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Documentary filmmaker Nancy Spielberg speaks to temple sisterhood

By Amy Scherzer
Documentary film producer Nancy Spielberg will address guests at the Star Event, an annual luncheon benefit for Tempe Schaarai Zedek Sisterhood, to be held Oct. 23 at the Renaissance Hotel International Plaza.

TAMPA — One imagines lively conversations around the Spielberg family dinner table, undoubtably spurring the creativity of one of the most popular film producers and directors in history.

Documentary film producer Nancy Spielberg, the youngest of the four children, is likely to reveal some family dynamics and insights of her influential brother, Steven Spielberg, when she addresses Congregation Schaarai Zedek Sisterhood’s 16th annual Franci Golman Rudolph Schaarai Zedek Sisterhood Star Event on Monday (Oct. 23) at the Renaissance Hotel International Plaza.

The community is welcome to a 10 a.m. social hour and silent auction followed by lunch and the program at 11 a.m.

Nancy runs Playmount Productions, the film company their father Arnold started in 1962. Playmount translates from German to English, as "spiel" and "berg."

Her recent documentaries deal with Israeli and Holocaust-related material. Who Will Write Our History is now in post-production. The film tells the story of Warsaw Ghetto Jews archiving their existence by burying documents and stories before they were killed by the Nazis.

On The Map, released last year, depicts Israel’s underdog Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team triumphing during the Cold War. Nancy also co-produced the quirky mother-daughter film, Mimi and Dona, broadcast on PBS in 2015. "Gut-wrenching," the New York Times called it.

Spielberg was reportedly nervous when showing Steven a rough cut of her 2014 film, Above and Beyond, about U.S. airmen volunteering to fight in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence.

Her worries were unnecessary. Her big brother not only admired it, but recommended it to the Cannes Film Festival. Above and Beyond won audience awards at 20 film festivals in 2015.

Star Event co-chairs Judith Mish and Sharon Ravner dedicate the luncheon to the late Franci Golman Rudolph, a past sisterhood president and cultural arts advocate known for moderating Q & A sessions at the synagogue’s fundraisers.

"Franci and I worked together on many committees," Mish said. "She would be very happy to know that sisterhood is raising funds to benefit our community in so many areas."