The 12th Annual Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival, sponsored in part by Beverly Hills Carmel, made its triumphant return this year. The event, which ran from April 26 to May 3, annually celebrates the wealth of Jewish artists working in cinema, along with film subjects depicting the Jewish experience around the world.
The 2017 film festival included movie debuts, panel discussions, celebrity awards and screenings at multiple venues, including Beverly Hills Carmel. A highlight of the event was a celebration of the life and career of Edward Asner.
Celebrating Edward Asner
The opening night’s event, held at Ahrya Fine Arts Center in Beverly Hills, centered around the life and work of Edward Asner. Before presenting him with a Lifetime Achievement Award for both his distinguished acting career and his tireless advocacy for Jewish causes, Asner “endured” a gentle roast from guests Sharon Gless, Ed Begley Jr., Matthew Modine and others.
After the award presentation, the audience was treated to the world premiere of “My Friend Ed,” a documentary about Asner’s more than 55 years in the industry (including, of course, his famous Lou Grant role), as well as his activism. The documentary featured interviews with Hollywood icons such as Betty White and Elliot Gould.
Along with the documentary, Asner’s new short feature, the comedy “Super Sex,” also made its world debut. The short was directed by Matthew Modine and stars Asner, Ruby Modine (Matthew’s daughter) and Elizabeth Perkins.
Additional Film Festival Highlights
Other movies screened during the film festival included “The Wedding Plan,” a romantic comedy set in Israel, with English subtitles. Also featured was “The Glories of Tango,” a Spanish drama with comedic and musical sequences, which follows the journey of a Jewish psychiatrist determined to unlock a troubled patient’s past.
Set in the late 1920s, “Train to Zakopané,” from acclaimed writer/director Henry Jaglom, explores the anguish of Jewish Russian businessman falling in love with an anti-Semitic Polish nurse. It was based on the experiences of Jaglom’s father, a point the filmmaker discussed in a Q & A session after the movie.
Additional screenings included the documentaries “My Hero Brother,” about a journey taken by Down Syndrome young adults and their neurotypical siblings, and “After Auschwitz,” which explores the lives of Holocaust survivors. The “After Auschwitz” viewing was followed by a panel discussion with filmmaker Jon Kean, as well as some of the survivors featured in the documentary.
Other films screened at the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival included shorts, documentaries, dramas and comedies from Israel, The Netherlands, Germany, France and the U.S.
A Rich Cultural Tradition
Interested in learning more about Beverly Hills Carmel’s active role in the community, and how it enriches the lives of its residents? Get in touch with us today to schedule a tour, or to find out more about our programs and community.