Third Annual Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival

Posted on Mar 10 by SEASONS Magazine

Photo courtesy of SBJFF.

Photo courtesy of SBJFF.

The Third Annual Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival takes place from March 15-19 at the New Vic Theatre, 33 W. Victoria St. The impressive lineup features critically acclaimed films, documentaries and shorts from Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, India, Czechoslovakia, Israel and the United States.

The films’ topics explore issues relating to age, culture and gender roles. Some takeaways will be how the older generation faces their senior years with vitality, and how the younger generation faces challenges with persistence and humor. In addition, the music in these films has been specially selected as a tribute to cultures all over the world, from Sephardi bands to rock n’ roll groups. As some of the films are lighthearted and humorous, their main goal is to evoke emotions and thoughts.

Poster for short film "Shir." Courtesy of SBJFF.

Poster for short film “Shir.” Courtesy of SBJFF.

Some of the films include: Past Life from renowned Israeli director Avi Nesher, which tells the true story of sisters and their father’s role during the Holocaust, Rabbi Wolff which explores the life of a ninety-year-old Rabbi who is full of life and energy, a German comedy about the Nazis titled, The Bloom of Yesterday, and many more.

Be sure to stick around after some of the films, as there will be an Oneg Shabbat Reception following the film on Friday, March 16, and a musical performance by Flor de Kanela— an ensemble that specializes in Middle Eastern Music— following the film on Monday, March 19.

From the feature film, "And Then She Arrived." Courtesy of SBJFF.

From the feature film, “And Then She Arrived.” Courtesy of SBJFF.

The Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival is organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara, and includes five days of high quality, unique films that cover a wide variety of film types—from documentaries, to comedies, to shorts, by American, European and Israeli filmmakers.

SBJFF co-chair Mashey Bernstein shares, “The festival this year explores not only Jewish and Israeli themes and issues but those that have broader and more universal implications, such as aging, dealing with traumatic events and life changing episodes. We will offer films that also show how humor can be a healing device and allows us to view the past and present with irony and laughter—especially relevant to our Santa Barbara community so recently beset with hearbreaking loss. What better way to feel renewed and energized than by watching a film surrounded by others to create a bond and build community.”

For more information and a complete film schedule, visit

—Ashley Killion


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