The Season



"... a powerful study of bigotry and fear ..."
Houston Chronicle

“ ... movie’s pitch is almost perfect ...”
St. Paul Pioneer Press

"... the acting is terrific all around ..."
Jam! Movies

4:15 PM Sunday, November 19th
Intro by Emmy award-winner
CCA Studio

Based on Arthur Miller’s only novel, FOCUS centers on Lawrence Newman (William H. Macy) who is mistaken as Jewish in an anti-Semitic neighborhood in Brooklyn. He and his wife (Laura Dern) find that formerly friendly neighbors look at them askance while flaming an environment of anti-Semitism. FOCUS is as timely today as it was when the book was written in the 1940s.


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"... a beguiling excursion ..."

"... exquisitely stylalized ..."

WINNER! Best Picture - Odessa Int'l Film Festival

11:00 AM Sunday, December 3rd
CCA Studio

1905. A Jewish Shtetl. Shimek and Buzya are two 10 year olds. Of course, she is a princess and he is a prince. They live in the same yard, in neighboring palaces. What Buzya really means to him, Shimek begins to understand only years later when, far away from home, he receives the news that Buzya is about to be married off.

Award-winning Ukranian director Eva Neumann translates Sholem Aleichem’s words into a lyrical portrait that leisurely unfolds on the screen.


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"... poignant ..."

"... powerful ..."
Critical Movie Review Critics

WINNER! Best Picture, Jerusalem Film Festival

11:00 AM Sunday, December 10th
Director Nir Bergman via Skype
Center for Contemporary Arts

INTIMATE GRAMMAR is an inner journey rich in detailed observation. Based on critically acclaimed Israeli author David Grossman’s THE BOOK OF INTIMATE GRAMMAR, the film follows the young Aharon Kleinfeld as he strives to survive a domineering mother, an anti-intellectual father and his own diminutive stature.

Award-winning director Nir Bergman, who also wrote the screenplay, joins us via Skype to discuss the challenges of bringing Grossman’s novel to the screen



Comics and the graphic novel

FILM: The Art of Spiegelman


4:30 PM Sunday, December 10th
Center for Contemporary Arts

The role of Jewish artists/writers in comics and the graphic novel is the subject of FROM SUPERMAN TO SPIEGELMAN – COMICS AND THE GRAPHIC NOVEL. This talk, accompanied by the insightful documentary THE ART OF SPIEGELMAN, will look at the development of the graphic novel and its roots in comics, tracing the contributions of Will Eisner, Art Spiegelman and others. Spiegelman’s groundbreaking MAUS catapulted the graphic novel into the sphere of high art when it won the Pulitzer Prize.


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"... intelligent ...."

"... handsomely shot ..."
Hollywood Reporter

WINNER! Best Feature Film
Jerusalem Film Festival

7:00 PM Sunday, September 10th
Center for Contemporary Arts


In this astonishingly haunting film, deep undercurrents run beneath the simple surface in a quaint village that’s ultimately forced to face up to its “ill-gotten gains” from the Second World War.

On a sweltering August day in 1945, villagers prepare for the wedding of the town clerk’s son. Meanwhile, two Orthodox Jews arrive at the village train station with mysterious boxes labeled “fragrances.” The town clerk fears the men may be heirs of the village’s deported Jews and expects them to demand their illegally acquired property back, originally lost during the second World War. Other villagers are afraid more survivors will come, posing a threat to the property and possessions they have claimed as their own.



"... charming ..."
The Village Voice

"... beguiling ..."

"... captivating ..."
Los Angeles Times

7:30 PM Thursday, August 24th
Pre-film dessert reception: 6:30 PM
Center for Contemporary Arts


Harold and Lillian Michelson are two of the best-known names in Hollywood that you have likely never heard of. Their work left an indelible mark on classics by Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Mel Brooks, Stanley Kubrick, Roman Polanski, and more. Academy Award®-nominated director Daniel Raim gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the influential yet largely uncredited contributions of storyboard artist Harold and researcher Lillian. The charming love story of these two Hollywood figures is tenderly told through a mix of love letters, film clips and interviews with Harold and Lillian, Danny DeVito, Mel Brooks, Francis Ford Coppola and others, and paints a moving portrait of a marriage and a celebration of their talents.



"staggering ... breathtaking"
Wall Street Journal

"A great story ... a very rare treat."
Huffington Post

"Takes audiences on (a) journey."
Chicago Reader

7:00 PM Tuesday, July 25th
JCC of Greater ABQ
with special guest Robert Shlaer

Coming to the ABQ Jewish Film Fest!

It’s a real life adventure story of the American West with a most unlikely character taking center stage. In 1853 Solomon Carvalho, an observant Sephardic Jew who had never saddled his own horse, accompanied the famed explorer John Fremont on Fremont’s Fifth Westward Expedition and became one of the first photographers to document the far West.

The new documentary, CARVALHO’S JOURNEY, is the story of Carvalho’s harrowing adventure, one that took him from New York to California, passing through New Mexico on the way. Carvalho’s daguerreotypes captured the sweeping vistas of the rough and tumble West, and his best-selling memoir of 1867 left a vivid record of the journey itself. The Santa Fe Jewish Film Festival is presenting the regional premier of CARVALHO’S JOURNEY at 3:00 PM on Sunday, November 20th at CCA. Santa Fe resident Robert Shlaer, who retraced parts of that journey and recreated many of Carvalho’s daguerreotypes, will be at the screening to share his insights about this piece of history.


Pulitzer collage

"How can ... it not inspire?"
The Denver Post

" ... an exploration of the importance of words

and language in a free democracy ..."

5:00 PM Sunday, August 6th
Q and A with guest author
James McGrath Morris
Center for Contemporary Arts

SOLD OUT – Wait List Only

THE PULITZER AT 100 tells the story of this prestigious prize through the riveting stories of the artists who have won it. Pulitzer prize winning journalists Carl Bernstein, Nick Kristof, Thomas Friedman, and David Remnick; authors Toni Morrison, Michael Chabon, Junot Díaz, Tony Kushner, and Ayad Akhtar; and musicians Wynton Marsalis, David Crosby, and John Adams, among others, share their experiences. Pulitzer prize winning works are read by Helen Mirren, Natalie Portman, Liev Schreiber, John Lithgow and Yara Shahidi.

Equally inspiring is the life of Pulitzer himself. Authors Theodore Glasser, James McGrath Morris, Roy Harris and others provide insight into the career of a man who was raised in a Jewish Hungarian home, came on his own to America not speaking English and rose to the highest ranks of journalism.

Mr. Morris, who is featured in the film, will be joining us at the screening. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book, “Pulitzer, A Life in Politics, Print and Power”.

Special guest author James McGrath Morris


Jason Loik retouches the ceiling painting of the Gwoździec after the installation in the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw, Poland, 2013.

" a spectacular tribute"
Deborah Lipstadt, Historian

" an inspiring documentary "
Cleveland Jewish News

" The intrepid couple who restored a gem of a Polish synagogue ..."
Times of Israel

5:00 PM Tuesday, July 11th
Special guests
artists/educators Laura & Rick Brown
Center for Contemporary Arts


Artists Rick and Laura Brown are not Jewish and not Polish, yet they set out to rebuild Gwodziec, a magnificent wooden eighteenth century synagogue in Poland that was later destroyed by the Nazis. Their vision inspires hundreds of people to join them, using their hands, old tools and techniques to bring Gwodziec’s history, culture, science, and art back to life.

Filmmakers Yari and Cary Wolinsky’s beautifully photographed and rendered film RAISE THE ROOF, tells the story of this remarkable 10 year project against the backdrop of the 1000 year history of Jews in Poland.

RAISE THE ROOF has been generously sponsored by Season Underwriter Ellen Romm Lambert with additional support for Film Underwriter Joan Vernick in memory of Louis Erhard and Edith Garfield

Photo: Copyright Trillium Studios. Photo and film, courtesy of The National Center for Jewish Film;



"... touching ..."
Huffington Post

"A gentle human comedy."
The New York Times

"... compelling ..."

5:00 PM Wednesday, June 14th
Center for Contemporary Arts


The critics agree, this standout feature film at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival is not to be missed. Filmed in the heart of one of New York’s ultra-Orthodox communities, MENASHE is the story of a father struggling to keep custody of his son. Filmed in Yiddish (with English subtitles) and loosely based on the real life of the main character, MENASHE is a unique look into an otherwise closed world. It is a tender film of love and faith and the struggle to balance both, with a back story that makes you wonder how the film ever got made.