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MARCH 10th to 17th 2016

at the Center for Jewish History

NY Sephardi Film Festival 2016 - The Culture News

The American Sephardi Federation presents the New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival for its 19th edition from March 10th to 17th 2016 at the Center for Jewish History in New York City (15 West 16th Street).

Through the poignant medium of film, the New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival (NYSJFF) provides viewers with an understanding of the rich mosaic culture of Jews from the Middle East and greater Sephardic Diaspora. Contemporary voices steeped in history and tradition are celebrated throughout this week-long series of events, including première screenings, intriguing stories, poignant documentaries, filmmaker Q&As, and the Pomegranate Awards ceremony.

Tickets are available on or 1.800.838.3006


March 10th - OPENING NIGHT - 7 pm


The director will be in attendance for the Q&A March 12th - 9 pm: HOW TO WIN ENEMIES by Gabriel Lichtman

March 13th - 2 pm: PRINCE OF EGYPT by Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner & Simon Wells Free film screening, kids party, and special prize awarded for best costume. Ages 8+

March 13th - 5 pm: ORO MACHT FREI by Jeffrey Bonna

Filmmakers are in attendance for the Q&A. March 13th - 7pm : Journey through Jewish Bollywood; 8PM : BEQASSOR by K. Amarnath Bollywood Night

March 14th - 4 pm: SHATTERED RHYMES by Sami Shalom-Chetrit Filmmaker in attendance for Q&A.

March 14th - 6 pm: A SONG OF LOVES by R. David Buzaglo (US PREMIERE) March 14th - 8 pm: MIDNIGHT ORCHESTRA by Jérôme Cohen-Olivar (US PREMIERE) Followed by an After Party by ASF’s Young Leadership Board March 15th - 6 pm: MY EMO LIFE by Rafael Attias Filmmaker in attendance for Q&A, followed by a Sneak Peek. March 15th - 8 pm: CARVALHO'S JOURNEY by Steve Rivo Filmmaker in attendance for Q&A. March 16th - 6 pm: ARABIC FILM by Eyal Sagui Bizawe & Sara Tsifroni

March 16th - 7:30 pm: SHORE OF LOVE by Henry Barakat March 17th - 7 pm: FOR SABBATH by Oron Cohen (US PREMIERE) March 17th - 7:15 pm: ON THE BANKS OF THE TIGRIS by Marsha Emerman




AWARD CEREMONY ENSEMBLE (Short Film) Director: Mohamed Fekrane In 1942, Ahmad, an Imam from Paris, makes a life-changing decision to help save as many children as possible after Isaac, a young Jewish boy escaping a Nazi concentration camp, finds refuge in his mosque. Inspired by a true story. The director will be in attendance for the Q&A

MARCH 12th - 9pm HOW TO WIN ENEMIES Director: Gabriel Lichtman Lucas is a young and handsome lawyer with a penchant for detective stories. Barbara is a lustful and smart lawyer who also loves literature. After a night together, Lucas awakes to find Barbara has gone, along with his financial savings. Determined to solve this mystery, Lucas finds himself in a captivating, twisted, romantic comedy plot.


MARCH 13th - 2pm PRINCE OF EGYPT Director: Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner & Simon Wells In this animated retelling of Shemot (Exodus) accompanied by the soulful singing of Israeli-Yemeni legend Ofra Haza, Egyptian Prince Moses discovers his roots as a Jewish slave and embarks on a quest to free his people from bondage. Free film screening, kids party, and special prize awarded for best costume. Ages 8+

MARCH 13th - 5pm ORO MACHT FREI Director: Jeffrey Bonna In 1943, the Nazi-allied Italian Social Republic issued an order of arrest for all Jews, who had already suffered under Mussolini’s Racial Laws, in its territory. This riveting documentary explores the aftermath through the testimonies of nine Roman Jews, archival footage, family photos, and the perspectives of renowned historians. Filmmakers are in attendance for the Q&A. Journey through clips of the glory days of Bollywood, when Pramila, Sulochana, Nadira, and other Jewish stars and scriptwriters dominated silver screens across India. Kenneth X. Robbins, author of a multi-volume history of the Jews of India and the curator of ASF’s Bollywood & the Bene Israel in Bollywood and Beyond exhibition will present an interactive lecture. TICKETS:

MARCH 13th - 8pm BEQASSOR Director: K. Amarnath In this Bollywood classic featuring musical interludes, Pramila (aka Esther Abraham), a Baghdadi Jewish star and the First Miss India (1947), plays a young, naïve girl caught in the cross-fire of a deep-rooted sibling rivalry between her upright husband and her scheming brother-in-law. The brother-in-law exploits the girl’s trusting nature to falsely implicate her husband in a corruption case and turns the husband against the wife by wrongly defaming her character.


MARCH 14th - 4pm SHATTERED RHYMES Director: Sami Shalom-Chetrit A cinematic portrait of Algerian-born Moroccan-Israeli poet Erez Bitton, recipient of last year’s Pomegranate Award for Lifetime Achievement and the first Sephardi to win the Israel Prize in Literature. The film explores the social, cultural, and political experience of Moroccan and other immigrants to Israel through Bitton’s poetry and life milestones, especially his tragic loss of eyesight at age 11. Filmmaker in attendance for Q&A.


MARCH 14th - 6pm A SONG OF LOVES Director: R. David Buzaglo Moroccan Rabbi David Buzaglo, frequently considered the greatest Hebrew liturgical poet of the 20th century, had a major impact on Maghrebi Jews. Buzaglo’s poetry while faithful to a Moroccan tradition dating back to Andalusian Spain was also innovative (e.g., he transmuted secular, even risqué, Arab pop music tunes, into the sacred). This film is an intimate look at Buzaglo’s life and legacy, from his prolific period in the Diaspora through the Piyyut revolution in Israel today.


MARCH 14th - 8pm MIDNIGHT ORCHESTRA Director: Jérôme Cohen-Olivar In this cross-generational, interfaith comedy, the son of a once-famous Jewish musician returns to his home country to bury his father. Aided by an eccentric cab driver, his search for the former members of his father’s band unexpectedly transforms his life forever. Starring Gad Elmaleh, Hassan El Fad, and Jade Chkif. Followed by an After Party by ASF’s Young Leadership Board TICKETS:

MARCH 15th - 6pm MY EMO LIFE Director: Rafael Attias In this introspective, historical, and contemplative narrative, Rafael Attias creates a poetic exploration of place and belonging, weaving together themes of generational and geographical displacement, family continuity, fatherhood, marriage, and aging. Filmmaker in attendance for Q&A. Followed by a Sneak Peek. TICKETS:

MARCH 15th - 8pm CARVAHLO’S JOURNEY Director: Steve Rivo A real-life 19th-century American Western adventure, Carvalho’s Journey tells the extraordinary story of Solomon Nunes Carvalho (1815–1897), a Sephardic Jew born in Charleston, South Carolina, who became a ground-breaking photographer, artist, and pioneer in American history. Filmmaker in attendance for Q&A. TICKETS:

MARCH 16th - 6pm ARABIC FILM Directors: Eyal Sagui Bizawe & Sara Tsifroni Back in the day, when there were only a few television channels to choose from and when Israel and Egypt were at war, families across Israel would gather in their homes on Friday nights to watch old Arab-language classics. How did Israeli television obtain these films? Why were they shown? This unexpected documentary brings us the stars, and the stories, and takes us directly into living rooms brimming with nostalgia. TICKETS:

MARCH 16th - 7:30pm SHORE OF LOVE Director: Henry Barakt Layla Mourad, the widely popular Egyptian film diva whose Sephardi (and Ashkenazi) Jewish roots have largely been forgotten, and stars in this musical romance as a beautiful, penniless girl with a voice from the heavens. She marries Adel, a rich young bachelor while their scheming families try to break them up. Released in 1950 and considered a masterpiece of the Golden Age of Cinema in Egypt, this classic includes many of Mourad’s most memorable songs.


MARCH 17th - 7pm FOR SABBATH Director: Oron Cohen Filmmaker Oron Cohen deftly films his Iraqi grandmother, Malka, while she teaches him how to make the traditional dish she’s been perfecting since 1950, kubba. A scented tribute to the women we all hold dear to our hearts—our talented grandmothers. MARCH 17th - 7:15pm ON THE BANKS OF THE TIGRIS Director: Marsha Emerman When Majid Shokor escaped from Iraq he discovered that the songs he loved as a child in Baghdad have a hidden history. To find out more, Majid makes a bold journey from his home in Australia to Israel, countries in Europe, and Iraq to meet Iraqi musicians, hear their music and stories, and unite them in a concert celebrating coexistence.


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