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Celebrate Opening Night

Join us for a festive gathering to honor our 20th anniversary – followed by a screening of the Israeli box office hit, “The Women’s Balcony.” This entertaining and enlightening film has been nominated for five Israeli Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actress,  Best Costume Design, Best Makeup, Best Score, and Best Supporting Actor. When the women’s balcony in an Orthodox synagogue collapses, leaving the Rabbi’s wife in a coma and the rabbi in shock, the congregation falls into crisis. Then young Rabbi David arrives and they think they’ve found a savior. But when he starts pushing fundamentalist ways – suggesting the women’s immodesty might have caused the accident – a rift emerges between the sexes! Set to a lively soundtrack amid the evocative back alleys of old Jerusalem, “The Women’s Balcony” is sure to leave you smiling.

Date: 3.15.17 Time: 7:00pm Venue: CTN Studio Portland

Bogdan’s Journey

PREVIEW EVENT – Portland

Bogdan Bialek’s story is a remarkable one – and has much to teach us about how to bridge seemingly impassable divides. In our day, a rising tide of polarization serves to demonize and stigmatize the “Other”, often to simply advance self-interest.  Yet, Bogdan succeeded in helping the children and grandchildren of the per­petrators and victims  of… Read more
Date: 3.18.17 Time: 11:00am Venue: Eveningstar Cinema
Women fight for their rights in unexpected ways in this warm and funny film. When the women’s balcony in an Orthodox synagogue collapses, leaving the rabbi’s wife in a coma and the rabbi in shock, the congregation falls into crisis. Then young rabbi David arrives and they think they’ve found a savior. But when he… Read more
Date: 3.18.17 Time: 5:00pm Venue: Nickelodeon Cinema

The Women’s Balcony

OPENING NIGHT GALA + FILM – PORTLAND

Join us for a festive evening to celebrate the opening of our 20th season! The evening begins at 5:00PM with a reception at the Portland House of Music and Events, with food provided by David Turin of David's Restaurant. At 7:00 PM at the Nickelodeon Cinema is our opening night film, "The Women's Balcony". This… Read more
Date: 3.18.17 Time: 7:30pm Venue: Railroad Square Cinema

The Last Laugh

Waterville

Can the Holocaust be funny? Are jokes about Nazis and genocide in poor taste or a people’s way of coping with tragedy? When is “too soon” too soon? Filmmaker Ferne Pearlstein explores this question through interviews and excerpts from comedians like Mel Brooks, Rob Reiner, Sarah Silverman, Judy Gold, Chris Rock, and Joan Rivers, as… Read more
Date: 3.19.17 Time: 11:00am Venue: Eveningstar Cinema

A Grain of Truth

Brunswick

This well crafted detective thriller effectively builds suspense using anti-Semitism and its centuries-old myth of blood libel:  Jews murdering Christians to use their blood for religious rituals. Once the star of the Warsaw prosecutor’s office, Teodor Szacki  (Polish Academy Award-winner Robert Więckiewicz) explores a series of ritual killings in Sandomierz, a small town in southeastern… Read more
Date: 3.19.17 Time: 11:30am Venue: Portland Museum of Art

An American Tail

Portland

An American Tale is fun for the whole family!  In this animated classic, a young Russian mouse named Fievel emigrates to America, gets separated from his family and must find them, learning some valuable survival lessons along the way.  You will laugh at Fievel's adventures and be inspired by his triumphs.  MJFF is proud to… Read more
Date: 3.19.17 Time: 12:00pm Venue: Railroad Square Cinema
In the context of fluid and evolving attitudes about refugees and immigrants, we present two stark and immediate documentaries, A Demonstration in a the White City and White Night, that illuminate a population that is often hidden in the shadows. White Night Documentary / Dir: Irit Gal / 2012 Israel / Arabic, Hebrew w/English subtitles /… Read more
Date: 3.19.17 Time: 1:00pm Venue: USM - Talbot Lecture Hall/Luther Bonney Hall

Freedom Runners

FREE YOUTH FILM – Portland

A young Jewish teacher in Tel Aviv starts a running club for his students, the sons and daughters of African asylum seekers.  Their talent and commitment bring them to national races, but their lack of Israeli citizenship denies them the trophies and recognition they earn. Asylum seekers, whether in Israel or Maine, cannot return to… Read more
Date: 3.19.17 Time: 1:30pm Venue: Railroad Square Cinema

A Quiet Heart

Waterville

This intense drama is set on the fault line between secularism and religious orthodoxy in modern Israel. Naomi (Ania Bukstein, Game of Thrones), a secular single woman rejecting her family and career as a classical pianist, moves to an Ultra-Orthodox area of Jerusalem. Two surprising connections with a musically gifted Ultra-Orthodox neighbor boy and a… Read more
Date: 3.19.17 Time: 1:30pm Venue: Bates College - Olin Arts Center

Raise the Roof

Lewiston

Amid a rising tide of antisemitism across much of Europe comes an extraordinary story of resurrection and renewal. During WWII the Nazis destroyed a forest of wooden synagogues - considered to be among the most remarkable wooden structures ever built. This documentary follows a team of over 300 artisans and students under the leadership of… Read more

Through a diverse array of independent films, the MJFF provides culturally relevant and historically significant cinema for audiences from across Maine and beyond. The Portland Museum of Art is proud to partner with Maine Jewish Film Festival, promoting new ideas, inviting discussion, and strengthening the cultural economy in Maine.

Mark H.C. Bessire, Director, Portland Museum of Art

 

Thank You To Our Sponsors

Supporting Foundations


Bernard Osher Foundation


Bernard Osher Jewish Philanthropies Foundation


Davis Family Foundation


Equity Fund of the Maine Community Foundation


Jewish Community Alliance


JCL Foundation


Lunder Foundation


Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust


Morris J. and Betty Kaplun Foundation


Moser Family Foundation


Rines Thompson Fund of the Maine Community Foundation


Sam L. Cohen Foundation


Simmons Foundation