Sunday, February 28, 2010


Seattle Jewish Film Festival Website
Special Events
Ticket info
Meet the filmmakers
Tom Douglas pre-Opening Night Party w/Music & Film


Wow! For the 3rd year in a row Israel has a film, AJAMI, on the short list of Academy Award
nominees for Best Foreign Film. And SJFF is proud to be presenting AJAMI as our opening night feature!

This year’s festival is loaded with top-notch, critically acclaimed independent films from around the globe, with a ‘sizable’ (after all, it’s A Matter of Size Closing Night) chunk hailing from the burgeoning center of Jewish creativity, Israel itself. Israeli cinema has truly come of age, and is increasingly recognized in serious film criticism, world festivals and the media.

At a time when Israel finds itself relentlessly under the lens of international scrutiny and criticism, it is both refreshing and inspiring to see courageous Israeli filmmakers creating and the Israeli Film Fund supporting self-reflective and at times transcendent films, capturing the complexities of everyday life. Perhaps no film in recent memory demonstrates so well the maelstrom of interconnectedness between Palestinian and Jewish life as Ajami, a film set in the inter-ethnic, eponymous neighborhood in Jaffa, jointly directed by an Israeli-born Christian Palestinian and a Jewish Israeli. The film exudes authenticity and immediacy, with Biblical and Shakespearean overtones in its universal themes of love, loyalty, hope and despair, as we watch Jewish and Arab (both Christian & Muslim) Israelis “swim in each other’s veins,” to capture the Israeli idiom.

Other featured Israeli films include Jaffa, Seven Minutes in Heaven, and Rabbi Firer. Yet SJFF (and Seattle AJC’s) role as a cultural ambassador to our region goes well beyond Israel, galvanizing public awareness to the multi-dimensional, multi-faceted aspects of the global Jewish experience. Films like Saviors in the Night from Germany look at how some ordinary Germans risked their lives to save their fellow Jews during the Holocaust, while films like Against the Tide (USA) show the raging intra-Jewish battles on the American front during the war years.

Meet acclaimed German filmmaker Michael Verhoeven (we will present Dr. Verhoeven with SJFF's first REEL DIFFERENCE AWARD) as he screens his new film Human Failure, indicting ordinary Germans in their participation in the expropriation of assets from their fellow Jewish citizens, and director Gaylen Ross as she talks about her film Killing Kasztner, the controversial Hungarian Jew Reszo Kasztner, who engineered the rescue of over 1,600 Hungarian Jews, but had to dance with the devil (Adolf Eichmann) to secure their release. Hero or traitor? Tragic victim or betrayer?

Film is a powerful medium that highlights AJC's larger goal: enhancing and safeguarding the quality of Jewish life around the world and protecting the dignity of all people. In these challenging times, we hope to bring individuals and communities of any faith, background or outlook closer together by promoting greater awareness and understanding.
We invite you to join us by contacting Wendy Rosen, Director of the AJC's Regional Seattle Office, at
Come and get the whole SHPIEL at this year’s Is-REEL, Un-REEL, Su-REEL, Incredi-REEL 15th Annual Seattle Jewish Film Festival!

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