Every year we see a new crop of films of Jewish interest made in Israel, the USA, and other countries. They make their first appearance at Jewish film festivals from New York to California and lots of places in-between.
We've been tracking these festivals to watch for movies of special interest to us, which naturally means funny films, or films that evoke a nostalgic kick that give us a good dose of Yiddishe nachas.
The Rutgers Jewish Film Festival, which will run from October 29 through November 9 at the Regal Cinema Commerce Center in North Brunswick, New Jersey, will show 15 films that touch on serious themes as well, but we'd like to call attention to the three that fit our Jewish humor profile.
Hunting Elephants, a film made in Israel in 2013 by director Reshef Levi (107 minutes, English and Hebrew with English subtitles), is a bank robbery caper pulled off by a collection of aging former Zionist underground fighters. The group is led by a visiting uncle who is a disgraced British lord played by Sir Patrick Stewart.
(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS: THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS. YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)
Quality Balls: The David Steinberg Story, a 75-minute-long documentary made in Canada in 2013 by director Barry Avrich, tells the story of Canadian comedian David Steinberg. After attending yeshiva in Chicago, Steinberg went on to comedy fame with performances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and directing stints that included Seinfeld, Mad About You, Golden Girls, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
The Sturgeon Queens, a film we reported on back in January, will also be shown at the festival. While not a comedy that will leave you laughing out loud, it's a film that will make you smile and leave you hungering for some pickled herring, lox, or whitefish as served for the last 100 years at the Lower East Side appetizing store of Russ and Daughters.
Tickets for each film are available online for $12, $10 for seniors, and $6 for students.