How do we stand in the company of others? This year's collection of narrative shorts presents defining moments when people are confronted with personal decisions, albeit in very public settings: a Rosh Hashanah dinner gathering; the rooms of an assisted-living center; an awkward bat mitzvah in England; the living room of an Israeli family home in the midst of a chemical attack; and, finally, in an idyllic summer camp in the Catskills.
The Outer Circle | Dir. Adam Baroukh
Midway through a grueling Orthodox conversion, Daniel and his fiancée Katherine are eager to gain the blessing of his intimidatingly large and loud Iraqi Jewish family. At their annual Rosh Hashanah feast, Katherine's natural elegance and "English English" heritage immediately endear her to them, but it soon becomes apparent that beneath the warm and welcoming atmosphere, some are not as ready as others to accept her.
212 | Dir. Boaz Frankel
For Doron, (Moshe Ivgy) the director of an elderly citizens home in Jerusalem, it's just another day. Except the weather seems worse. Someone took his parking spot. The wind broke his umbrella. The roof is leaking. A baby daughter was born to one of his acquaintances. And Bela Schorr has died in room 212.
The Entertainer | Dir. Jonathan Schey
Toby Jones (Infamous, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) is wonderful as a party entertainer and former TV presenter who has an emotional meltdown while working at Charlotte Cohen's bat mitzvah.
Masks On | Dir. Keren Hantman
Israel 1991. A 12-year-old observes the tension rising at home as the threat of an Iraqi chemical attack on central Israel becomes more likely, but she has a mission of her own: the pursuit of her first taste of alcohol.
Summer | Dir. Pearl Gluck
Set in Upstate New York, Pearl Gluck's (Divan, SFJFF 2003) latest film finds two teenage girls in a Hasidic sleepaway camp. Despite the girls every effort to maintain their purity, they explore a forbidden book which leads them to a sexual awakening neither of them are prepared for.
Director Keren Hantman in person in San Francisco