The Film List


Feb. 23-March 2: 23rd Annual New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival. This year’s event includes two world premieres, “The Wolf of Baghdad” and “The Hug of Destiny,” but the most exciting inclusion is “Red Fields,” the new film by Keren Yedaya (“Or: My Treasure”). Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St.,

March 5-9: An unusual program focusing on Amos Gitai, his mother and her story. A staged reading of her memoir, “Efratia Gitai: Correspondence (1929-1994),” which recounts her experiences as a child of the second aliyah and after, and of four of his fiction features, “Carmel,” “Kedma,” “Esther” and “Berlin-Jerusalem.” Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St.,

March 25-April 5: New Directors/New Films. As sure a sign that spring has arrived as Opening Day, this event is now in its 49th year, and can be counted on to include a generous selection of smart, demanding films, frequently from Israel and the West Bank. Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St.,

March 27: Resistance. Once there was a young Jewish actor who became active in the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation. Eventually he would grow up to be Marcel Marceau and, in this feature film version of that story, he is played by Jesse Eisenberg. Theaters to be announced.

March 31-April 6: ReelAbilities Film Festival. One of the unsung gems of New York film, this event, which focuses on films about people with disabilities, has spread to 15 cities in its only 10 years of existence. In no small part that is because its programmers have consistently aimed for good, serious filmmaking. This year’s opening night film is “Best Summer Ever,” about two teens who face the drama of high school after falling in love at a dance camp. Also on tap is Rachel Israel’s “Keep the Change, a deft romantic comedy about two adults on the autism spectrum, an award-winner at Tribeca a couple of years ago. Multiple venues, but the lion’s share of films will be screened at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave.,

April 1-7: Free Time and Under the Brooklyn Bridge. Two little gems of New York City indie filmmaking from the 1960s. “Free Time” by Manny Kirchheimer (“We Were So Beloved”) is a particularly adroit and droll reminder of what Lower Manhattan was like before it became Tribeca. Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St.,

April 15-26: The 19th Annual Tribeca Film Festival. It’s too soon to know what will be in this year’s festival, but one safe guess is that there will be a lot of highly touted local talent, a bunch of underappreciated new Israeli films and a large helping of significant documentaries. Why? Because that has been the case almost every year in the history of the Festival. Venues all over Lower Manhattan, with an emphasis on Tribeca.

April 17: The Painted Bird. Jerzy Kosinski’s bleak, rather chilly novel about the Shoah is brought to screen at last. It will be interesting to see if filmmaker Vaclav Marhoul can find a way to preserve some of Kosinski’s very dark humor. Theaters to be announced.

May 6-29: Oliver Sacks: His Own Life. Sacks’ odyssey from the Orthodox Jewish world of London to drugs, science, medicine and best-selling authorship is detailed by documentarian Ric Burns. The story of an absolutely fascinating life, a riveting personality and a unique history, this should be really compelling. Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St.,

May 8: Those Who Remained. Two residents of post-war Budapest who have been scarred by the Shoah, a doctor in his 40s and a teenage girl, develop a close relationship that brings them under suspicion when the Communists come to power in Hungary. An unusual take on the long shadows of the death camps and those who were scarred by them, sometimes indirectly. It is the second feature from prominent short-film director Barnabas Toth. Opening at the Walter Reade Theater and the IFC Center.