The 15th Annual Omaha Jewish Film Festival begins Sunday, Aug. 7, with five movies to be shown throughout the month. The festival is presented by the Jewish Federation of Omaha and the Institute for Holocaust Education (IHE). Show time for each film is 7:15 p.m. in the JCC Theater. We extend our thanks to the generous sponsors of this year’s film festival. They are the Henry Monsky Lodge of B’Nai B’rith, and the following Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation funds: Klutznick/Creighton Custodial Fund, Special Donor-Advised Fund, Frederick J. Simon Memorial Endowment Fund, Samuel & Bess Rothenberg Memorial Endowment Fund, and the Avy L. & Roberta L. Miller Film Fund by Lindsey Miller-Lerman. Because of the generosity of the sponsors, tickets are only $5 per film, and the film on Aug. 16 will be free of charge.
“Last year’s film festival was a resounding success judging from the high attendance and the many positive comments we received about the film selection,” commented Liz Feldstern, IHE Executive Director. “By joining with the Center for Jewish Life at that time, we were able to reach more people in our promotion and we selected films that we believed would appeal to a broad audience. This year’s collaboration with the Federation is being planned in the same manner.”
Opening the festival on Sunday, Aug. 7, is Atomic Falafel. In this comedy/drama, two girls from nuclear towns in Israel and Iran spill their countries’ most valuable secrets on Facebook while trying to prevent a nuclear crisis. This farce skewers the current Israel-Iran showdown. With Iran threatening to attain nuclear power, anxious Israeli politicians and top brass gather in an underground bunker to debate a response. When the bellicose brigadier general and chief intelligence officer present their audacious plan, the defense minister and eye-patched commander approve a preemptive strike. Above ground in a dusty Negev town, a mother-daughter team runs a falafel truck catering to troops patrolling a nearby nuclear reactor. As the widowed mother falls for a uranium-allergic German nuclear inspector, her daughter and computer whiz boyfriend stumble upon secret files that could prevent a nuclear conflagration. As the zany plotlines converge, the Israeli teens and an Iranian youth scramble to thwart war between their countries. Written and directed by Dror Shaul, the film run time is 93 minutes.
The Aug. 14 showing is 50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus. Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus never intended to become heroes. But in early 1939, as conditions were worsening for Jews living inside Nazi Germany, the Philadelphia couple embarked on a risky and improbable mission — an effort to rescue 50 Jewish children and bring them to safety in the United States. This is the first time that a film tells the incredible story of an American couple who, against all odds, brought the single largest group of children during the Holocaust out of Nazi Germany and into the United States. In doing so, they transformed themselves from an ordinary couple into extraordinary heroes. Director Steven Pressman worked for many years as a newspaper journalist. This is Steven’s first documentary film. The film is in English and runs 62 minutes.
The three additional films will be shown on Aug. 16, 21, and 28, each at 7:15 p.m. Those films are listed here with more detailed descriptions to follow in future Jewish Press editions and email notifications.
Aug. 16 is Rabin in His Own Words, an autobiography of sorts told entirely in Yitzhak Rabin’s own voice. Hummus! The Movie will be shown on Aug. 21. This is a film about a product that has the power to bring Muslims, Christians, and Jews together. The final film in the 15th Annual Omaha Jewish Film Festival will be A Blind Hero. This is a heroic recounting of a Berlin brush maker who rescued his blind and deaf employees from being sent to the camps. This film will be screened on Aug. 28.
No movie night is complete without something to munch on. Popcorn, snacks, and beverages will be available each evening. Mark your calendars and attend as many of the nights — all of the nights — that are possible for you. The screeners who have made the selections for this year’s festival are confident that these are films that will have wide appeal and will be appreciated by the movie goers.