Award-winning stories of love, courage and adventure make up this year's Tampa Bay Jewish Film Festival, happening now through March 31.
The festival, in its 18th year, features 13 foreign films, with showings in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. The event's theme, presented by the Tampa Jewish Community Center and Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas and Pasco, is Celebrating Our Chai Year, to Life, to Film.
Throughout 2013, a local selection committee viewed dozens of movies. When they met to name the best of the best, it took several hours. Everyone had a favorite, said Brandy Gold, event coordinator.
Selected films include France's The Jewish Cardinal, a drama about a Jewish man's rise in the Catholic church, and Wherever You Go, a story of two women in search of personal freedom. Other subtitled films include the Israeli comedy Hunting Elephants, the Holocaust drama Ida and, out of Poland, the controversial thriller Aftermath.
Also, for the first time in six years, the festival has something to offer families. The Zig Zag Kid, winner of the Audience Award at the 2013 Montreal International Children's Film Festival, tells the story of a boy detective. Tickets combining brunch at Maggiano's in West Shore and a presentation of the movie are still available.
All tickets can be purchased online at tbjff.org. Early purchase is recommended.
"This is an opportunity for people to enjoy international films that may never be shown in the area again," Gold said. "This is the most powerful lineup we've ever had."
Sarah Whitman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.