Interview: Gabrielle Zilkha

Director, Doing Jewish: A Story from Ghana When Gabrielle Zilkha volunteered to work in Africa, religion wasn’t at the forefront of her mind. But when the Jewish New Year came along, she found herself a lone Canadian Jew awash in a sea of Christians—that is, until she stumbled upon a group of practicing Jews in a […]

JFilm Festival Opening Night Held at the Manor

Originally featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 24, 2017 When and where: Thursday at the JCC Katz Theater, Squirrel Hill #LetsGoToTheMovies: More than 300 guests celebrated the opening of the JFilm Festival, which runs through April 30 and showcases independent films from around the world, deepening audiences’ understanding of culture, tolerance and humanity. This year, […]

Representing Jewish Experiences from Comic to Dramatic

Originally featured in Pittsburgh City Paper, April 19, 2017 The 24th annual JFilm, formerly known as the Pittsburgh Jewish-Israeli Film Festival, opens its 11-day run on Thu., April 20. The festival offers 20 recent films from Israel and around the world representing Jewish experiences from the comic to the dramatic, in narrative features and documentaries. […]

‘Harmonia’: A Fine, Reimagined Genesis of Jewish-Arabic Convergence Opens JFilm Festival

Originally featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 19, 2017 The JFilm Festival is now in its 24th annual season of presenting international movies that celebrate Jewish culture and tolerance worldwide. But “Harmonia,” the film that opens the 11-day festival Thursday night at the Manor in Squirrel Hill, is a celebratory event in itself. You can’t […]

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 […]

The Three Rivers Film Festival Marks its 35th Year in Pittsburgh

Originally featured in Pittsburgh City Paper on 11-16-16 This year, the long-running Three Rivers Film Festival occupies fewer days, but still offers two dozen narrative and documentary features (all new to Pittsburgh), as well as events and guest speakers. The 35th annual festival, a partnership between Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Film Pittsburgh, runs from Wed., Nov. […]

Three Rivers Film Festival Accents Pittsburgh Figures in its 35th Year

Originally featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on 11.16.16 The Three Rivers Film Festival has been a home for filmmakers the past 35 years, especially those born in Pittsburgh. And with 26 events in just five days, Film Pittsburgh’s inaugural year of programming is set to highlight many meaningful Steel City connections. Kathryn Spitz Cohan, executive director of […]

The Three Rivers Film Festival Opens with the Marriage-Equality Documentary The Freedom to Marry

Originally featured in Pittsburgh City Paper on 11.9.16 If you’re looking for a good cleansing cry after the interminable dark ugliness that has been the recent presidential campaign, consider The Freedom to Marry. Eddie Rosenstein’s new documentary charts the decades-long fight to win marriage rights for gay couples, culminating in the recent landmark Supreme Court […]

Allderdice Grads Bring Fight for Gay Marriage to Screen

Originally featured in Trib Total Media on 11.9.16 Last year, as a legal fight was brewing that would change the culture of America, Eddie Rosenstein, a 1981 grad of Squirrel Hill’s Taylor Allderdice High School, spent months training his camera on Evan Wolfson (Allderdice, Class of ‘74). A family friend of Rosenstein’s, Wolfson is the […]

Three Rivers Film Festival Rebuilding

Originally featured on Trib Total Media on 11.9.16 It’s been a long ride since George Romero’s “Knightriders.” Fittingly, an offbeat film from Pittsburgh’s most famous filmmaker launched the Three Rivers Film Festival in 1982. The 35th annual festival screens Nov. 16 to 20, with a diverse lineup of three dozen indie and documentary films, with […]

JFilm Partners with Pittsburgh Filmmakers to Produce Three Rivers Film Festival

JFilm: The Pittsburgh Jewish Film Forum and Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts announced today that they are partnering to produce the Three Rivers Film Festival presented by Dollar Bank. The annual festival, in its 35th year and held each fall, is the oldest and largest in the region and had previously been produced by […]

Representing Jewish Experiences from the Comic to the Dramatic

The 23rd annual JFilm, formerly known as the Pittsburgh Jewish-Israeli Film Festival, continues through Sun., April 17. The festival offers recent films from Israel and around the world representing Jewish experiences from the comic to the dramatic, as presented through narrative features and documentaries...

Film 'Rosenwald' recounts Jewish man's contributions to civil rights era

When it comes to audience endorsements, it’s more powerful and meaningful than a couple of thumbs up. After watching Aviva Kempner’s documentary “Rosenwald,” a young Jewish man told the filmmaker, “Now I know what I need to do with my life.” A woman said, “I learned more in this film than I ever learned about […]

Interview: Kathy Leichter, Director of Here One Day

When Kathy Leichter returned home to New York after her mother’s suicide, she discovered a hidden box of audiotapes. Sixteen years passed before she had the courage to delve into this trove, unearthing details that her mother had recorded about every aspect of her life, from the challenges of her marriage to a State Senator, to her son’s estrangement, […]

Rosenwald

Aviva Kempner’s Rosenwald  is the incredible story of Julius Rosenwald, a Jewish philanthropist who joined forces with African American communities during the Jim Crow South to build over 5,300 schools during the early part of the 20th century. Inspired by the Jewish ideals of tzedakah (charity) and tikkun olam (repairing the world), and a deep concern over racial inequality in […]

Here One Day

JFilm and ReelAbilities present a special screening of Kathy Leichter’s documentary, Here One Day, an emotionally candid, award-winning film about a woman coping with mental illness, the ripple effects of her suicide on those she loved, and how her family survived in the aftermath. This is a film about creativity, love, struggle, hope, and family (2013, USA, […]

Pittsburgh Woman Tells South Allegheny Students How Family Survived Holocaust

Irene Skolnick has many stories about how she and members of her family survived the Holocaust as Jews living in Poland. She related some of those accounts to students at South Allegheny High School on Thursday during a visit sponsored by the Jewish film organization JFilm and its Teen Screen program. “There was this constant […]

What Our Fathers Did: A Nazi Legacy

JFilm is co-presenting What Our Fathers Did: A Nazi Legacy at Three Rivers Film Festival. This provocative documentary explores the complicated friendship between two men—both sons of high-ranking Nazi officials. Human rights lawyer Philippe Sands investigates their compelling connection, interweaving the story of his own grandfather, who escaped the same town where their fathers carried […]

ReelAbilities Film Festival Challenges Perceptions of Disabilities

What constitutes beauty? Why are some human features considered beautiful and others not? That’s the focus of “On Beauty,” a documentary that kicks off the third annual ReelAbilities film festival on Thursday that chronicles photographer Rick Guidotti’s exploration of human perceptions of beauty. Following 15 years as a successful fashion photographer, Mr. Guidotti began focusing on a […]

Interview: Lou Howe, Director of Gabriel

Lou Howe’s Gabriel reveals a window into the life of a young man who longs for stability and happiness amidst an ongoing struggle with a mental illness. Newly released from an institution, Gabe (Rory Culkin) becomes convinced that reuniting with his old girlfriend holds the answer to his troubles. His increasingly obsessive pursuit tests the limits of his […]

Interview: Sophie Sartain, Director of Mimi and Dona

In 2009, Sophie Sartain began documenting the lives of Mimi and Dona, her grandmother and aunt, as they embarked on the difficult journey of finding 64-year-old Dona an appropriate state-funded home. As the project unfolded Sophie came across dozens of people grappling with the same predicament—a cousin, a neighbor or a friend’s sibling, some with developmental disabilities, others with mental illnesses, […]

Next Pittsburgh's Top 9 Events Not to Miss in April

#3. JFilm Festival: April 16 – 26 With more screenings than ever, the 22nd annual JFilm Festival is your hot ticket for independent and foreign cinema. Featuring 28 screenings from 8 countries over 11 days, JFilm showcases award-winning documentaries, dramas and comedies, special premieres, visiting artists and a short film competition. Setting up shop at […]

JFilm: 20 premieres and some Film Schmoozes

All 20 of the movies in this year’s JFilm festival will be Pittsburgh premieres, with many accompanied by guests, panels or small informal gatherings called Film Schmoozes. As announced last week, the 22nd annual event will open April 16 at the Manor Theater in Squirrel Hill with “The Last Mentsch,” followed by a reception at […]