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Los Alamos has been selected as the “chosen” location for the Santa Fe Jewish Film Festival’s first “satellite screening” outside of the City Different, announced Festival Director, Marcia Torobin.
“There is a vibrant and active cultural community on the Hill. It’s an ideal environment for expanding the reach and enjoyment of the eclectic mix of documentaries and first run features the Festival presents,” Torobin said.
The local kickoff begins with the screening of award-winning Israeli documentary film, “Precious Life,” 4 p.m. March 9 at the Reel Deal Theater.
“Precious Life” follows the real-life story of a Palestinian baby with a rare immune deficiency disorder and the Israeli doctor who hopes to save the baby’s life.
It is an up-close and personal story set against the larger backdrop of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The film was featured at the Telluride, Toronto and Mill Valley Film Festivals and won the Ophir Award (the Israeli Academy Award) for Best Documentary.
It has garnered accolades from The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Chicago Tribune, and was described by film critic Thomas Friedman as “a story of compassion among enemies and cruelty among neighbors.”
Los Alamos playwright Robert Benjamin viewed “Precious Life” when it screened in Santa Fe last spring, and is anxious to see it again at the Reel Deal. The film “…transforms one of the most difficult problems of our times into a personal challenge of healing and compassion,” Benjamin said.
“Precious Life” vividly illustrates the complexities of the Middle East, the impact on individual lives and the need on both sides for security.
The film’s director, journalist Shlomi Eldar, is best known in Israel as the Channel 10 news correspondent for Gaza, which he has covered for 20 years. An interview with Eldar from Israel via Skype will follow the screening.
Advance tickets are $12 ($10 for full-time students), available at the Reel Deal Theater, or on the Santa Fe Jewish Film Festival’s website SantaFeJFF.org/LosAlamos. Advance purchase is highly recommended, as shows often sell out.
Tickets include a post-film reception and light refreshments at the theater sponsored by the Los Alamos Jewish Center. If available, tickets the day of the screening are $15.
The Santa Fe Jewish Film Festival, launched in 2010, brings films that foster an understanding of Jewish culture, history, religion and/or identity to New Mexico audiences.
Selections are award-winning features and documentaries that have premiered at major film festivals such as Cannes, Venice, Sundance, Tribeca and Jerusalem.
While each film has a Jewish connection, the larger themes have general community appeal. SantaFeJFF screenings are preceded or followed by a speaker, interview, discussion, or other special programming.