San Diego Jewish Film Festival to mark 25th year with more than 100 films Feb. 5-15

2015 is the silver anniversary year for the San Diego Jewish Film Festival, presented by the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, Jacobs Family Campus.

The prestigious festival will run Feb. 5-15 and is sponsored by the Leichtag Foundation.

The San Diego Jewish Film Festival showcases 96 of the best contemporary Jewish- themed films from around the world celebrating life, human rights, and freedom of expression.

The festival’s mission is to offer outstanding world cinema that promotes awareness, appreciation and pride in the diversity of the Jewish people. Films will be screened at:

• Clairemont Reading 14 / Joy F. Knapp Presentations, 4665 Clairemont Drive, San Diego

• The ArcLight Cinemas, 4425 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego (west side of Westfield UTC mall)

• The Carlsbad Village Theatre, 2822 State St., Carlsbad

• Edwards San Marcos Stadium 18, 1180 W. San Marcos Blvd., San Marcos (next to Restaurant Row)

• David and Dorothea Garfield Theater, Jacobs Family Campus, 4126 Executive Drive, La Jolla

Single ticket prices for most films are $13.75-$15.75 ($13.75 for JCC members and $15.75 for nonmembers). Teen Screen (Feb. 10) is free. Festival passes, senior and student discounts, and group rate discounts are available. For tickets or information, call 858-362-1348 or visit

Among the short films featured is “Raquel: A Marked Woman” about the mother of two boys, who moved to Argentina and whose place in history did not exist until the release of this short film by director Gabriella Bohm. Bohm will be present to talk about her short film.

Another short film, “Simpler Times,” stars actor-comedian Jerry Stiller as a recently widowed man in his golden years, who wants a cup of coffee and his daily newspaper. Instead, he finds himself on a bizarre search through town that leaves him newspaperless and trapped in the world of modern technology. This heartwarming story features Stiller’s trademark comedy as well as an unexpected dramatic performance, and a special guest appearance by his wife, Anne Meara, the other half of the legendary comedy duo Stiller & Meara.

The Film Festival also features an international roster of guest actors, filmmakers, and scholars, who introduce their work, participate in panels, and meet and greet festival patrons.

From 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9, the ArcLight Theatres and the David and Dorothea Garfield Theatre will show short films. The Joyce Forum is a juried competitive program of short films with awards presented Feb. 10 at the Garfield Theatre by a film industry group of jury members. Tuesday’s program will begin at 9 a.m. with bagels and cream cheese, coffee and tea, followed by the announcement of the winning films. After the announcement and presentation, the audience will be able to see the winning short films.

This year’s official opening night on Feb. 5 at the Clairemont Reading Theatre will feature a San Diego premiere of “Serial (Bad) Wedding.” A French comedy directed by Philippe de Chauveron about a family with four daughters whose husbands are a Chinese business-man, a Jew, a Muslim and an African-American.

The official closing night film at the Clairemont Theatre will be “Little White Lie,” directed by Lacey Schwartz, who questions her heritage.

On Feb. 10, there will be a Teen Screen of “Havanna Curveball,” directed by Ken Schneider and Marcia Jarmel, exclusively for teens.

The centerpiece film on Feb. 11 is “Above and Beyond,” directed by Roberta Grossman, about former military personnel who offer their expertise to another war. Also part of the program is a special tribute to the Kapoor family of India and a discussion about Jewish actresses in India.