Lights, Camera, Reaction

closer to moon image
"Closer to the Moon" (Romania-US-Poland-Italy: 2013) written and directed by Nae Caranfil. Featuring Mark Strong and Vera Farmiga

Films exploring Jewish identity and experience from around the world will be showcased at the JCC Chicago's first Chicago Jewish Film Festival (CJFF). Titled "Through a Jewish Lens," the Festival will run from June 19-29 at three venues- The Music Box, the Cinemark/Century, and the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. The Festival will also feature two readings of the play A Place in The Heart, by Michal Aharoni at the Victory Gardens Theatre (June 23) and the Mayer Kaplan JCC (June 24). Chicago is one of the only major U.S. cities to produce a Jewish film festival.

The eight films in the Festival will include two from 2013-the Holocaust survival tale The Pin and Before The Revolution, billed as "the untold story of the Israeli paradise in Iran." Israeli journalist and filmmaker Shlomi Eldar will also present his 2010 documentary A Precious Life, about an Israeli doctor and a Palestinian woman seeking treatment for her baby. The film won the Ophir Award, Israel's equivalent of the Oscar, for Best Documentary.

"Film is a reflection of society, and we want to look back and forward, so people can further reflect on themselves, their families and communities," says David Chack, artistic director of CJFF, also adjunct professor at The Theatre School at DePaul University. "Memory is an inherent part of who we are." 

Ilene Uhlmann, director of Adult Programs at JCC Chicago added, "Beyond entertainment, the Chicago Jewish Film Festival has the capacity to inspire, enrich and inform Jewish identity for the entire community, strengthening the bonds that connect us all." 

Sponsor partners for CJFF include: Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema; Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center; YIVO; Music Box Theatre; Big Tent Judaism/Jewish Outreach Institute; ShPIeL-Performing Identity Theatre; and Victory Gardens Theater, with generous support provided by The Mrs. Zollie Frank Fund.  

Tickets are $12/adults; $10/seniors & students, or $60 for an 8-film festival pass. For more information, 

visit or call (847) 763-3507.

JCC is a partner in serving our community, supported by the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation.

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