Thu 9/5-Sun 9/15
The annual Cleveland Jewish FilmFest, now in its 13th year, offers a packed week-and-a-half of 21 films, mostly at Cleveland Heights’ Cedar Lee Theatre, with one-offs at the Atlas Cinemas Shaker Square, the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque and the Mandel JCC.
It features Jewish-themed films from all over the world, ranging from comedies to romances to documentaries to shorts. It Must Schwing tells the story of legendary jazz label Blue Note Records, founded by a pair of refugees from Nazi Germany, while Those Who Remained is a fictional Hungarian film set in post-war Budapest about a doctor who escaped the concentration camps and a young teenager hoping her parents survived. King Bibi: The Life and Performances of Benjamin Netanyahu follows the evolution of the Israeli prime minister’s career through actual footage of his appearances, and should be of interest both to those who respect him and those who consider him Israel’s Donald Trump.
Also for music lovers, on Thu 9/12 @ 2pm the Cedar Lee will host a free screening of AKA Doc Pomus, about the legendary songwriter who, with Mort Shuman, wrote such ’50s and early ’60s hits as “A Teenager in Love,” “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “Turn Me Loose,” “Go Jimmy Go, “Hushabye” and two big Elvis hits “Surrender” and “Suspicion.” Although it’s free, reservations are required. Go here.
Opening night at Shaker Square features the 2018 Hebrew/Yiddish language film The Unorthodox, the story of a group of Sephardic Jews’ attempts to form their own political party. The humorous film has English-language subtitle. Tickets for opening night are $20; Mitchell’s ice cream will be served.
All-access festival passes are $150-$175; prices for single films range from $8-$12.