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International Film Festival at Pleasant Hill March 5 – 13

Feb 25, 2016 12:13PM ● By Jennifer Neys

The East Bay International Jewish Film Festival kicks off its 21st season on Saturday evening, March 5, at the Century 16 Theatres in Pleasant Hill with Best Foreign Film Oscar nominee Labyrinth of Lies. It concludes with another Oscar submission in the foreign language category, Baba Joon, on March 13.

“We’re delighted that our 21st year will bring many award-winning films to our community that speak to a broad audience,” says Chair Margaret Winter, a Contra Costa resident originally from London. “And while many of our films embrace serious issues, festival-goers will also be able to enjoy lighter fare, such as the romantic French comedy Serial Bad Weddings and the American romance 5 to 7, co-starring Glenn Close and Frank Langella.”


The festival includes films from Spain, France, Canada, Germany, Morocco, New Zealand, Poland, and Israel. Based on a true incident, the Spanish World War II thriller Dirty Wolves follows the heroic exploits of two women who sabotaged a Nazi mining operation. “The Canadian drama Remember stars two legendary actors, Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau. It is a must see,” adds Margaret. “You will remember this film long after the credits roll.”

The critically acclaimed drama Phoenix is also on the Festival’s nine-day schedule.  This German film has been favorably compared to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Vertigo.

The festival committee has proudly expanded its scope to include films with a universal message. “We’re especially glad to present several movies that one would not typically find on a Jewish film festival line-up.  We chose them because of their power to raise awareness of issues that are very important in today’s world,” explains Winter. Set in contemporary France, the award-winning film Welcome brings us into the life of a Kurdish young man desperate to be reunited with his girlfriend living in England.  White Lies dramatizes the stereotyping against the indigenous Maori people in New Zealand during the 19th century.”

The festival is co-sponsored by the City of Pleasant Hill, the Pleasant Hill Downtown Merchants, and the Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce, along with RINA Accountancy, City National Bank, Destination Wealth Management, Diablo Valley Oncology, Aaron Metals, Davidson & Licht, Kabab-Burger, AA All Metal Recycling, Buttercup Grill & Bar, Ayala’s Skincare, and Diablo Magazine. 

To receive a brochure and get the festival’s monthly online ReelTalk, people should email [email protected] or call 925.240.3053. The day-by-day schedule can be seen at