Returning for the 21st year, the Mizel Arts and Culture Center (MACC) presents the Denver Jewish Film Festival, which will show 32 films over 13 days debuting with For The Love of Spock on February 8 at 5:30 p.m. For all those Trekkies out there, this marks the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, which makes the premiere a perfect way to celebrate.

This year the festival will focus on exceptional unsung heroes, past and present. Aside from coinciding with the anniversary of Star Trek, For The Love of Spock presents Leonard Nimoy as an unsung hero, both as a Jewish actor and as the character Mr. Spock. Apparently, Nimoy’s Judaism influenced some of his artistic choices with the role. Oh, and it’s directed by his son, Adam Nimoy. According to the website dedicated to the movie, it is the largest successful Kickstarter campaign for a documentary to date — clearly the fans were paying homage to a person who changed their lives in many ways. And mainly, For The Love of Spock seems to be a tribute from a son to a father. It also includes interviews with William Shatner, George Takei, Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto — all Star Trek cast members at some point during its legacy.

 

 

For the Love of Spock is not the only movie worth seeing at the Jewish Film Festival, though. For an endearing tale, Abulele is sure to capture many people’s hearts with a story about friendship across boundaries. In the same vain as Monsters, Inc and E.T.Abulele personifies some intangible quality of humanity into a mysterious beast and then pairs that beast with a kid. Friendship ensues and life lessons are thrown around like confetti. But truly, this film looks like a gorgeous piece of cinema, and this would be your chance to see it in the original Israeli version before it’s converted to American cinema. It will be showing on Sunday, February 19 at 12:30 p.m.

 

With 13 days of films, there are plenty more to chose from. Atomic Falafel is a comedy by Israeli director Dror Shaul that looks to be similar to Dr. Strangelove, in that it’s over-the-top, sarcastic as hell and ultimately a biting commentary on current affairs. The Denver premiere of Disturbing the Peacea documentary following the collaboration of the “Combatants of Peace” who were Israeli and Palestinian individuals working together with nonviolent activism in the midst of one of the most contentious situations, will be a timely film to see.

The festival will also be celebrating extraordinary women with several full-length films as well as one of the shorts. Some of those are: The Woman’s Balcony, Wedding Doll and Mountain

All films are either Jewish or Israeli cinema, and range from narrative features and documentaries to comedies, dramas and fairy tales.

The Denver Jewish Film Festival will screen films from February 8-20. Tickets for any showings during the festival are reserved and must be purchased ahead of time. Visit this website for a full schedule and this website to purchase tickets.

 

Live long and prosper.

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