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The Pacific Jewish Film Festival and the Festival of Jewish Books will join forces at the Merage JCC to present “Telling Our Stories,” the Jewish Experience in Film and Books. The 8th Annual Pacific Jewish Film Festival showcases intriguing films with Jewish themes from around the world.

Films to be screened at the 8th Annual Pacific Jewish Film Festival Screenings October 10 to November 4 are:

Sunday, October 10, 7 p.m. — Nora’s Will (Mexico 2008, Comedy/Drama, 90 minutes; Spanish with English subtitles); winner of 7 Ariel Awards (Mexican Academy Awards) 2010.  A Mexican Jewish family is turned upside down in this comedy-drama from director Mariana Chenillo.

Sunday, October 17, 7 p.m. – The Gift of Stalin (Drama, 2008, 97 minutes; Russian, Kazakh, Hebrew with English subtitles); first prize Belgrade Int’l Film Festival, Serbia, 2009; First prize Int’l Film Festival “The East and the West Classics and Avant-Guard”, Russia, 2008. Set in Kazakhstan in 1949, a Jewish boy named Sashka wracks his brain to find the perfect birthday present for Joseph Stalin and get the special prize, a meeting with the Soviet leader, as part of a contest.

Thursday, October 21, 7 p.m. – Saviors in the Night (Drama, 2009, 100 minutes; German and French with English subtitles).  This movie is based on the memories of Marga Spiegel who recounts how courageous farmers in southern Münsterland hid her, her husband Siegfried, and their little daughter Karin from 1943 until 1945, saving them from deportation to the camps in the East.

Sunday, October 24, 7 p.m. – Jews & Baseball: An American Love Story (Documentary 2010, 60 minutes; narrated by Dustin Hoffman). This film explores the connec­tion between Jewish Americans and baseball. More than a film about sports, it is a story of immigration, traditions, assimilation, bigotry, heroism, and the shattering of stereotypes.

Thursday, October 28 – Inside Hana’s Suitcase (Canada, Documentary 88 minutes). Based on the award-winning book by Karen Levine, “Inside Hana’s Suitcase”, is the poignant story of two young Jewish children who grew up in pre- WWII Czechoslovakia.

Thursday, November 4, 7 p.m. – Anita (Argentina, drama 2009, 105 minutes; Spanish with English subtitles; Best Film Award and Audience Award of the International Latino Film Festival’s 13th edition of Los Angeles in 2009).   Anita Feldman is a child with Down syndrome. For the Feldmans, and for hundreds of other people, everything changes on July 18, 1994, when a car bomb explodes across the street from the building of the AMIA Jewish community center.

Funding for “Telling Our Stories” was provided by the Doris H. and Milton J. Chasin Cultural Arts Endowment and members of the Cultural Arts Patron Circle.

Advance ticket prices are $9 for JCC members and $12 for the general public.  All tickets are $12 at the door. Film Festival Passes for all showings are $48 JCC Members, $66 Public.  Festival pass holders receive free popcorn at each movie and get voting rights for the “Audience Award Winner.”

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