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THE 15th ANNUAL VENTURA COUNTY JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL

February 25 & March 3, 10, 17, 18, 24, & 25

Welcome to the 15th Annual Ventura County Jewish Film Festival. Ventura, California, the county seat of Ventura County, is an hour’s drive north of Los Angeles. It is located along the scenic southern-most part of California’s beautiful Central Coast. Ventura is known for its majestic beauty and Mediterranean climate.

We are proud to celebrate fourteen years of film screenings that represent the best of contemporary Jewish-related movies from around the world. Our committee of volunteers works year round to carefully select the highest quality full-length features, documentaries, and short films for your enlightenment and entertainment.

FESTIVAL PASS – $85.00
6 movies (March 3, 10, 17, 18, 24, & 25) including brotherhood brunch
INDIVIDUAL TICKETS – $15.00
(At the door – $18.00)
FREE Event – Big Sonia Sun., Feb 25 at TBT 2 PM

Tickets may be purchased by mailing a check to:

Ventura County Jewish Film Festival
℅ Temple Beth Torah
7620 Foothill Road
Ventura, CA 93004

Upcoming Films

Big Sonia

Directors: Todd Soliday and Leah Warshawski
93 Minutes
2016, USA, English
FREE
Sponsored by Ventura County Jewish Family Service through a generous donation by Mimi Diller in memory of Ray Diller.

Sunday, February 25, 2018
2 PM
Temple Beth Torah, 7620 Foothill Road, Ventura, CA 93004

Big Sonia The last store in a defunct shopping mall, 91-year-old Sonia Warshawski – great-grandmother, businesswoman, and Holocaust survivor – runs the tailor shop she’s owned for more than thirty years. But when she’s served an eviction notice, the specter of retirement prompts Sonia to revisit her harrowing past as a refugee and witness to genocide. A poignant story of generational trauma and healing, BIG SONIA also offers a laugh-out-loud-funny portrait of the power of love to triumph over bigotry, and the power of truth-telling to heal us all.

For years, Sonia Warshawski has been an inspirational public speaker at schools, churches and prisons, where her stories of surviving the Holocaust as a teenager have inspired countless students, prisoners and ex-cons who once felt their own traumas would leave them broken forever. But when Sonia is served an eviction notice for her iconic tailor shop, which has thrived in the bottom of a now-abandoned mall for 35 years, she is confronted with an agonizing decision: either open up a new shop-at age 90-or retire. For a woman who admits that she stays busy “to keep the dark parts away”, facing retirement dredges up fears she’d long forgot she had, and her traumatic personal past resurfaces. Following Sonia as she continues on the motivational speaker circuit (even as she navigates her own struggles) BIG SONIA explores what it means to be a survivor. Will you let your trauma define you? Or will your past make you stronger?

The Testament

Director: Amichai Greenberg
96 Minutes
2017, Israel, Hebrew | German | English | Yiddish with English subtitles
$15 advanced purchase, $18 at the door
Sponsored by Joel and Barbara Aaronson &
The Affordable Living Choices Trust

Saturday, March 3, 2018
7 PM
Regency Buenaventura 6, 1440 Eastman Ave., Ventura 93003

The Testament Yoel, a meticulous historian leading a significant debate against holocaust deniers, discovers that his mother carries a false identity. A mystery about a man who is willing to risk everything to discover the truth.

The Women’s Balcony

Director: Emil Ben-Shimon
96 Minutes
2017, Israel, Hebrew with English subtitles
$15 advanced purchase, $18 at the door
Sponsored by Barbara Meister

Saturday, March 10, 2018
7 PM
Regency Buenaventura 6, 1440 Eastman Ave., Ventura 93003

The Women’s Balcony Following the collapse of the women’s balcony in an Orthodox synagogue, the congregation falls into crisis. Charismatic young Rabbi David appears to be a savior after the accident but slowly starts pushing his fundamentalist agenda, creating a rift between the community’s women and men.

Also showing with The Women’s Balcony: Super Sex – Directed by Matthew Modine
A short film USA, 2016 English 7 minutes
A pair of siblings try to figure out what to get their father (Ed Asner) for his 86th birthday

Ben Gurion: Epilogue

Director: Yari Mozer
70 Minutes
2016, Israel | France | Germany / English | Hebrew with English subtitles
$15 advanced purchase, $18 at the door
Anonymous Sponsor

Saturday, March 17, 2018
7 PM
Temple Beth Torah, 7620 Foothill Road, Ventura, CA 93004

Ben Gurion: Epilogue A six-hour interview with David Ben-Gurion, one of modern history’s greatest leaders, emerges from the obscurity of an archive where it has lain unrecognized for decades. It is 1968, and Ben-Gurion is 82 years old. He lives in the seclusion of his home in the desert, remote from all political discourse, which allows him a perspective on the Zionist enterprise. His introspective soul-searching is the focus of this film, and his reflections provide a surprising vision for today’s crucial decisions and for the future of Israel.

Rabin In His Own Words

Director: Erez Laufer
110 Minutes
2015, Israel, Hebrew with English subtitles
$15 advanced purchase, $18 at the door
Sponsored by Harvey and Jessica Harris

Sunday, March 18, 2018
7 PM
Temple Beth Torah, 7620 Foothill Road, Ventura, CA 93004

Rabin In His Own Words 20 years after his assassination, Yitzhak Rabin himself tells his dramatic life story.

Bye Bye Germany

Director: Sam Garbarski
102 Minutes
2017, Germany | Luxembourg | Belgium / German | English with English subtitles
$15 advanced purchase, $18 at the door
Sponsored by Joel & Arlene Goldenberg, & Goldenberg Family Dentistry

Saturday, March 24, 2018
7 PM
Regency Buenaventura 6, 1440 Eastman Ave., Ventura 93003

Bye Bye Germany In post-war Frankfurt, David Bermann and his surviving Jewish friends use their charms selling bed linens door-to-door to make money to immigrate to America. But smooth-talking Bermann meets his match when attractive US officer Sara Simon interrogates him about his wartime past.

Harmonia

Director: Ori Sivan
97 Minutes
2016, Israel / Hebrew with English subtitles
$15 advanced purchase, $18 at the door
Sponsored by The Sehati Family &
Jewelry Couture by Sehati
Special guests: Santa Barbara’s Flor De Kanela, will perform a lively concert of Sephardic music following the film.

Sunday, March 25, 2018
Brotherhood Sponsored Brunch At Noon with screening and concert to follow
Temple Beth Torah, 7620 Foothill Road, Ventura, CA 93004

Harmonia Sad Sarah, the harpist of the Jerusalem Philharmonic ,is married to Abraham the conductor of the orchestra. They have no children. When Hagar, a young horn-player from East Jerusalem joins the Western side Orchestra, Sarah’s world changes. The two women are irresistibly attracted to each other, developing a unique friendship that is challenged when Hagar offers Sarah to have a baby for her, from Abraham. When the baby is born, Hagar leaves the orchestra and the newborn child with Sarah and Abraham. Twelve years pass. Ben is 12, a phenomenal pianist, yet wild and uncontrollable. Ben resists all his mother’s (Sarah) efforts to impose discipline upon him. Something is wrong, he feels it deep inside. At the same time Sarah gets pregnant at her late forties, and gives birth to Isaac. When Isaac is 3, it is the right time for Hagar to return to the orchestra. The reunion of Hagar and Sarah is sweet yet sour. Ben was never told the truth about the way he was brought to the world. When the secret is reveled to Ben, an unexpected series of events lead to the fated ending. Harmonia is inspired by the biblical story from the book of Genesis, giving a feminine interpretation to the story of the “mothers” and their two half brother boys. By that, challenging the metaphoric origin of the historic clash between the two conflicted peoples, now seeking harmony through the world of classical music.