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3 Audience Awards at Boston Jewish Film Festival

The audience at this year’s Boston Jewish Film Festival has voted its favorites. In total, the Festival screened more than 55 films from 16 countries. The Festival’s audience of more than 12,500 voted in three categories. Given the number of sold-out screenings (20) and World, North American, and U.S. premieres (11), the competition was particularly stiff.

Award-winners are as follows:
- Best Feature Fiction: Ira and Abby, directed by Robert Cary (2006, USA,
100 minutes, English), screening in the Festival in its New England Premiere. Jennifer Westfeldt (Kissing Jessica Stein, Festival01) is back as writer and star of the year’s smartest romantic comedy. When neurotic and indecisive Ira (Chris Messina from Six Feet Under) meets loveable and free-spirited Abby (Westfeldt), it isn’t long before their relationship becomes a family affair. The film’s all-star cast also includes Fred Willard, Frances Conroy, Judith Light, Robert Klein, and Jason Alexander. Film website:

The award for Best Feature Fiction comes in the form of film stock from Eastman Kodak Company.

- Best Documentary Feature: The Rape of Europa, directed by Richard Berge, Bonni Cohen, and Nicole Newnham (2006, USA, 117 minutes, English), screening in the Festival in its World Premiere as the Closing Night Feature. Based on Lynn H. Nicholas’ book of the same name, this astonishing and timely documentary tells the epic story of the systematic theft, deliberate destruction and miraculous survival of Europe’s art treasures during the Third Reich. The film begins and ends with artist Gustav Klimt’s 1907 portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer (a turn-of-the-20th-century Viennese hostess), recently awarded to the latter’s 90-year-old niece. In turn, she sold it only months ago to Ronald Lauder for a staggering $135 million, the highest price ever paid for a work of art.

Director Bonni Cohen received her undergraduate degree in international relations from Tufts University, Medford, Mass.

The award for Best Documentary Feature comes in the form of Avid Xpress Pro editing software from Avid Technology, Inc. [continued on next page]

New Award
Also thanks to Avid Technology, the Festival was able to expand its
Prize offerings this year to include one for:

- Best Short Subject: Under the Roller Coaster, directed by Lila Place (USA, 2005, 15 min., English) The Thunderbolt Roller Coaster of Coney Island is an icon to many, but to Mae Timpano it was home. Director Lila Place grew up in Brookline, Mass.

The award for Best Short Subject comes in the form of Avid Xpress Pro editing software from Avid Technology, Inc.

Previous Boston Jewish Film Festival Award Winners
Prior winners for Best Feature Fiction:
2002 - Monsieur Batignole, directed by Gérard Jugnot
2003 – Yossi and Jagger, directed by Eytan Fox
2004 - Wondrous Oblivion, directed by Paul Morrison
2005 – Live and Become, directed by Radu Mihaileanu

Prior winners for Best Feature Documentary:
2002 – Strange Fruit, directed by Joel Katz
2003 – Thunder in Guyana, directed by Suzanne Wasserman
2004 – Watermarks, directed by Yaron Zilberman
2005 – 39 Pounds of Love, directed by Dani Menkin

About The Boston Jewish Film Festival

The Boston Jewish Film Festival presents the best contemporary films from around the world on Jewish themes at its annual Festival and throughout the year. Through features, shorts, documentaries, and conversations with visiting artists, the Festival explores Jewish identity, the current Jewish experience, and the richness of Jewish culture in relation to a diverse modern world. The Boston Jewish Film Festival, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization.


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