The Hippo


Oct 18, 2019








From Raise the Roof. Courtesy image.

New Hampshire Jewish Film Festival

Southern New Hampshire University: Webster Hall, 2500 N. River Road, Manchester; In Search of Israeli Cuisine Thursday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m., with special guest Chef Michael Solomonov and filmmaker Roger Sherman
SERESC: 29 Commerce Drive, Bedford; Dough Sat., April 2, at 8 p.m., gala night on the town and reception
Cinemagic Stadium Theatres: 11 Executive Park Drive, Merrimack; Apples from the Desert Sun., April 3, at 1 p.m.; Soft Vengeance Sun., April 3, at 3:30 p.m.
Redfern Arts Center, Putnam Arts Lecture Hall: Keene State College, 229 Main St., Keene; Frank vs. God Sun., April 3, at 1 p.m.; Once in a Lifetime Sun., April 3, at 3:30 p.m.
The Music Hall Loft: 131 Congress St., Portsmouth; Rock in the Red Zone Sun., April 3, at 1 p.m.; Once in a Lifetime Sun., April 3, at 3:30 p.m.
Red River Theatres: 11 S. Main St., Concord; Once in a Lifetime Thurs., April 7, at 7 p.m.; Frank vs. God Sat., April 9, at 8 p.m.; Raise the Roof Sun., April 10, at 12:30 p.m., with special guests artists Rick and Laura Brown, filmmakers Cary and Yari Wolinsky; Is That You? Sun., April 10, at 3 p.m.; Rock in the Red Zone Sun., April 10, at 5 p.m., followed by festival and wrap party
Admission: $10 for individual screenings, $55 for the Gala Night on the Town reception in Bedford April 2, $15 for the Film and Festival Wrap Party in Concord April 10
Contact: 627-7679,

Contemporary themes
New Hampshire Jewish Film Festival turns 8

By Kelly Sennott

 The New Hampshire Jewish Film Festival hits the state again this spring, with 18 screenings of nine films in six cities and 11 days.

The eighth annual film festival has a contemporary theme this year but continues its diverse range of genres, including comedies, dramas, documentaries and foreign flicks. 
This year’s movies are Apples from the Desert, Dough, Frank vs. God, In Search of Israeli Cuisine, Is That You?, Once in a Lifetime, Raise the Roof, Rock in the Red Zone and Soft Vengeance. Screening cities are Bedford, Concord, Keene, Manchester, Merrimack and Portsmouth.
Linda Gerson, co-chair of the New Hampshire Jewish Film Festival, said via phone that this year saw about 65 submissions. The contemporary theme — focusing in especially on cuisine and community — came about naturally, as it always does when the committee sits down to decipher which flicks will best connect with New Hampshire audiences.
“We’re always trying to raise the bar on what we’re doing. ... Personally, I’m really enthusiastic. I think the lineup is just stellar this year, and really interesting,” Gerson said.
One of her favorite flicks of the year is Raise the Roof, a New Hampshire premiere, about a couple of Massachusetts College of Art and Design professors, Rick and Laura Brown, and 300 volunteers from around the world who spent 10 years hand-building a reconstruction of the 18th-century art-filled Gwozdziec Synagogue in Poland, which was destroyed during World War II. Three of those volunteers were from New Hampshire: Krista Lima, a Loon Mountain snowboard instructor, Kingston native Jason Loik and Alstead native Joel McCarty.
“I think it’s a wonderful film, and it’s engaging and interesting and incredible what they did — they rebuilt this part of this synagogue the way they did it in the 1700s,” Gerson said. “They had very limited reference to what it looked like [originally]. They don’t have anyone alive to tell you, either. It’s a pretty incredible project.”
Both Rick and Laura Brown and filmmakers Cary and Yari Wolinsky host a post-film discussion and Q&A after the screening at Red River Theatres April 10.
Another standout to Gerson is Once in a Lifetime, a French flick based on a true story about teaching the Holocaust at an inner city, multicultural high school. For Rock in the Red Zone, a documentary that portrays the lives of the rock musicians of Sderot, a city on the Gaza border, the film committee asked the filmmaker to do a Skype interview after the Red River Theatres screening, also April 10. 

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