FINAL - Jewish Film Festival LogoOpening night for the 16th annual Jewish Film Festival, Saturday, Feb. 8, will feature “Bethlehem,” Israel’s entry for best foreign film in the 2014 Academy Awards.

The film explores the complex relationship between an Israeli secret service officer and a Palestinian teenage informant. The film will be shown at Village 8 Theatres.

If you are not able to make the opening night film, be sure to look at the complete film line-up — nine events scheduled at Village 8, The Muhammed Ali Center, Adath Jeshurun synagogue, and The Temple.

According to film festival chair, Keiley Caster, the 2014 festival offers a great selection of international films, including films from Israel, France, The Netherlands, Poland, Germany, and the United States.

Marsha Bornstein, Festival Director, (on right) and Keiley Caster, Festival Chairperson (left)

Marsha Bornstein, Festival Director, (on right) and Keiley Caster, Festival Chairperson (left)

Caster proudly explains that three of the 17 top films of 2013, as chosen by Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan, will be shown at the this year’s festival: “Fill the Void,” “Aftermath,” and “The Attack.”

Some of the stand-out films, according to Caster, are “Bethlehem,” as well as the documentary about Catskills’ comedians, “When Comedy Went to School” and “The Other Son,” a drama about a Palestinian and an Israeli baby switched at birth.

Most events will cost $8.50 for advanced tickets and $10 at the door, but the festival is offering several free events as well as student discounts.  On Feb. 17, two films produced by Ma’ale Films, “Rabbi’s Daughter” and “Ma Nishtana,” both of which focus on the complexities of following Orthodox Judaism in a modern world, will be shown for free at The Temple, located at 5101 U.S. 42.  The films will be followed by a reception.

The closing event will feature a free showing of “Sonny Boy,” a drama about interracial marriage in Germany during the 1930s. This event will be held at The Ali Center.

On Feb. 9 at 3 p.m., Adath Jeshurun will host “When Comedy Went to School,” the festival’s only documentary about well-known comedians such as Woody Allen, Danny Kaye, Henny Youngman and Billy Crystal, who performed in their early days in the Catskill Mountains. After the film, Louisville comedian Mark Kline will entertain during a reception. Tickets for this event are $15 in advance and $18 at the door.

All are welcome to attend any or all of the film showings and receptions.

To learn more about the Jewish Film Festival or purchase tickets in advance, go to the festival website. You can also purchase tickets by phone at 502-459-0660 or in person at the JCC (3600 Dutchmans Lane).