Contemporary Jewish Dilemmas, Age-Old Stories, Highlight JFilm’s Current Season

Contemporary Jewish Dilemmas, Age-Old Stories, Highlight JFilm’s Current Season

Originally featured in the Jewish Chronicle, April 2017

JFilm opens its 24th annual festival on April 20 at the Manor Theatre in Squirrel Hill with the Pittsburgh premiere of “Harmonia,” a biblical tale of love, motherhood and sibling rivalry. A party in memory of longtime JFilm committee member Lois Weaver will be held at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh’s Katz Theater following the showing.

The festival will continue through April 30, showcasing 20 films — mostly Pittsburgh premieres — ranging from a documentary about finding Judaism in Ghana (“Doing Jewish: A Story from Ghana”) to a screwball comedy about an Arab/Jewish gay couple and their dysfunctional family (“Family Commitments”).

The films come from around the world, including Germany, Israel, France and Italy.

The Manor Theatre in Squirrel Hill continues to be the primary venue for the festival this year, but a few showings will be held at the Carmike 10 at South Hills Village in Bethel Park, Hollywood Theater in Dormont and Seton Hill University.

Guest speakers will be featured following some of the films, including Pittsburgher Brian Balk and his family members who were longtime members of Latrobe’s Beth Israel Congregation. The Balks will speak following both screenings of “There are Jews Here,” April 26 at Seton Hill Performing Arts Center and April 30 at The Manor Theatre.