Quick: What’s the longest-running film festival in Nevada? I’m betting you didn’t guess the Las Vegas Jewish Film Festival (LVJFF), but it is. This year marks the 10th anniversary of what could be called “the little festival that could.” Executive director Joshua Abbey, who created the LVJFF and was also one of the founders of the now-defunct CineVegas, says the festival shows high-quality mainstream and independent productions. They are representative of the state of global filmmaking with films from Argentina, France, Germany, Israel and the United States.
The festival thrives on community support, something which Abbey feels very strongly about. In turn, festival organizers pride themselves on offering entertainment for Jews and gentiles alike. Spanning many genres—from comedy to drama, from documentaries to foreign films—this year’s lineup offers films you don’t normally get to see in Las Vegas theaters. Here are a few highlights:
Coco. The opening-night benefit film is a comedy that was a hit in Europe about a wealthy man who throws his son an extravagant bar mitzvah to unexpected results. (7 p.m. Jan. 15 at the Suncoast, $25-$250, 732-0304.)
Jews and Baseball. A documentary narrated by Dustin Hoffman about the Jewish people’s love of America’s pastime. (1 p.m. Jan. 16, the Adelson Educational Campus Theater, $10, 794-0090.)
A Film Unfinished. A much buzzed about documentary that examines an incomplete Nazi propaganda film through the eyes of Holocaust survivors and one of the original cameramen. (4 p.m. Jan. 16, the Adelson Educational Campus Theater, free.)
Lepke. The 1975 motion picture about the misadventures of Murder Incorporated boss Louis “Lepke” Buchalter (Tony Curtis). This event will be moderated by Mayor Oscar Goodman and Jonathan Ullman, an executive at The Mob Museum. (7 p.m. Jan. 29, Historic Fifth Street School, free, after-party at El Cortez.)
Howl. At the closing-night party, watch the story of Beat poet Allen Ginsberg (played by James Franco) and his most famous poem, “Howl.” (7:30 p.m. Jan 30. Brenden Theatres at the Palms, $10-20, 732-0556.)