“THE INTERPRETER” — an emotional cinematic journey about a man serving as a translator for the son of the Nazi officer who murdered his parents — will open the 19th Rutgers Jewish Film Festival on Tuesday, Oct. 30, at AMC Loews New Brunswick 18.
The festival, which will run through Nov. 11, will offer 15 feature films and five New Jersey premieres; screenings will also feature discussions with filmmakers, actors, scholars, and other notable guests.
The other venue for the festival, which is sponsored by Rutgers’ Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life, is Princeton Garden Theatre (PGT).
Appearing at the screening of the opening film — the Slovakian entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2019 Academy Awards — will be acclaimed lead actor Peter Simonischek, who has appeared in more than 60 films since 1980. “The Interpreter” deals with memory at both a personal and collective level and focuses on the unlikely friendship that develops between the two men. Opening night will also include a buffet dinner and dessert reception for festival sponsors. Two additional screenings of the film will be held: on Sunday, Nov. 4, at AMC (also featuring Simonischek in person) and Wednesday, Nov. 7, at PGT.
Native New Jerseyan Seth Kramer, director of “Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel,” will appear at the screening of the film — about the 2017 Israeli national baseball team making it into the World Baseball Classic for the first time — on Sunday, Nov. 4, at AMC, along with New York Mets player Ty Kelly.
Two screenings will be held for the New Jersey premiere of “Who Will Write Our History” — chronicling the courage of resistance fighters who risked their lives to document Jewish life in the Warsaw Ghetto. Director Roberta Grossman will make a guest appearance at the Monday, Nov. 5, screening at PGT, and Trinity College Prof. Samuel Kassow, on whose book the film is based, will be guest speaker at the Sunday, Nov. 11, matinee at the AMC.
Kassow will also participate in a panel discussion, “Writing about Historical Events,” on Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. at AMC, along with former investigative journalist Moshe Zonder, formerly the head writer for “Fauda,” the popular Israeli television series, and the Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artist at the Bildner Center this fall. The program is free, but tickets are required.
The festival will also present a free screening for middle and high school students of “A Bag of Marbles” — a French film showcasing the fortitude of two young Jewish brothers fleeing Nazi-occupied France in 1941.
Closing night features the drama, “An Israeli Love Story,” set in the tumultuous years of 1947-48 and based on the true story of theater director and actress Pnina Gary. A young couple must navigate both their budding romance and their commitment to the struggle for Jewish independence from the British. Director Dan Wolman has been invited to speak at the closing night screening. An additional matinee showing will be held on Thursday, Nov. 8, at AMC.
Tickets cost $13, with discounts for seniors and students. For the schedule, speaker updates, and ticket information, visit BildnerCenter.Rutgers.edu/film or contact 848-932-4166 or firstname.lastname@example.org.