Full screenings, most followed by discussions with the filmmakers or other key figures, were held at the festival, which ran from Feb. 27-March 9. Descriptions below are excerpted from the WJFF.
And the films are:
March 3, noon, Library of Congress, Mary Pickford Theater, 3rd Floor, James Madison Building
"Tehran, the capital of Iran, was once considered a paradise for Israelis. In the 1960s and 1970s, an affluent and elite group enjoyed close relations with the Shah’s regime.
"Director Dan Shadur’s documentary begins as a nostalgic look into his family’s glorious past, but quickly morphs into a thrilling ride that uses a masterful assemblage of archival footage to offer a new take on the events of the Iranian Revolution."
Its full screenings and discussions with Shadur were held on March 1 (click for details and tickets) at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington (Rockville), 6125 Montrose Road, Rockville, Maryland, and on March 2 at the Washington D.C. Jewish Community Center (DCJCC), 16th and Que Streets, in Du Pont Circle.
March 4, noon, Library of Congress, Mary Pickford Theater, 3rd floor, James Madison Building
Regina Jonas was the first female rabbi, voiced by Rachel Weisz in the film.
"The daughter of an Orthodox Jewish peddler, Jonas was ordained in Berlin in 1935, but not without a fight. During the rise of Nazism, her sermons soothed and encouraged persecuted Jews, but she could not save herself, eventually perishing in Auschwitz in 1944."
Its full screenings and discussions with director Groo, and also executive producer George Weisz, were held on March 5 at the DCJCC, and on March 6 at the AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Maryland.
- "Dancing in Jaffa" with producer Diane Nabatoff and film subject, champion ballroom dancer, Pierre Dulaine
March 5, Library of Congress' Conference Room 642, 6th floor, James Madison Building.
"Dancing in Jaffa" shows a unique peace technique by champion ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine -- teaming Jewish and Palestinian Israeli children as ballroom partners, using dance for social good. Dulaine's "Mad Hot Ballroom" 2005 film followed New York school children in a city-wide competition.
The full screening and discussion with Nabatoff and Dulaine was held March 4 at the DCJCC.
"Dancing in Jaffa" was voted best documentary by the WJFF audiences.
March 7, noon, Library of Congress, Law Library Multimedia Center, 2nd floor, James Madison Building
The documentary chronicles an architecture competition that explored the creative potential of the ancient Jewish sukkah structure. It resulted in an exhibition of 12 radically designed sukkahs, chosen from 600 entries, in the heart of New York City.
That's cause for dancing in D.C.