At this year’s Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival, attendees will see the powerful 2014 documentary “East Jerusalem West Jerusalem,” in which Israeli singer David Broza brings together Israeli, Palestinian and American musical artists to create bridges of understanding. Broza will answer questions and perform after the screening.
And that’s just the opener. With 25 documentaries, dramas, comedies and children’s films on tap, the festival includes offerings from Israel, France, England, Germany, the United States and more. The films touch on many aspects of the Jewish universe, from the Holocaust to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Hollywood legend Sophie Tucker.
The 24th annual festival runs Oct. 10 to Nov. 8 at the AMC Saratoga 14 in San Jose and the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto.
For his part, Broza will answer questions about the making of “East Jerusalem West Jerusalem.” Though ostensibly about the recording of an album, the film underscores the tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, and how fraught it can be simply to make music together, especially in Arab East Jerusalem where the musicians gathered.
“This film is not about painting a rosy picture of Israeli-Palestinian relations,” he told an audience at a screening last year.
Broza is not the only notable person who will appear at the festival. Director Roberta Grossman will be on hand for the Oct. 25 centerpiece screening of her documentary “Above and Beyond,” which tells the story of a group of World War II-era pilots who went on to fight in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence.
On Nov. 1, screenwriter Sayed Kashua, best known for his Israeli sitcom “Arab Labor,” will attend the screening of his new film, “A Borrowed Identity/Dancing Arabs,” a coming-of-age story about an Israeli Arab youth attending a Jewish boarding school. Kashua will stay for a Q&A after the screening.
Other noteworthy titles in the festival lineup include the Canadian drama about Hassidic life “Félix et Meira,” with an appearance by star Luzer Twersky; “Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem,” a tribute to the late actor and late folk singer; the taut French thriller “The Art Dealer,” about a woman’s search for family paintings stolen by the Nazis; and the closing-night documentary “The Outrageous Sophie Tucker,” about the famed Jewish star whose career spanned vaudeville and Hollywood. Comedy writer Bruce Vilanch will join others in a post-film discussion.
For ticket information and a complete list of films, dates and venues for the Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival, go to www.svjff.org. — dan pine