By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Movie buffs and members of the Kansas City Jewish community gathered at Hotel Phillips this past Wednesday for an exclusive kick-off that announced the upcoming 2015 Kansas City Jewish Film Festival. The festival will take place from Saturday, October 10 to Sunday, October 18.
Throughout the evening, festival producer (and WDAF-TV FOX 4 News personality) Shawn Edwards shared his vision that would not only increase the festival’s presence and reputation locally, but also nationally as well.
“We want the Kansas City Jewish Film Festival to be the Sundance of Jewish Film Festivals,” said Edwards. “We hope that our festival becomes the launching pad that kick starts the careers of the next Steven Spielberg and Spike Lee.”
In order for Edwards and the Jewish Film Festival committee to reach their goals, the group began to find films that would get moviegoers would not typically watch on Hulu, Netflix or HBO.
“In today’s digital world, it is increasing difficult to find unique content that isn’t readily available for public consumption.” Edwards said. “We feel that we have done an exceptional job in finding films for the festival that have not been seen and can only be seen when you attend the festival.”
Among the potential highlights of the eight-day festival would include October 10’s opening night that features a performance from award-winning singer-songwriter Carla Bauer and the festival’s opening film: A Blind Hero-The Love of Otto Weidt. The film’s titular subject is considered by many to be an unsung Schindler who saved countless Jews from Nazi concentration camps during World War II.
Other must-see films include The Eichmann Show (new partner, the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education’s Sunday, October 11 pick), Dough (which is a part of October 12’s Celebration in Diversity night) and the debut of Big Sonia (Thursday, October 15). Big Sonia focuses on Holocaust survivor and local celebrity Sonia Warshawski. Her granddaughter and renowned filmmaker Leah Warshawski also produced the film.
The Kansas City Jewish Film Festival will also make their presence known in Los Angeles on Wednesday, October 14. The festival will present a short film showcase at LA Live’s Regal Cinemas, which will simultaneously be shown at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City-the J’s White Theatre. Both audiences will view On A Technicality, Hannah Cohen’s Holy Communion, German Shepherd, What We Left Behind and Reverence.
For more information about the 2015 Kansas City Jewish Film Festival, visit their website!