3 films by Israeli filmmakers in 13th once-a-year Chagrin Documentary Film Competition | Film Festivals

Among the the quite a few accounts of the COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating effect on the arts is at least just one community good results story: the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival. Pressured to go virtual in 2020 and hybrid in 2021, the Chagrin Documentary Film Pageant nonetheless averaged 33,000 movie followers from 28 states and continued to generate bragging legal rights from MovieMaker Magazine as a “Top 50 Film Festivals Really worth the Entry Price.”

“I imagine this definitely speaks to the energy of documentary storytelling to attract us in and link us, specially in hard situations,” film pageant founder and govt director Mary Ann Ponce instructed the Cleveland Jewish Information.

This year’s in-human being festival, with a abide by-up digital option, will offer 91 documentaries, picked from far more than 600 submissions from 55 nations around the world. 7 of those people films will be building their environment premiere.

Screenings and film festival situations will acquire area at walkable venues in and around Chagrin Falls, which include Chagrin Valley Minor Theatre, Chagrin Falls Intermediate School Theater, United Methodist Church of Chagrin Falls, and outdoor areas such as South Franklin Circle and in Riverside Park. Historic Chagrin Falls Township Hall will all over again be transformed into a hub of film-relevant pursuits, which includes filmmaker Q&A’s and a lounge with pleased hour gatherings.

In honor of Ponce’s late son, David, an aspiring filmmaker who lost his struggle with cancer in 2006 at the age of 20, 7 films are from rising filmmakers and just one will be showcased at an Oct. 7 pink carpet gala occasion. “The Killing of Sister Dorothy, In her Own Words” is from Cleveland-based Changeover Studios and directed by rising Ohio storytellers and brothers Jack, Andrew and Matthew Arehart. The movie examines the murders of Cleveland nun Dorothy Kazel and three fellow missionaries in El Salvador in 1980.

3 of this year’s entire-size films were made by Israeli filmmakers and are sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Cleveland Israel Arts Link. They are:

“Back in Berlin”







Bobby Lax, the film’s writer, director and topic, in Berlin. 




58 minutes with English subtitles

This movie will take place shortly right after the death of the filmmaker’s father. He paperwork his return to his childhood house in England, exactly where he finds an outdated suitcase made up of letters that expose the fact about his German Jewish family’s destiny throughout the Holocaust. He invitations longtime mate Manuel, who was raised in Germany, to translate the documents. Even though accomplishing so, Manuel shares that he way too has a household secret: his excellent-uncle was the notorious Nazi filmmaker Veit Harlan, who directed “Jew Suss” – a notorious piece of antisemitic propaganda. Collectively, they return to Berlin to retrace the two their family’s histories, which challenges and then emboldens their friendship.

“I would like to feel that – related to my catharsis – viewers, too, will be forced to reassess how they respond to the crimes of the past and consider their means, if not to forgive, then to at minimum seek a superior frequent potential,” director Bobby Lax wrote in an e-mail to the Cleveland Jewish News.

“Game Changers”







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Germany Nationwide Team captain Günter Netzer, left, and Israeli Countrywide Crew captain Mordechai Spiegler, right, for the duration of their historic match.




56 minutes with English subtitles

Twenty-five decades right after the Holocaust, insurmountable distrust nevertheless dominated the working day in between Germany and Israel. That is, until eventually a soccer sport was performed in Tel Aviv among Israel’s Earth Cup-winning national crew and Germany powerhouse Borussia Monchengladbach. By way of interviews with former footballers, sports and political historians, and diplomats that are interspersed with scarce archival footage, this movie explores the building of a most unlikely party that marked the starting of the political normalization among the two nations.

“In short, the film examines the electrical power of individuals and activity to deliver about profound adjustments among nations,” director Noam Sobovitz wrote in an e mail to the CJN.

“Dead Sea Guardians”







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International swimmers cross the Dead Sea from Jordan to Israel.




75 minutes with English subtitles

“One smaller stroke for man just one large swim for mankind.” So starts an work by Oded, an Israeli, Munqeth, a Jordanian, and Yusuf, a Palestinian, to help you save the Lifeless Sea. Known for its excellent geographic, organic and historical worth, the salt lake is drying up due to extensive-phrase mismanagement, resulting in widespread harm to the area. Regardless of ongoing conflict, suffocating politics, and problematic economics, the a few males make a decision to coordinate an worldwide swim across the Lifeless Sea, from Jordan to Israel, to draw the world’s awareness to the plight of the vanishing sea. An omnipresent digital camera captures the negotiations and the remarkable swim, even though breathtaking cinematography accentuates each the magnificence of the h2o and the injury to the region.

“It is feasible and in fact fulfilling to make a alter, even in locations that are regarded extremely hard to transform,” director Yoav Kleinman wrote in an e mail to the CJN. “Optimism is the important for hope.”

The film was the winner of the Jury Prize at the 2022 Riviera International Film Festival.


Bob Abelman is a freelance journalist.