Jewish Films Showcased at New NYC Festival
The Inaugural Gold Standard Arts Festival is pleased to announce its lineup of Jewish-themed films. The festival will screen ten films on Thursday, April 28 including the Academy Award-nominated short film Joes Violin and the documentary THE LAST LAUGH followed by a discussion with director Ferne Pearlstein, comedian Judy Gold, and the Artistic Director of the Montclair Film Festival, Tom Hall.
“The art of Jewish culture is so entwined with the Jewish experience as a mechanism for expressing grief, hope, and the most important questions of life: When do we eat? Yes. We lead with humor,” said festival co-director Eileen Katz, former EVP at Comedy Central.
The multi-disciplinary arts festival celebrates emerging and established artists over fifty and runs from April 24 to May 1, at various venues on the Upper West Side. The festival features jazz, cabaret, short plays, stand-up, features, shorts, and documentary films. More information is available at www.goldstandardartsfestival.org.
All screenings take place at the newly reopened New Plaza Cinema, 263 West 86th Street (between Broadway and West End). Tickets are $10 – $20 and are available at www.goldstandardartsfestival.org/film-festival-thursday. One ticket provides entry into two screenings.
New Plaza Cinema’s leadership team member Shawn Moore shared, “New Plaza Cinema is thrilled to be partnering with Goddard Riverside for the Gold Standards Arts Festival this year. We are excited to showcase films by local artists who have the benefit of many years of extraordinary experiences.”
The screenings begin at 12:30 am with a short film block called “Great Jewish Plotz” that kicks off with the Academy Award-nominated short Joes Violin directed by Kahane Cooperman, followed by Saving the Iraqi Jewish Archives: A Journey of Identity directed by Adriana Davis & Carole Basri.
“Talmudic Tenders”, another short film block, is at 2 pm and includes the films Neshamah directed by Tony Doup, Kinderland directed by Amy Grappell, and The Day Before Creation directed by Mira Amiras
At 4 pm the screenings pivot to humor starting with the shorts narrative block that includes Chemistry Read directed by Norm Lang, The Trust directed by Harris Shore and Richard Kuller, Julie Leaves the Nest directed by Rich West, and Quarantween the Musical directed by Asad Javed.
At 7 pm is a special event screening of the documentary feature The Last Laugh. Director Ferne Pearlstein said, “I had no idea how relevant “The Last Laugh” would continue to be years after its premiere. As Renee Firestone ushers in her 99th year this month, it’s sad to think we’re still fighting some of the same hatred she and her family faced. But it also shows how humor continues to help us process the times we’re living through, and I’m grateful to have this opportunity to show it to the audience here at the Gold Standard Arts Festival.”
THE LAST LAUGH dares to ask: “Are we allowed to joke about the Holocaust?” This outrageously funny and thought-provoking film puts the question to legends and critical thinkers including Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Gilbert Gottfried, and many others (including survivors), offering fresh insights into the Holocaust and what else-9/11, AIDS, racism-is or isn’t off-limits in a society that prizes freedom of speech.
Goddard Riverside is hosting the Gold Standard Arts Festival. For more than 100 years, the organization has been committed to investing in people and strengthening the community by meeting New Yorkers’ most essential needs. www.goddard.org
EVENT DETAILS – THURSDAY, APRIL 28
Great Jewish ‘Plotz’ at 12:30 pm – Survival True Stories
Joes Violin – Academy Award Nominated Short. A 91-year-old Holocaust survivor donates his violin to an instrument drive, changing the life of a 12-year-old schoolgirl from the Bronx and unexpectedly, his own.
Saving the Iraqi Jewish Archives: A Journey of Identity – Saving the Iraqi Jewish Archives” (2020) is a journey to rescue the identity of Iraqi Jews.
Talmudic Tenders at 2 pm – True & Fiction Tales
Neshamah – A brother and sister must decide whether to grant their father’s 80th birthday wish.
Kinderland – A story of two rival Jewish summer camps – one Communist, the other Socialist – founded in upstate New York in the 1920s, and still in existence today.
The Day Before Creation – Malkah is just a little kid when her father tries to teach her to read Torah. But they don’t get very far. As Malkah reads aloud, her questions multiply.
Borscht Belters at 4 pm – so good, they could’ve headlined at Grossinger’s
Chemistry Read – After a hiatus in her acting career, Toni’s agent gets her a “chemistry read” with the reality show rapper Top Dogg for his upcoming movie.
Julie Leaves the Nest – Julie knows exactly what her wedding should feel like. No one else in the family has the same idea. What could possibly go wrong?
Quarantween the Musical – A digital special celebrating the resilience of a group of 9-year-old kids.
The Trust – When trophy wife Karen Davis gets the dreaded call from the hospital that her husband, Harvey has died of COVID 19, she promptly summons their attorney, Stan to read Harvey’s trust to her and their son, Barron on Zoom.
The Last Laugh at 7 pm – Followed by Q/A with director Ferne Perlstein
After screening at over 100 festivals (including Tribeca, HotDocs, Traverse City, BFI London, Rome, IDFA), and Certified Fresh at 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, THE LAST LAUGH was released theatrically in over 25 cities and broadcast on Independent Lens/PBS where it was runner-up for that season’s Audience Award.