On Sunday, June 9, the 18th Annual St. Louis Jewish Film Festival will open with two music related documentaries. Hava Nagila explores the Jewish staple which has become a worldwide phenomenon. Then, Orchestra of Exiles details the story of a Polish born violin prodigy’s transformation by Nazism from an artist to an activist who rescued 1,000 Jewish exiles and brought them to Palestine in 1936 to found a national orchestra.
During the 5 days of the festival, 15 documentary and feature films will be screened. While all films have some connection to the Jewish experience, the messages are universal and are meant to be appealing to all people, regardless of faith.
Jewish Film Festival Selection Committee Member Marilyn Brown told Cityscape host Steve Potter, “The films vary from documentaries to features, from light topics to serious topics, so it’s a pretty good variety of films from all over the world.” She also pointed out that in many cases, the screenings are St. Louis premieres.
Each film is introduced by an expert in the subject matter of the film. On June 12, Stages St. Louis Executive Producer Jack Lane will introduce Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy. He commented to Potter, “I think so many people will be blown away by the documentary. To actually understand the Broadway Jewish heritage is astounding – the brilliance that has come out of Jewish lyricists and composers - and I think people will be astonished to see the names of people that they didn’t even realize were part of this culture….It’s an amazing documentary.”
On the final night of the Festival, Bruce Bramoweth, host of Chicken Shack Alley on KDHX Radio, will introduce another documentary on a musical topic, A.K.A. Doc Pomus. Although his name may not be familiar, the 1,000 plus songs that Pomus wrote were staples of the music of the baby boomer generation. They include Save the Last Dance for Me, This Magic Moment, A Teenager in Love and many more.
Said Bramoweth, “It’s an extraordinary documentary because it’s not only entertaining and informative, but it’s quite inspiring too." A local doo-wop group, The Caesars, will sing a medley of Doc Pomus hits.
All films will be screened at the Landmark Plaza Frontenac Cinema. A complete schedule is available on the St. Louis Jewish Film Festival Website.
Marilyn Brown, Bruce Bramoweth and Jack Lane were Steve Potter's guests on Cityscape to discuss the Festival as a whole and the Broadway Musicals and Doc Pomus films in more detail.
St. Louis Jewish Film Festival
June 9 - 13, 2013
Landmark Plaza Frontenac Cinema, Clayton Road and Lindbergh
St. Louis Jewish Film Festival Website