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Sacramento Jewish Film Festival returns to the Crest Theater February 19-23

The 21ST Sacramento Jewish Film Festival returns to the Crest Theater February 19-23, 2020, with 14 feature films. More information, including a full schedule of films can be found

Listen: Festival Director Teven Laxer and Sheila Wolff

Jewish Film Festival

Many feature films are preceded by an introductory film. Highlights for the week include:

GoldaA look at Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir through interviews from supporters and detractors, narrative recounting of historic events, and historic film clips. Just before the film had been scheduled for release, a previously unreleased candid interview with Meir after she left office was discovered. 

Picture of His Life- A tense and beautiful documentary following world-famous underwater photographer Amos Nachoum as he faces his ultimate challenge, swimming face to face, unprotected, with a polar bear. Amos Nachoum and award-winning filmmaker Dani Menkin will introduce the film and lead a post-film discussion.

Aulcie-The story of Aulcie Perry, a basketball legend, who led Maccabi Tel Aviv to an upset win in the European Championship. Dani Menkin will introduce the film and lead a post-film discussion.

Love in Suspenders- The story of an Israeli widow in her 70s who meets a similarly aged man via a strange mishap. They become friends and fall in love, but their children and neighbors don’t entirely approve. 

Carl Laemmle- The story of his remarkable life is told in three dimensions: his early life, including his life as a young German immigrant to America; the story of his pivotal role in establishing the film industry as a dominant source of consumer entertainment, from its earliest days to the establishment of Universal Pictures; and his leadership in helping 300 Jewish families emigrate from Nazi-dominated Europe. 

Tel Aviv on Fire-A satirical comedy dealing with Palestinian/Israeli tensions and imbalances. Salam, a 30-year-old Palestinian, works as a trainee on the popular Palestinian soap opera Tel Aviv on Fire. To reach the TV studios, Salam must go through a difficult Israeli checkpoint. There he meets the commander of the checkpoint, Assi, whose wife is a big fan of the soap opera.

Ask Dr. Ruth- Ask Dr. Ruth chronicles the incredible life of Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a Holocaust survivor who became one of America’s most famous sex therapists. Joel Westheimer, Ruth’s son, will introduce the film and lead a post-film discussion. Beth Ruyak, Cap Radio's Insight Director, will facilitate the post-film discussion.

Leona–An intimate, insightful, and moving film about a young woman from a tight-knit Orthodox Jewish community in Mexico City who finds herself torn between her family and her forbidden love. 

There Are No Lions in Tel Aviv- The Chief Rabbi of Copenhagen emigrates to Tel Aviv in 1935 and fulfills his lifelong dream of founding a zoo to teach children about the love of animals. 

Crescendo-In the climate of peace talks between Israel and Palestine, a famous conductor gathers high school students from Israel and Palestine to form an Israeli-Palestinian youth orchestra. 

The Albanian Code-The true story of an Albanian Jewish woman, Annie Altaratz, now living in Israel, whose family was saved by Albanian people and their government during World War II. Filmmaker Yael Katzir will introduce her film and lead a post-film discussion.

Dimona Twist- Seven women arrive in Israel from North Africa in 1950 and are sent directly to the desert “development town” of Dimona. The new immigrants were promised a “young, happening city,” but instead found a sandy nowhere-land, without even running water.

Those Who Remained-Klara, 16 years old, is alone in post-Holocaust Hungary, in denial about the fate of her parents and a sibling for whom she felt responsible. She becomes attached to the single, equally traumatized gynecologist Aldo, who has lost his wife and small children. 

Abe(Esquire IMAX Theatre) - Twelve-year-old Abraham Solomon-Odeh lives in Brooklyn with a Jewish mother and a Muslim father. His Israeli and Palestinian grandparents have conflicting ideas about his upbringing. Abe, who has a passion for food, finds Brazilian chef Chico on Instagram and embarks on a journey into “fusion confusion.”


Wednesday, February 19thto Sunday, February 23rd, 2020

The Crest Theater, 1013 K Street, Sacramento

Individual Tickets, Full-Day Passes, or Full-Festival Passes will be available at the door, in advance at The Crest Box Office, or at

The Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Regionis a philanthropic organization that provides educational, cultural, and social services programs to the Jewish community locally and around the world. The Federation movement protects and enhances the well-being of Jews worldwide through the values of “tikkun olam” (repairing the world) and “tzedakah” (charity and social justice).

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC)educates about and advocates on behalf of issues of vital importance to the Jewish community.

Teven and Sheila

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