Arts & Culture Program Coordinator Amy Rahmani recently sat down with Arts+Culture Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Nancy Wozny to talk about our upcoming Houston Jewish Film Festival. Arts+Culture is a free periodical for the community with a focus on the contemporary visual and performing arts and how it affects life and lives in Texas. A+C magazine features articles, interviews, and reviews on gallery and museum shows, theater productions, people in the arts, classical music, contemporary dance, opera and books.
Check out the trailer to this year's Houston Jewish Film Festival:
The following is an excerpt from Arts+Culture Magazine's article written by Editor-in-Chief Nancy Wozny. For the full article from Arts+Culture, click here.
The Evelyn Rubenstein JCC of Houston presents the 12th Houston Jewish Film Festival, with 27 films over 16 days, March 5-20, 2016, at various venues, including the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC, the MFAH, Holocaust Museum Houston, Sundance Cinemas and Congregation Beth Jacob in Galveston. A+C editor Nancy Wozny visited with the “J’s” Arts & Culture Program Coordinator Amy Rahmani on this year’s festival.
When you look over the whole festival what kinds of themes emerge about Jewish life, culture and politics?
One theme that really stands out is family. From a family growing to understand each other’s choices in Apples from the Desert, to a relationship that forms between a daughter and her mother’s boyfriend in 10% My Child, to the intergenerational family dynamics of Baba Joon, we see the importance of family, whether by blood or not, shine through a lot during the festival.
A psychological thriller, The Man in the Wall, opens the festival on March 5. What about this film felt right for an opener?
The Man in the Wall is very indicative of the current trends of Israeli cinema. By positioning the film as opening night we are able to make a statement about the importance of what is happening in the Israeli film industry today. Isaac Zablocki, the Director of the Israel Film Center, describes this years’ crop of Israeli films as offering “a new development in Israeli cinematic language.” He cites The Man in the Wall, for its “groundbreaking methods of presentation, taking innovation to a new level.” We also loved how this film was such a bold and different choice than our usual opening night films.
We have to talk about Baba Joon. This film is getting tons of buzz. Give us your take on it.
The film was Israel’s submission to the Oscars, but it unfortunately wasn’t nominated for the Best Foreign Language film. Part of what makes the film so special is that it’s Israel’s first ever film in Farsi, and one of only a handful on record to feature dozens of Iranian actors. The story itself is very relatable – it’s about an immigrant family struggling with intergenerational conflicts between traditional and Western values. The film also has some star power with Navid Negahban; fans will recognize him from his role as Abu Nazir from the first few seasons of Homeland.
For the rest of the story, check out the original Arts+Culture article.