Baton Rouge Jewish Film Festival

Jan. 13-17, 2016 at the Manship Theatre

Movies That Matter
Our audience comes to see – and be entertained by – the diversity of the Jewish experience as shown in a wide variety of independent films. In this way, they also get a better understanding of their own lives whether or not they’re Jewish.
A Showcase for Downtown Baton Rouge
The Festival promotes economic development in the Baton Rouge region by showcasing Baton Rouge (and South Louisiana) as a progressive, cosmopolitan, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic region.
Community Education Programs
Every year, the Festival underwrites Holocaust educational programs specifically for students and teachers in the region.
Year-Round Events
The Festival sponsors “off-season” community-wide cultural events in Baton Rouge. In years past this has included co-sponsorship of scholar-in-residence and noted Jewish educator Ron Wolfson as well as the 2014 community sing-along showing of “Fiddler on the Roof” at the Manship Theatre.
How much do tickets to the Festival cost?
You can purchase tickets at the Manship Theatre box office for $8.50. Tickets can also be purchased via phone (866.451.2787) or via the Manship website (see below).

“Attending the Jewish Film Festival each year gives me the opportunity to experience life from a different perspective as well as learn more about the Jewish culture through the art of film. The food tasting and guest speaker last year made it fun and memorable.”

Elena Moreno Keegan

Baton Rouge

“The Baton Rouge Jewish Film Festival exposes me to cinema I would otherwise be unaware of.  And if you think the BRJFF offers of nothing but dry, boring documentaries, think again!  Listen – you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy the BRJFF.  (But it couldn’t hurt!)”

Scotty Drake

Broadcaster, Baker, LA

“To me, the Jewish Film Festival is a fun, yearly reunion where you get to schmooze and catch up with a couple of hundred of your friends in between some high-quality movies. The festival always features a perfect balance of comedy, drama, history and tradition. I’m looking forward to the 10-year reunion in January!”

Silvia DeWitt

Baton Rouge, LA

“We took our daughter to the Baton Rouge Jewish Film Festival as a teachable moment, but it led to the start of a cherished tradition for our family…The Festival takes a huge buffet of culture, history and entertainment and serves a manageable portion to participants that leaves us both satisfied and wanting more year after year.”

Frances Spencer

Baton Rouge

“I have learned more about Jewish culture from the BRJFF than I did in more than three decades of living in my native New York. I look forward to the festival each year as a way to learn about the various experiences of Jews around the world, and to share that with my friends both Jewish and non-Jewish alike. We laugh! We cry! We suddenly remember to call our mothers! “

Renee Bacher

Writer, Baton Rouge

“Every year I always look forward to seeing what the Jewish Film Festival has to offer. And every year I’m delighted. I’ve laughed, cried and been deeply moved, many times all in the same movie. Baton Rouge is fortunate to have JFF bring us beautiful, funny, thought-provoking films.”

Yuri Paula Weydling

Teacher, Baton Rouge, LA

“I LOVE the films that are selected each year. I learn new things every year!”

Julie Watson Rutherford

Watson, LA

See you at the movies!

Like a fat slab of pastrami, Deli Man is the cinematic equivalent of comfort food: warm, generous and made with love. Loosely structured around a profile of Houston restaurateur David “Ziggy” Gruber — a third- generation “deli man” and the film’s genial tour guide — the documentary is also a history of the American institution of the Jewish delicatessen. Featuring interviews with other deli operators from around the country and such loyal celebrity customers as Jerry Stiller, Larry King and Fyvush Finkel, Wait until you get to the part where Gruber is shown preparing veal chops Czernowitz, stuffed with wild mushrooms and garlic; you’ll understand. Viewers should be able to “smell it with their eyes,” as Ziggy says.

If your mouth doesn’t water while reading this, cross the film off your list. But if it does, head to the theater. Just make sure it’s not on an empty stomach. (Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post)

(2014, Documentary, 92 min., Director: Eric Greenberg Anjou, USA Rated PG)

“Heartfelt and heartwarming, Deli Man is documentary film-making at its tastiest.”

Bruce DeMara

Toronto Star

“More than a film, much better than a eulogy, Deli Man is the best kind of mirror there is. It makes you ask, ‘What am I, chopped liver?’ And for the first time in a long time, the answer is an ebullient yes.”

Joshua David Stein

Mr. Kaplan is a film that takes itself seriously enough to have weight and depth to its characters and themes, but not so seriously that it doesn’t have fun doing it. After all, the plot is about two men; one an aging Jew in an existential crisis and the other a defeated but kind-hearted ex-cop and their plot to kidnap an escaped Nazi putting him to trial in Israel for his past crimes. It examines the value of this salvation and confronts the demons that haunt our past. Expertly distilling a potent mixture of emotional depth and deadpan comedy, Mr. Kaplan is a vivacious meditation on family, aging, and the drive for significance.

(2014, Feature, 98 min., Director: Álvaro Brechner, Uruguay, Spanish, PG-13)

“There are no bad performances in Mr. Kaplan, a film with terrific humor and considerable emotional depth.”

Michael Nazarewycz

“Writer-Director Alvaro Brechner and co-editor Nacho Ruiz Capallas know just when to cut a shot or scene to hit the sweet spots and milk maximum comedy from the script’s ripe situational humor.”

Leslie Felperin

Hollywood Reporter

In 1948, just three years after the liberation of Nazi death camps, a group of Jewish American pilots answered a call for help. In secret and at great personal risk, they smuggled planes out of the U.S., trained behind the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia and flew for Israel in its War of Independence.

As members of Machal – “volunteers from abroad” – this ragtag band of brothers not only turned the tide of the war; they also embarked on personal journeys of discovery and renewed Jewish pride. Above and Beyond is their story. Following the screening, the film’s director, Roberta Grossman, will speak about her experiences.

(2015, Doc., 87 min., Director: Roberta Grossman, Producer: Nancy Spielberg, USA, Rated PG)

Above and Beyond nimbly combines salty old dog storytellers regaling the swashbuckling derring-do of their youth with Industrial Light and Magic’s whiz-bang special effects for a thrilling documentary ride.”

Nora Lee Mandel

Maven's Nest

“These guys are fun and funny; they describe breathtaking ventures and adventures; fascinating characters walk on and off the stage; there are dogfights and cat fights and bar fights; you will laugh and cry and learn a great deal.”

Jay Homnick

The American Spectator

The film chronicles Director Gayle Kirschenbaum’s own highly charged relationship with her mother and asks: what happens to a girl when she is born into a family that was expecting a boy? What drives a child to convince herself she is adopted?

With raw honesty and biting humor comes Gayle’s fearless portrait of both her childhood, fraught with humiliation, and her adulthood scarred by its fallout. She invites us on her quest to understand, forgive and love her aging mother before it’s too late. As these two formidable women travel down the bumpy road of discovery, their relationship changes before our eyes and teaches us a universal lesson: the power of forgiveness. Following the screening, the film’s director, Gayle Kirschenbaum will speak about her experiences.

(2015, Doc., 86 min., Director: Gayle Kirschenbaum, USA, Rated PG-13)

Look At Us Now, Mother! is funny, sad, candid and insightful. It’s a film for anyone who has ever had a mother or ever had a nose.”

Frazier Moore

Associated Press

Look at Us Now, Mother! is a brutally honest narrative that exposes Gayle and her mother to themselves, each other and every person that watches the film. The interactions are both hilarious and sad, uplifting and off-putting.”

Nicholas Staab

Providence Monthly

 Tickets on Sale Now

At the Manship Theatre

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Manship Theatre

Manship Theatre

100 Lafayette St. Baton Rouge, LA

Community Education Programs

For Students & Teachers

What is “For Students & Teachers?”

Every year the Festival (in association with the Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge) presents a Holocaust educational program for junior high and high school students. This consists of a feature film or documentary with a Holocaust theme. The film is followed by a short talk from a speaker who has first-hand experience with the Holocaust.

Who Can Participate?

The program is open to public, private, and parochial school students in E. Baton Rouge, Livingston, W. Feliciana, and Ascension parishes. Each year, approximately 1,250 students attend one of several available screenings.

Who Should I Contact?
Contact your school office to coordinate timing and logistics. Then contact the Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge by calling 225-379-7393. 
Where and When Does It Take Place?
The film will be shown at Independence Park Theater, 7800 Independence Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA.

“I just wanted to say thank you for inviting McKinley High School to the Jewish Film Festival screening. I truly believe that our students benefited from this experience. As we delve further into the Holocaust at our school, I am thankful for this rare opportunity for the students to see how teens such as themselves have made such wonderful strides to continue educating the world. Thank you again.”

Lena Yokyongskul Burrows

Teacher, McKinley High School

“I would like to thank you for giving my students the opportunity to view the film, Secret Lives: Hidden Children and Their Rescuers and for the privilege of seeing Mrs. Anne Levy in person and hearing her courageous story of how she and her family withstood the horror and degradation of the Holocaust. She brought history alive for my students, giving them a personal connection that could never be achieved through just print or pictures. You along with Mrs. Levy have given my students a priceless gift that will impact them for the rest of their lives. For this, we are very appreciative and grateful.”

Rhonda Roshto

Teacher, Denham Springs High School

For Students: No Place On Earth

Tuesday, Jan. 12 / Wednesday, Jan. 13 9am – 12 noon

Independence Park Theatre, Baton Rouge

For Teachers Only

What is “For Teachers Only?”
Every year, the Festival (in association with the Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge) underwrites Holocaust educational programs specifically for teachers in the region. We do this by making it possible to send deserving teachers to the Belfer National Conference for Educators in Washington DC, held at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in July of each year. Funded by a grant from the Belfer Foundation, this conference is designed for middle and high school educators and community college faculty. At the conference, Museum educators and scholars share rationales, strategies, and approaches for teaching about the Holocaust. Participants have the opportunity to tour the Museum’s Permanent Exhibition, as well as the special exhibitions Remember the Children: Daniel’s Story and Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration & Complicity in the Holocaust, and to explore the Museum’s full range of resources.
Who Can Participate?
Teachers from public, private, and parochial middle/high schools in E. Baton Rouge, Livingston, W. Feliciana, and Ascension parishes are eligible to apply for inclusion into program.
Who Should I Contact?
Please contact the Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge by calling 225-379-7393. 
Where and When Does It Take Place?
The Conference takes place in Washington DC at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in July of each year.

My principal has just confirmed that we will be offering a new elective next school year based on Holocaust education…This would not have been possible without the Jewish Federation’s support in sending me to the Belfer Conference. I just cannot thank you and the Jewish Federation enough for all you do. Thank you!”

Bonnie Chelette

Teacher, Westdale Middle School

“During this past July, I received a scholarship from the Baton Rouge Jewish Film Festival and the Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge. This made it possible for me to attend the Arthur and Rochelle Belfer Conference in Washington, D.C…

“Each day over the course of the conference, we had a variety of expert speakers including a museum historian, an author sharing the story of his descendants experience in relation to the Holocaust, and a personal testimony by Henry Greenbaum, a Holocaust survivor whose story of survival was very moving. I was excited to hear that Henry will be the guest speaker for the Baton Rouge Jewish Film Festival’s Student Film in January…

“Through collaboration at the Belfer Conference, I found out about the various organizations and foundations that provide the materials, guidance, training, and funding needed for its teachers. Part of my goal from this experience is to help build a Louisiana based network of Holocaust educators who can share resources that can be made available like other states have…

“I am graciously thankful of the Baton Rouge Jewish Film Festival and the Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge for selecting me for the scholarship. Attending the Belfer Conference pointed me in the right direction and increased my motivation for teaching the Holocaust. I am excited with their willingness and interest in assisting local Louisiana teachers in their academic and professional growth in Holocaust education.”

Bryanne Mader

Teacher, Hammond Junior High Magnet School

Teaching About The Holocaust

Teaching Holocaust history demands a high level of sensitivity and keen awareness of the complexity of the subject matter. It also requires approaches appropriate for effective teaching in general, while being particularly relevant to Holocaust education.

Benefits of Being a Patron

The Baton Rouge Jewish Film Festival is made possible by the support of our friends and patrons. As in years past, you are very important to the success of the Festival. We need your support as a Patron to help us underwrite Festival expenses. Please support the 2016 Baton Rouge Jewish Film Festival today by calling the Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge at 225-379-7393. 

Art Directors
Set Designers
Executive Producers
Oscar Nominees
2 tickets to Patron Party and Saturday evening show
Your Name in Lights
(see below)
Tickets to 1 additional show
Tickets to 2 additional shows
Tickets to 3 additional shows
Additional complimentary tickets available on request
Performance sponsor (Dedication opportunity)

Your Name in Lights!

Each year, all of our Patrons are recognized on-screen in the pre-show credits, for their invaluable generosity and good will in making our Festival a reality. Thanks again, guys – we love you!


 Tickets on Sale Now

At the Manship Theatre

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