Arts and Culture | Local

Film festival to offer myriad Jewish flicks — plus nosh

A scene from ‘The Pickle Recipe’

The 26th annual Tucson Jewish International Film Festival will present more than 20 films from around the world, Jan. 12-22.

All films will be screened at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, with two exceptions: a pre-festival kickoff in SaddleBrooke and the opening night film at the Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd.

The SaddleBrooke film, co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Northwest Division, will be “Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did for Love” on Sunday, Jan. 8, at 3 p.m. at the DesertView Performing Arts Center,  39900 S. Clubhouse Dr. Tickets are $5 at the door.

Opening night will feature “The Price of Sugar,” a Dutch/German/South African coproduction about Dutch Jewish plantation owners in colonial Suriname. “It’s a piece of history and a depiction of Jewry that we’ve never seen on film,” says Steve Zupcic, TIJFF Committee Chair. “Jews as slave owners? It’s a departure for us, a bit of a risk for opening night, but the selection committee was absolutely blown away by this film.” Tickets are $10.

Among other highlights are the comedy “The Pickle Recipe” on Friday, Jan. 13, with a deli lunch; the Leonard Nimoy biopic “For the Love of Spock” on Saturday night, Jan. 14 (see article, page 4);  and “Suited” on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 15, celebrating Brooklyn tailor shop Bindle & Keep’s commitment to making bespoke ensembles for the transgender community (including a Tucson teen). The film’s screening will be a benefit for Camp Born this Way, a Tucson-area camp for transgender kids and their families.

On Saturday night, Jan. 21, the TIJFF will partner with the Weintraub Israel Center to bring Israeli filmmaker Yonatan Nir to Tucson in support of his latest film, “My Hero Brother.” The film follows pairs of adult siblings, each having a member with Down syndrome, on an improbable trek in the Himalayas. Nir’s “Dolphin Boy” was part of the 2012 TIJFF.

The festival will close on Sunday night, Jan. 22 with “In Search of Israeli Cuisine” and a wrap party featuring a multi-cultural Israeli buffet. In the film, renowned Chef Michael Solomonov goes on a journey to discover culinary innovations being created all over Israel.  Whet your appetite with a trailer at

“Our lineup includes narrative and documentary, feature-length and short films, all providing a great mix of education and entertainment,” says Lynn Davis, Tucson J director of arts and culture. “Eighty-five percent of this year’s films will be Arizona premieres, and we’re especially proud to be the first to put them on the big screen in our market.”

Most films are $9, with student/senior/JCC member and group discounts available. Season passes are $140. Visit