Event Type: Q&A

Leona Q and A

Q and A with filmmaker Isaac Cherem, director and co-writer of LEONA.

Hummus! The Movie Q&A with director Oren Rosenfeld

Live Q&A with Oren Rosenfeld, director of HUMMUS! THE MOVIE

Oren Rosenfeld was born in Jerusalem on January 29, 1976. He started his career as a photojournalist covering the 2nd Palestinian Intifada. In 2010 Oren Founded his production company Holy-Land Productions. Rosenfeld directed and co-wrote Israel’s Arab Warriors for the BBC in October 2016, following the first unit of Israeli Arab soldiers to serve in the Israeli occupied West Bank.
His award-winning film Hummus The Movie stirred controversy when the Guinness Book of World records refused to send representatives to judge the world’s largest plate of hummus due to alleged security concerns. In 2017 Rosenfeld joined Jane Corbin to write and direct The Real Fauda, a BBC documentary about the real story behind the hit Netflix drama Fauda
In early 2018, Rosenfeld returned to India to continue production of Mumbai Jews a film about the long established Jewish community in Mumbai, and the significance of their cultural, social and political contributions to India. Mumbai Jews touches the story of Moshe Holtzberg, one of the survivors of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. He was almost two years old when the attack orphaned him. Rosenfeld follows his return, 10 years later. The story focuses on Holtzberg’s nanny Sandra Samuel. 
Rosenfeld’s latest work Lost in Paradise Goa won the LIAFF award for Best Short Documentary.


Join the Q&A panel (included free of charge with the free film ticket) on May 2nd at 2PM Central to discuss the film and learn about Jewish Family Service’s new Wise Aging program with filmmaker Paula Weiman-Kelman, along with Shalom Austin 60+ Program Director Rachel Wimberley and Shalom Austin JFS Clinical Psychologist Dr. Fabianna Laby, moderated by student in Spiritual Direction and AJFF Executive Director, Dr. David Goldblatt.

Paula Weiman-Kelman is a veteran documentary filmmaker known for moving portraits of inspiring women. Her happy connection to the Austin Jewish Film Festival began in 2004 with Blessings: Roommates in Jerusalem.  It continued in 2016 with  Torah Treasures and Curious Trash.  Her current film Dying Doesn’t Fell Like What I’m Doing premiered to a sold out, standing room only event at the Athena Women’s Festival in Manhattan in March, 2020. Days later the world shut down… She has been blessed to share the film this past year in an inspiring variety of virtual film festivals and gatherings.

Syndrome K Q & A with director Stephen Edwards

Live Q&A with filmmaker Stephen Edwards, director of SYNDROME K

Stephen Edwards is a newly accomplished filmmaker and a seasoned and highly sought after film and television composer, scoring movies and TV shows for 20+ years. His first film which he directed and produced was Requiem for My Mother, which won 2 audience awards at US film festivals, and ran on PBS stations from 2016 to 2018. The CD of the soundtrack from the film peaked at #3 on the Billboard Classical Charts in 2017; Oscar-winning composer John Williams wrote him and said: “Your Requiem is a lovely work! Heart-felt and honest, it contains a delicate innocence… making it a touching tribute to a Mother from a loving Son.”

In 2021, Edwards’ second feature-length documentary Syndrome K will be released worldwide.  The film is the gripping story of 3 doctors in a Catholic hospital in Rome during the Nazi occupation of 1943-44 that made up a fake disease that saved Roman Jews from deportation to Auschwitz.  The score was performed by orchestras from around the world, including Moscow, Prague, Rome, Budapest, London and Los Angeles.

Edwards is an accomplished pianist who has played on many top Hollywood soundtracks, and has won acclaim for his orchestral and choral compositions. He has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Vatican. Edwards is a dual citizen of the United States and Italy, and first became emotionally riveted to the untold story of Syndrome K while he was in Italy. He resides in California with his two daughters. When not producing films or composing music, he enjoys golfing, hiking and sitting down at a Steinway piano.

Albert Einstein: Still a Revolutionary – Q&A

Recorded Q&A with Director/Producer Julia Newman.

PRODUCER / DIRECTOR Julia Newman was born and raised in Brooklyn, and worked in advertising as a producer of television commercials for over twenty years. As a travel writer, her pieces have appeared in the New York Daily News, Miami Herald, Metropolitan Home and Travel & Leisure. She served as Executive Director of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives for five years.

Her previous, award-winning documentary, Into the Fire: American Women in the Spanish Civil War, portrayed the American medical workers and journalists who served in the first fight against Fascism. The film was broadcast on Public Television and Spanish Television and is distributed in the U. S. by First Run Features.

Music and the Movies

How does music affect our movie watching experience? What is the process for creating a  movie sound track? Hear the answers to these questions and ask your own in a free Q&A session with award winning composers and musicians Ishai Adar from Israel, and British born Chistopher Gubisch from Los Angeles.

Ishai Adar is a self-educated musician, composer and multidisciplinary artist who uses uncommon methods and techniques, giving his work a uniquely atmospheric character. He started his career in the post-punk band The Top-Hat Carriers and later released several influential experimental electronic albums. A cinema enthusiast who enjoys exploring the pas de deux between image and sound, Ishai’s work includes 2008 Academy Award nominated Beaufort (dir: Joseph Cedar), Sundance 2010 winner A Film Unfinished (dir: Yael Hersonski), SXSW 2016 winner, Mr. Gaga (dir: Tomer Heymann) and HBO’s mini series Our Boys. Ishai is based in Tel Aviv and is the Head of the Sound & Music for Cinema department at Sapir College in Sderot, Israel.

Christopher Gubisch is a British-born composer and producer living in Los Angeles, California. He has produced, performed and toured with many Los Angeles bands. As a composer, his music has been featured on TV shows, commercials and film trailers throughout the world. Chicago-area natives will instantly recognize his earworm jingle for Luna Carpet, his first commercial gig. TV shows include FX Network’s critically-acclaimed drama Damages, as well as underscore for Dateline NBC, National Geographic Explorer, Ancient Aliens and Destination Truth among many others. He has also written the music for three of Dani Menkin’s documentaries, 39 Pounds of Love, Picture of His Life and most recently Aulcie.

Cast: Isahai Adar, Christopher Gubisch

The Dead of Jaffa Q&A with Ram Loevy

Q&A with director Ram Loevy of the film THE DEAD OF JAFFA.

Film available to watch January 10-17.  Q&A is included with film ticket.

Three children from the West Bank are smuggled into Israel, arriving at the doorstep of George and Rita’s house in Jaffa. Their mother is dead, and their father has been sentenced to life imprisonment. As Israeli Palestinians, George is afraid that hiding illegal aliens will endanger Rita and himself, while Rita believes the arrival of these children could give meaning to her life. Nearby, a foreign film is being shot. Jerry, an English director, is making a movie about his parents’ love affair in 1947, when they served in the British army in Palestine. George is invited to play a part in the film. When the two stories intertwine, tensions erupt.

Film: 96 minutes

Director: Ram Loevy

Production country: Israel

Year: 2019

Broken Mirrors – Q&A

Q&A with filmmakers Imri Matalon and Aviad Givon

Imri Matalon graduated cum laude from the Sam Spiegel Film School. His short film Dead End won the Best Short Film Award at the Haifa Film Festival and many awards around the world. His first full-length film Broken Mirrors was nominated for the Best Screenplay Award at the Ophir Awards (Israeli Oscars). The film has played in many festivals around the world and won several awards for the film makers as well as the movie’s star, Shira Haas.
Matalon currently lives in Tel Aviv with his wife and two small children, and is working on his second film that will be shot soon. He is also writing a drama series for television and teaching writing and directing at various universities in Israel.

Aviad Givon graduated from the Sam Spiegel School Film School in Israel. He is the director of the short movies
Ha’Even and Letters to Popeye. Givon is also an author — his debut book The Picture Looks at Me was chosen to be the Novel of the year in Israel, and received commendable reviews. Broken Mirrors is his first feature length film.

Happy Times – Q&A

Q&A with filmmaker Michael Mayer and cast members Iris Bahr (Hila), Alon Pdut (Avner), Ido Mor (Yossi), Mike Burstyn (Mati), Shani Atias (Noya) and Daniel Lavid (Maor). Moderated by Rebecca Fonte from The Other Worlds Film Festival.

Michael Mayer’s “gripping feature debut”, Out in the Dark had it’s world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, sold to over 40 countries and went on to play in more than 130 film festivals, winning 27 awards.

His new feature, Happy Times, due for release in 2021 has already been dubbed the “Israeli Get Out” and won the Best Screenplay Award at the Haifa International Film Festival. Currently, Mayer is developing a feature adaptation of Erri De Luca’s best seller Tu, mio as well as a one-hour thriller series for US and Israeli Television.

Born and raised in Haifa, Israel, Mayer lives and works in Los Angeles.