THE JEWISH 411
Palm Springs and the desert areas
THE PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
The Best Jewish Cinema Introduced at the 30th Annual PSIFF BY PAM PRICE
he 30th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) continues to make news with Harold Matzner, chairman of the board, announcing this years event, stating, “We will present roughly 520 screenings of more 200 films from 70 countries” through Jan. 14. The Opening Night Gala held at the Palm Springs Convention was a red carpet success with the addition of a new role for Jewish inspired film makers. This year Michael Lerman, the festival’s artistic director, announced the debut of “the best Jewish cinema of the year” category. It was one of the “pleasures of being
a curator,” he added. This meant that in addition to the seven films submitted by the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles, there were additional films screened in the New Jewish Stories category such as “Stockholm,” “The Other Story,” “Redemption,” “The Accountant of Auschwitz” and “City of Joel.” The diversity of Jewish themed cinema reaches out to a variety of Jewish themes, such as the film “City of Joel,” about a modern shtetl in the small town of Monroe, New Jersey. This Hassidic community of 22,000, needing to expand their ultra-Orthodox neighborhood, also had to deal with opposition in the community, creating
Southern California listings for everything from synagogues to theaters and Jewish community centers to delis.