The Kehillah of Chester County, a Jewish Community Collaboration funded by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Neighborhoods Initiatives Grant presents Sixth Annual Summer Shorts, an eight-session film festival and discussion series featuring a fantastic collection of outstanding vintage, contemporary, international, and award-winning Jewish short films.
Date and Time
July 10 – August 28, 2019
7:15 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
The Colonial Theatre
227 Bridge Street
Thanks to the overwhelming popularity of the Kehillah of Chester County’s Summer Shorts Film Festival during the past five years, our program has grown from its original 35-seat screening room at The Colonial Theatre to the new White Rabbit Theatre, which accommodates 174 people with unobstructed views, including five wheelchair spaces. This beautiful, state-of-the-art screening room is in the newly renovated Bank on the Arts wing of The Colonial Theatre.
Suggested donation per session: $10.00
(cash or check only at the door, subject to availability)
No one will be turned away for lack of funds
Schedule and Films
Award Winners and Nominees
Guest speaker/discussion facilitator: Michael Attie, Assistant Professor of Film and Video, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
A Night at The Garden
Marshall Curry, 7 minutes, USA
The 1939 rally at Madison Square Garden, where 20,000 Americans came together to celebrate the rise in Nazism – an event largely forgotten from American history. Made entirely from archival footage, this film shines a light on the power of demagoguery and anti-Semitism in the United States. Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Short Subject 2018.
David Freid, 17 minutes, USA
An award-winning documentary short by director David Freid and producer Mor Albalak, NAZI VR, explores the use of virtual reality to re-create Auschwitz in the prosecution of Reinhold Hanning, a WWII war criminal. 2018 Winner Independent Division Documentary Film, CINE Golden Eagle Film and Video Competition
All The Leaves Are Brown
Daniel Robin, 11 minutes, USA
Filmmaker Daniel Robin explores memory, loss, family and a sugar maple tree from his home in Atlanta after making a visit back to a much-changed San Francisco.Jury Award, Best Documentary Short Film, The Sidewalk Film Festival, 2017.
Assaf Machnes, 19 minutes, Israel
A crisis of masculinity abounds when a tough Israeli commander and his once tormented rookie undergo a sudden role reversal. Israel Academy Award nominee for Best Short Film.
Noa Gusakov, 23 minutes, Israel
Sherry, a bored teen living in a Tel Aviv suburb, volunteers to fold military uniforms. She slips a note into a trouser pocket, offering herself as a pen pal. A soldier replies, and they decide to meet – but don’t exactly hit it off. Israel Academy Award nominee for Best Short Film.
Across The Line
Nadav Schlomo Giladi, 29 minutes, Israel
Hananel, a young religious Jew, is hurrying home for Shabbat. An unexpected encounter with Mundir, an unwanted and stubborn Palestinian hitchhiker, leads Hananel on a series of mix-ups that eventually teach him a lesson in communication, friendship and love. Winner, Jury Award for Best Short, Stoney Brook International Film Festival, 2017.
Discussion facilitator: Rabbi Batya Glazer, Director, Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
Beneath The Ink
Cy Dodson, 13 minutes, USA
It’s not uncommon to regret an old tattoo… but, what if the ink reveals more about you than just having questionable taste? What if it draws a permanent picture of hatred and racism? Beneath the Ink tells heartfelt stories of redemption and insists that some mistakes can indeed be erased.
Secret Life of Muslims
30 minutes, USA
This first person series uses humor and empathy to subvert stereotypes and reveal the truth about American Muslims: Fascinating careers, unexpected talents and inspiring accomplishments.
A Perfect Day for Banana Leaves
Yavin Rubinstein, 26 Minutes, Israel
Bananas grown in the north of Israel destined for the Gaza Strip make their journey south through Israel and cross the separation wall to reach Palestine. How do the merchants on two sides of the divide manage to work together? Who profits and who loses?
Katia Lom, 9 minutes, UK
This film reflects on the nature of time and memory as a daughter empties her late father’s home. Based on the true story of Lom’s mother’s escape from Czechoslovakia in 1951, the narrative blurs the line between fiction and documentary.
Catie Damon, 7 minutes, USA
Catie Damon, keenly aware of the everyday tensions between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem, created a film speaking to Israelis’ and Palestinians’ shared language of grief, inspiring empathy, and teaching the importance of coexistence.
Jacob Grodnik, 10 minutes, USA
In a life-altering encounter at the Battle of Belleau Wood, two men must choose between country and belief.
Guest speaker/discussion facilitator: Nati Passow, Executive Director, Jewish Farm School
Peter Miller and Nora Miller, 16 minutes, USA
The memory, history and the enduring meaning of a beloved chocolate soda drink born in Jewish immigrant neighborhoods at the turn of the 20th century. Tour egg cream establishments with the filmmaker and his daughter, with archival imagery, and even a song by Lou Reed.
Rachel Fleit, 11 minutes, USA
This film tracks the months-long preparation of gefilte fish for a massive seder hosted by the Hermelin family of suburban Detroit. But this short unfolds into much more, as it questions Jewish identity, survival and continuity — along with some not-so-serious issues about the taste, smell and texture of gefilte fish.
Yonah Schimmel’s Knish Bakery
Beth Frank, 2 minutes, USA
Visit the oldest knishery in New York City, where the round golden pastries are definitely on the zaftig side. As one of the last distinctly Jewish businesses in the Lower East Side, it enjoys a constant flow of customers, nostalgic for a taste of old world cuisine.
The Knish Makers
Max Kutner, 2 minutes, USA
In this intimate portrait, Max Kutner, a New York-based nonfiction writer and documentary filmmaker, introduces us to Alex Wolfman, co-ower of Yonah Schimmel’s Knish Bakery.
Sushi, Meatballs and Everything
Liel Sharon, 10 minutes, Israel
A newly married bride goes to war in the kitchen with her loving, but overbearing in-laws in this award-winning, comical and universally relatable story of interfering parents, rebellious children and food.
The Food Flirts – Episode 2 “Pastrami Meets Ramen”
30 minutes, USA
Meet the Brass Sisters a.k.a. THE FOOD FLIRTS! Two passionate food explorers of a certain age on a mission to tackle their culinary bucket list…one bite at a time!
Andy Kashner and Avi Rosenfeld, 5 minutes, USA
Rabbinical students, Andy Kashner and Avi Rosenfeld, travel to upstate New York to learn Shechita, the practices and rituals of Kosher slaughter.
Tuesdays Are For Burekas
Adam Hirsch, 6 minutes, USA
The sisterhood of an Atlanta synagogue makes delicious Turkish pastries using a Sephardic recipe handed down through generations in this delicious example of intergenerational community spirit.
Guest speaker/discussion facilitator: to be announced
Milan Bath, 13 minutes, Germany
A woman is preparing her flat for departure. Step by step, she seems to be following a strict plan. When she realizes she is missing money for the train, she asks her neighbor for help.
Brandon Ravet, 11 minutes, USA
Fed up with an endless series of dead-end Hollywood casting calls, a struggling young actress takes career advice from her sage fifth-grade Hebrew school students.
Uriya Hertz, 20 minutes, Israel
Michael is a charismatic and much-admired rabbi at a Jerusalem yeshiva. A revealing confession by Gadi, his favorite student, will shake the rabbi’s familiar and secure world.
Yair Agmon, 17 minutes, Israel
Growing elderly and senile, a Jewish war veteran and an Arab village woman share divergent accounts of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, in this hallucinogenic contemplation of media manipulation, faulty memory and historical record.
Boaz Frankel, 20 minutes, Israel
An almost ordinary day in the life of 62-year-old Doron, director of an elderly citizens’ home in Jerusalem – rain, someone takes his reserved parking spot and Bela Schorr, the occupant of room 212, passed away this morning.
A Thousand Kisses
Richard Goldgewicht, 16 minutes, USA
The correspondence of a young Jewish couple, separated by the fear of persecution in Nazi Germany, is recovered by their grandchildren 80 years later.
The Red House
Tamar Tal, 20 minutes, Israel
This animated documentary voices the tails of The Red House, an extraordinary building in Tel Aviv. Following a long, meticulous restoration process, the film journeys through the many stories these walls have witnessed, a moment before the lights are switched back on and the building comes back to life.
Guest Speaker/Discussion Facilitator: to be announced
The Outer Circle
Adam Baroukh, 13 minutes, Israel
Daniel and his fiancée Katherine are eager to gain the blessing of Daniel’s large, loud Iraqi-Jewish family. As the family gathers for Rosh Hashanah, Katherine’s elegance and “English English” heritage endears her to them. Still, some are not as ready as others to accept her.
Barbara and Stanley: A Modern Romance
Rachel Fleit, 18 minutes, USA
For over forty years, Stanley Dorfman and Barbara Flood have been in a relationship, despite never living in the same time zone. Stanley, a film director and producer lives in Los Angeles, while actress and model, Barbara, lives in New York City.
Emma Seligman, 8 minutes, USA/Canada
At a shiva with her parents, a young college student runs into her sugar daddy.
Ram Nehari, 25 minutes, Israel
Centered around two neighbors in their late 40’s – a single woman and a newly divorced man – who find themselves embarking on a hesitant, obstacle-filled relationship.
Five Years After The War
Samuel Albaric, Martin Wiklund, Ulysse Lefort, 17 minutes, France
Lighthearted, but not superficial, this largely animated documentary is a subtle, personal exploration of essential questions. Who are you if there’s a part of yourself that you know nothing about? What happens when you meet a parent you don’t know?
Ora DeKornfeld, 24 minutes, USA
When three ultra-Orthodox millennials start a folk band in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, they had no intention of making it their lives. As their first album unexpectedly hits the World Music billboard charts, this trio of friends is forced to confront a new path towards fame.
Say What! A Geriatric Proposal
Aaron Weinstein, 6 minutes, USA
A young jazz musician attempts to survive aggressive grannies and other terrifying beasts at a post-concert reception. Featuring voice acting by Tony-nominee Charles Busch; original artwork by iconic illustrator Bob Ziering; music by top New York jazz musicians including guitarist, Bucky Pizzarelli.
Guest speaker/discussion facilitator: to be announced
Daniella Rabbani, 9 minutes, USA
Dana Bloch collected hundreds of stories from Holocaust survivors. The only one that escapes her is that of her estranged grandmother, Ethel. As Ethel reveals her story, Dana realizes that the person in front of her is far more interesting than the story she intended to get.
Death Metal Grandma
Leah Galant, 12 minutes, USA
Death Metal Grandma follows 95-year-old Holocaust survivor Inge Ginsberg as she attempts to break out as a death metal singer by submitting an audition tape to America’s Got Talent.
I Have A Message For You
Matan Rochlitz, 13 minutes, UK
A story of love, loss and redemption set on a train to Auschwitz, this film weaves interviews, archival material and animation to tell the remarkable story of Klara (Claire) Schiffer.
My Yiddish Papi
Eleanore Goldberg, 7 minutes, Canada
A young woman decides not to answer a call from her grandfather, unaware that it will be his last. When he dies, she is overwhelmed with guilt, so she decides to fulfill a promise she made to him long ago: To illustrate his wartime adventures as a member of the French Resistance.
Portrait of My Family in My 13th Year
Omi Dekel-Kadish, 10 minutes, Israel
Omri is trying to direct a scene recreating the day his dog dies. The attempt at restoration gets complicated when Omri discovers that his father remembers the events differently.
Odeya Rosenak, 17 minutes, Israel
15-year-old Jerusalem resident Noga lost her father in a terror attack. On Memorial Day, she and her mother go on a journey, which ends up at the annual torch-lighting ceremony at the local community center. The torch that she lights will be her voice, and her rebellion.
With Slight Steps
Guy Hodes, 10 minutes, Israel
Film director Guy Hodes takes his grandmother back to Kibbutz Dalia, and to a time when she was the high-priestess of Israeli folk dancing. Seeing the deterioration of the amphitheater is hard for her, ideals have changed. Yet with slight steps, she will dance with her grandson.
How to Swim
Noa Gusakov, 15 minutes, Israel
Abigail is heavily pregnant, but something is missing. Terrified about the imminent birth, she kidnaps a comforting partner in crime for one afternoon.
Discussion facilitator: Bat El Trabelsi, Shlicha, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
3 minutes, Israel
The Jaffa Flea Market, in the old Jaffa city, provides the full market experience – the sounds of haggling, the smells of produce, the interaction with the merchants and the exciting give-and-take between buyer and seller.
Keren Hantman, 15 minutes, Israel
In 1991 Israel, a 12-year-old observes the tension rising at home as the threat of an Iraqi chemical attack on central Israel becomes more likely. Meanwhile, she has a mission of her own: The pursuit of her first taste of alcohol.
Ana Min El Yahud (I’m From The Jews)
Niv Hachlili and Aharon Shem Tov, 17 minutes, Israel
A young teacher becomes possessed by his dead grandfather, who forces him to choose between his Iraqi Arabic Jewish family identity and his life as an Israeli ignoring the past.
Open Your Eyes
Ilay Mevorach, 14 minutes, Israel
llana arrives at her eye clinic with her son Yohai. Her Israeli doctor is absent and is replaced by a Palestinian one. There is no way Ilana will allow an Arab doctor to give her a shot in the eye. Yohai forces her to stay and open her eyes.
The New Black – Episode 1
30 minutes, Israel
Four Haredi students study at a yeshiva in Jerusalem… Only they’re not that interested in studying, and rather stretch the limits of appropriate behavior and other life pleasures.
Boaz Frankel, 19 minutes, Israel
A camel’s body lies in the middle of a desert road, exactly on the 147th kilometer, the border between two settlements. No one can agree to take responsibility for it.
Forward/Wrong Way Round
Messe Kopp, 6 minutes, Israel
A mind-boggling video featuring a mesmerizing “reverse” walk through the streets of downtown Jerusalem. Midway through, it all gets turned around!
Guest speakers/discussion facilitators: Jerry Silverman, Director, Walking Tours of Jewish Philadelphia | Joseph van Blunk and Gustavo Rosanio, co-directors "Echoes of a Ghost Minyan"
An Average Story
Yaniv Segalovich, 18 minutes, Israel
Avi Cohen has just been informed that he is the most average man who ever lived. Overnight, he reluctantly becomes a national icon and instant celebrity. With his wife’s enthusiastic urging, they translate the situation into a business venture that goes surprisingly awry.
Martina Starosta, 4 minutes, USA
Pious Jewish men have been covering their heads for hundreds of years, yet there isn’t a clear and definitive Jewish law requiring it. Rather, it was one of many Jewish customs and traditions that evolved over the centuries, eventually becoming the most universal identifier of observant Jewish boys and men.
I (Heart) NY
Andre Andreev, 5 minutes, USA
This documentary short examines the life of Milton Glaser, the creator of the iconic I Heart NY symbol, and his struggle to find love for the city during a trying time.
Echoes From A Ghost Minyan
Joseph Van Blunk and Gustave Rosanio, 47 minutes, USA
This film documents a once thriving Philadelphia Jewish neighborhood and illuminates the lives of those who lived, worked and worshipped there.
Shivtei Lost and Found
39 minutes, USA
Shivtei Yeshuron Ezras Israel is the last remaining Orthodox Jewish rowhouse synagogue in South Philadelphia. Established at the end of the 19th century, nearly demolished at the beginning of the 21st century, Shivtei thrives once again.