Arts and Culture | Local

Bridging cultures topic for AZ International Film Festival

Estelle Darnault as Mary Lou in “Blind Date à la Juive”

The Arizona International Film Festival, running now through May 1, is celebrating its 25th year with films from 25 countries. Revolving around the theme “Bridging Cultures,” 30 full length features and 58 shorts in a variety of categories are scheduled at nine downtown venues.

Among the films is “Blind Date à la Juive (Jewish Blind Date),” a Swiss short by Anaëlle Morf. The film centers on Mary Lou, a young woman unhappy in love, who decides to reconnect with her religious roots by marrying a practicing Jew. But first she will have to pass the “shidduch test,” a matchmaking event where nothing goes as planned.

Sande Zeig, a local filmmaker of Jewish heritage, is presenting “Sister Jaguar’s Journey.” Zeig met Sister Judy Bisignano, a Dominican nun, in the Amazon rainforest. “I discovered a fascinating story that teaches much about forgiveness and transformation,” says Zeig.

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