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Jacob Burns Film Center Presents the 17th Annual Westchester Jewish Film Festival

Screenshot from the film "Let Yourself Go" (photo courtesy of Jacob Burns Film Center)
Screenshot from the film "Let Yourself Go" (photo courtesy of Jacob Burns Film Center)

Jacob Burns Film Center’s 17th annual Westchester Jewish Film Festival will take place from March 13 through 29. During these two and a half weeks, the Center will screen forty-one documentaries, narratives and television episodes, from Israel, Morocco, Hungary and more. The films collectively explore the diversity of the Jewish experience. The festival opens with Itzak, a documentary about the life of violinist Itzak Perlman, which will be followed by a reception and Q&A with filmmaker Alison Chernick.

Additional screenings range from sobering documentaries to depictions of heartwarming relationships. An Israeli Love Story tells of the real-life love affair between a Palestinian actress and the son of Israel’s second president (March 15). In The Last Laugh, director Ferne Pearlstein asks top comedians and prominent Jewish figures, including Mel Brooks and Sarah Silverman, whether a traumatizing event can be used as a framing device for a joke (March 16). Persona Non Grata is based on the true story of a Japanese diplomat who saved thousands of Jews from the Nazis (March 27).

One of this year’s features will be a showcase of work by actor Alan Arkin, who will participate in Skype Q&As after several of the screenings. Special Q&As with filmmakers will also take place after select screenings. For more info, visit burnsfilmcenter.org.

A version of this article first appeared in the March issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews

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