If I were to ask the Tucson International Jewish Film Festival committee members, whom I have the pleasure of working with to create this signature community-wide event, about the three films from this year’s line-up that they each found most meaningful, it’s unlikely I’d get any duplicate answers. That’s part of the beauty of the Festival – through the art of film, we share diverse stories about the Jewish experience from different time periods and throughout places across the globe. While the stories are told through a Jewish lens, many of the messages and values they present are universal, giving viewers the opportunity to find meaning in what resonates with them.
Since March 2022, the incredibly devoted Film Festival committee, chaired by Joy Feldman, has been meeting almost every week to discuss over fifty films in order to curate a Festival experience that is educational, relevant, inspirational, and enjoyable. Over the past week and a half, we have been transported across decades – to the set of the 1971 Fiddler on the Roof movie, to Jefferson’s Monticello home, to Ethiopia in 1991, modern-day France, and more.
After two years of being a virtual-only Festival, we knew that coming out of the pandemic, we wanted to provide multiple entry points to participate. Over the last two weeks, many filmgoers joined us in person for films and post-film programs, and many more opted to partake in the experience at their leisure from the comfort of their homes. It was a pleasure to connect over, converse about, and celebrate Jewish life and culture with our entire community through this time-honored tradition, and we are already looking forward to next year’s event.
As we close out the first half of the 32nd Festival, we are grateful to community leaders Lori Shepherd, Director of the Tucson Jewish Museum Holocaust Center, Lynn Davis, Jewish Community Relations Council Director, Rabbi Yosef Lopez, and Festival auxiliary committee member, Dana Narter, for facilitating meaningful post-film conversations. All conversations were recorded and are available to ticket holders and by request. We are thankful for our partners at Saddlebrooke DesertView Performing Arts Center, Temple Beth Shalom of Green Valley, and The Loft Cinema for sharing their theaters with us.
The Festival is made possible by generous Patrons of the Arts and Festival donors, community partners, the lay committee, the Tucson J Board and professional staff, and YOU, our patrons.
And, the best part… this year’s Festival experience is not quite over. The Festival will continue with all films screening virtually through Tuesday, January 31.Whether you’re just tuning in or missed an in-person screening you were hoping to see, we invite you to click here to continue the Festival experience at home.