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Reel Life at Thirteen

From its opening-night film, Noodle, the story of an abandoned Chinese boy who falls into the lap of a widowed El Al stewardess, to the closing-night offering, Lemon Tree, about a Palestinian widow who fights to save her lemon grove from destruction by Israeli security forces on the West Bank, the thirteenth annual Denver Jewish Film Festival will come of age in style. With its international roster of Jewish-themed features and documentaries – and a fitting focus on the promise of youth -- the ten-day fest boasts both variety and weight. There’s truly something for everyone, whether or not you happen to be Jewish.

Tonight’s kickoff starts with a reception honoring homeboy Charlie Miller of the Wolf Theatre Academy (and featuring live music by Los Lantzmun) at 5:30 p.m., followed by the screening of Noodle. Later highlights include a directors’ night with the Heymann Brothers (including screenings of Black Over White, a profile of the Israeli world-beat band the Idan Raichel Project, and Bridge Over the Wadi, which documents a bilingual Arab-Israeli school in Israel); the Colorado premiere of Holy Land Hardball, about an Israeli baseball league; Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger, a coming-of-age tale about a teen with a fitting-in problem; and Arab Labor, a comedy about Arabs living in the shadow of Jewish Israel. A dessert reception with music by Klezmer V’od closes down the festival on February 14 following the screening of Lemon Tree.

Admission ranges from $6.50 to $8.50 per film to $175 for an all-inclusive Producer's Pass, with various options offered in between; all festival screenings are at the Mizel Arts & Culture Center, Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center, 350 South Dahlia Street. For tickets, information and a complete schedule, go to or call 303-316-6360.
Feb. 5-14, 2009


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