Film Fest celebrates 10th anniversary (con't)

And for the first time, two current year Academy Award nominated films will be screened – Footnote and In Darkness – which open and close the fest taking place at Devonshire Mall Cineplex Odeon.

The festival’s roots were with the Lenore Marwil Jewish Film Festival, now in its 14th edition, currently running in Detroit until May 3.

“That’s how we got started,” festival spokesman Stuart Selby, a retired University of Windsor prof, said.

The festival came about because the director of the Detroit festival got in touch with the Windsor Jewish Community Centre and asked if it would like to host a satellite edition.

“It had never occurred to anyone” in Windsor to host such an event because of the city’s relatively small size, Selby said. “But that seemed easy enough” to organize, so a group was formed to launch it.

Selby said the Detroit connection would have remained that way had it not been for Canadian copyright restrictions.

Films shown in Canada must be sourced from a Canadian distributor.

Originally the Windsor group travelled to Detroit to take the then 35mm films in their metal canisters to Windsor and back.

Now, with the advance in technology the films come in DVD format.

Other films in this year’s line-up are Lenin in October, a comedy, The Decision Maker, a drama, The Concert, a comedy, Sholom Aleichem, Laughing in the Darkness, a documentary, The Names of Love, a comedy, Bride Flight, a drama, David, a drama, Dolphin Boy, a documentary, and Sarah’s Key, a drama.

Most of the films come from Israel, Europe or the United States and In Darkness is a Canadian, Polish, German co-production.

Footnote has garnered terrific reviews.

It’s story about two academics – a father and son – and their intense rivalry.

In Darkness is based on true events during the Second World War, about Polish Jews who lived in the water mains and sewers beneath the city of Lvov.

Ironically Selby has seen all the films except the two Oscar nominees.

“I don’t know whether it was they were afraid to let screeners out for fear of piracy, which wouldn’t have been the case with us,” he said.

“But we knew enough about both those films that we were eager to get them even before we started out first committee meeting.”

Of the films he has seen Selby particularly likes Dolphin Boy, about an Israeli Arab youth.

“It’s fascinating,” he says. “It follows this young man thru three years of his life, and his therapeutic recovery from trauma.”

More fest details can be found at

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