Festival of Lights, Camera, Action

Yoo Hoo Mrs. Goldberg, a film about a woman who paved the way for women in the entertainment industry, will kick off The Second Annual Asheville Jewish Film Festival this month.

The festival is hosted by the Fine Arts Theatre, in partnership with the Center for Jewish Studies at UNC-Asheville and the Asheville Art Museum. Theatre manager Neal Reed says audiences will find a diverse group of films this year. “We tried to have a mix of everything, some kind of narrative film, a documentary and some fun films.”

Some of the filmmakers will be in attendance to discuss their work. After the showing of Yoo Hoo Mrs. Goldberg on March 13th, director Aviva Kempner Kempner will discuss her film about television pioneer Gertrude Berg, who won the first Best Actress Emmy in history for her work on the television series The Goldbergs. The March 18 showing of Killing Kasztner will be followed with a Q&A with director Gaylen Ross. That film chronicles the true story of a controversial Hungarian Jew who negotiated with Adolf Eichmann to save the lives of thousands of Jews during World War II.

Other films explore a prolific mosaic artist, a star-crossed romance, and the life of an exiled Nobel laureate. Another film, The Lazy Environmentalist, stars Asheville resident Josh Dorfman.

Reed says many larger U.S. cities have Jewish film festivals, and he wanted to give local audiences that same experience. “It looks to be a good event this year. We’ve got some good sponsorships and some good films,” Reed says. “Everybody really enjoyed all the films we had last year and they were really well attended.”

Tickets for the festival go on sale March 4. The festival runs from March 13 to 18 at the Fine Arts Theatre, 36 Biltmore Avenue in downtown Asheville. For ticket information and a schedule, visit www.ashevillejewishfilmfestival.com or call the Fine Arts Theatre at 828-232-0257.

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