Jewish film festival to kick off with bagels and grits brunch

BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 25, 2006 – Virginia Tech's Second Annual Jewish Film Festival will be held on campus Sunday, Nov. 12, through Thursday, Nov. 16. Each film will feature a guest speaker or special program to promote dialog from the audience about the Jewish experience and elements of each film.

The festival kicks off with a "Bagels and Grits Brunch" at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, in the Commonwealth Ballroom of Squires Student Center. The brunch will be followed at 1 p.m. by the film "Live and Become." Winner of the Audience Award at the 2005 Berlin International Film Festival, the film is the emotional story of one boy's chance survival amidst the Ethiopian famine of the mid-1980s. Guest speaker Zion Enessz, an Ethiopian who was born during the famine and who traveled to Israel with his family in 1984, will provide first-hand insights after the film.

The festival will continue with "When Do We Eat?" on Monday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. in Squires Colonial Hall. This film is the story of the "world's fastest Seder" gone horribly awry when the children of a tough father slip him Ecstasy during the meal to "give him a new perspective." The father turns into a modern day Moses, intent on leading this hungry group to the promised land of family forgiveness.

Another film, "The Tollbooth," will be shown on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. in Squires Colonial Hall. Written and directed by Debra Kirschner, this film comically explores a Jewish family from Brooklyn through the eyes of a struggling painter in her first year out of art school.

The festival closes with the internationally-acclaimed Israeli movie, "Yossi and Jagger," on Thursday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m. in the Donaldson Brown Graduate Life Center. Set in a snow-covered base on the border between Israel and Lebanon, this film is about two gay Israeli officers who are deeply in love and are risking their lives in more than one way. A reception and discussion by members of Hillel at Virginia Tech and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Alliance (LGBTA) will follow the film.

Each film is free to students and $4 for non-students. The cost of the "Bagels and Grits" brunch is $5 for everyone. For more information on the festival visit the Hillel website or contact Sue Kurtz at (540) 231-3580.