Theater; in Waterville at the Railroad Square Cinema; in Bangor at the Bangor Mall Cinema; and in Rockland at the Strand.

At the Strand, MJFF will screen “Budapest Noir” (2017, Hungary), a thrilling film noir set in 1936, Saturday, March 16, at 5:30 p.m.; and a two-short-feature program of “The Art of Spiegelman” (2010, USA/France) and the animated “Broken Branches” (2014, Israel) Sunday, March 17, at 3 p.m. Tickets for either are $10, $8 for students/senior citizens, in advance via brownpapertickets.com; or $12/$10 at the door, as available.

The Maine Jewish Film Festival is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide a forum for the presentation of films to enrich, educate and entertain a diverse community about the global Jewish experience. For a complete festival schedule including featured guest speakers, panelists and special forums, visit mjff.org.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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