Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival Brings Drama, History to Valley Screens

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See also: Ten Films to Look For in 2015

From Sunday, February 8, through Sunday, February 22, you can catch 13 "great films with a little Jewish flavor," as festival organizers put it, at three Harkins Theatre locations around the Valley: Camelview 5, Chandler Fashion 20, and Arrowhead Fountains 18.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest events of the festival, involving the special appearance of Theodore Bikel after the first viewing of Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem on Sunday, February 15, is sold out already, but you can still buy tickets to a recently added second showing of the documentary on Thursday, February 19, at Camelview.

But don't worry, there are 12 other films on the festival schedule that are just as worthy of your time.

If you're in the mood for an inspirational documentary, check out the incredible story of volunteer World War II pilots who flew "junk" airplanes made out of spare parts for Israel during the War of Independence in Above and Beyond. Guests speakers Craig and Jeffrey Weiss wrote the book I Am My Brother's Keeper: American Volunteers in Israel's War for Independence 1947-1949, which served as the inspiration for the movie.

For something a little lighter, kick back with Quality Balls: The David Steinberg Story, a film about the witty, somewhat loose cannon of a comedian who became a legend with his improv, stand-up, variety show, and eventual directing.

If he'd seen It Happened In Saint-Tropez, we're sure Steinberg would have had plenty of material to work with what with both a wedding and a funeral, sibling rivalry, and unintentional love all being traversed by a dysfunctional family. We know it sounds fairly dramatic on paper, but director Daniele Thompson's light-hearted approach makes it completely all right to laugh.

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Evie Carpenter is a visual journalist. Using photography, videography, design, and sometimes words, she tells stories she hopes make a bit of difference in the world, even if those stories are in list form and include GIFs.
Contact: Evie Carpenter