By all accounts last year’s 9th Annual Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival was a howling success honoring the legendary Carl Reiner. The evening red carpet was a notable crew that included: Francine York, Doris Roberts, Kat Kramer, Karen Sharpe Kramer, Lainie Kazan, Lorraine Newman and Jon Voight. This years festivities at the historic Saban Theatre will launch the LAJFF’s 10th anniversary showcasing the documentary film by Susan and Lloyd Ecker that tells the story of legendary entertainer, Sophie Tucker, in their film “The Outrageous Sophie Tucker”. The film features appearances by Tony Bennett, Carol Channing, Michael Feinstein, Shecky Green, Bruce Vilanch and Mamie Van Doren. The opening night red carpet will be a stellar event with an appearance by legendary screen siren Mamie Van Doren. There will also be a special appearance from Sophie herself via iconic drag impersonator, Worthie “Momma” Meacham. You all may remember Momma at any number of the memorable performances at Paul V. Vitagliano‘s Drag Strip 66 at Rudolpho’s back in the day. There will be a Q&A session after the screening with moderator, Stan Taffel, Emmy winner, Hollywood Host and Classic Film Archivist. So the night will be one of fabulous possibilities and entertainment!
The LAJFF Executive Director, Hilary Helstein says, “Our 10th annual festival will be the best one yet. We are premiering the strongest line-up of international films to date. In addition to these 25 plus films, we will honor the Festival Founding Co-Chairs, Kim Cavallo and Michele Kaufman for their vision and commitment to preserving Jewish culture in Los Angeles. We expect this to be our strongest festival ever as we recognize our amazing growth over the years.”
Thursday, May 7th, is the closing night of the festival, there will be an appearance by Gideon Raff at the ArchLight Theater in Sherman Oaks. This is a special filmmaker event honoring Gideon’s Israeli series “Hatufim”, “Hatufim” is the original program Showtime’s “Homeland” is based upon. Gideon will be there to answer questions following a special two episode screening of “Hatufim”. The LAJFF programing will run for the week starting April 30th to May 7th. You can find more information regarding tickets and scheduling at www.lajfilmfest.org. It should be a lively week of exceptional films and fascinating stories revolving around Jewish culture that all Angelenos can enjoy.