Finding true love in Hollywood has always been challenging; it's even more difficult when you're no longer a young starlet, no matter how many movie-star friends you have or how many Gunsmoke episodes you did. And if you're a short funnyman with a face for radio, well, you can practically forget it. Still, true love can happen. A statuesque Hollywood icon and a Jewish leprechaun might just fall forever-after in love if the stars align just right (and she laughs at his jokes).
Widening the historical lens, this documentary focuses on an under-explored aspect of Jewish history: the role that Jews played in Western American expansion, both in real life and in the movies. Through a tapestry of archival footage, photographs, and interviews, Amanda Kinsey’s pioneering film entertainingly excavates the past through the stories of an array of people, from known names like Max Aronson (the real “Bronco Billy Anderson” of early Hollywood) and Levi Strauss, to some you may not have heard about, like the Prussian immigrant who became a tribal leader in New Mexico and the Sephardic painter and photographer who documented the Kansas, Colorado, and Utah territories in the 1800s. Kinsey also surveys the experiences of those persecuted European Jews who picked up stakes and left the American Northeast, forging westward for better opportunities. Through the narratives of such trailblazers, and interviews with contemporary Jewish Westerners, the film tells a tale of American resilience and determination too often left out of the official history books.
Israel’s official Oscars entry, Orit Fouks Rotem’s deft and heartfelt debut brings together disparate Arab and Jewish women who learn self-expression through the power of film. Young Tel Aviv–based filmmaker Rona (Dana Ivgy) teaches a documentary workshop to the residents of Hadera. The women, both secular and religious, film their daily activities and routines. At the outset, tempers flare because of cultural misunderstandings, but the students soon form an empowering bond over shared experiences. The casting features a mix of seasoned and nonprofessional actors, each shooting and sharing footage for the first time onscreen. Nominated for eight Israeli Academy Awards with wins for Best Film, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actress.
Continuing the underdog sports saga, Israel’s baseball team competes for Olympic gold, facing unexpected bigotry along the way. Comprised of Jews from all over, including Americans, Team Israel’s shared sense of identity unifies the blue-and-white squad. Reaching the Olympics in 2021, the players discover a dearth of goodwill the games ostensibly promote. Having overcome Middle East strife on the road to Tokyo, the team gets the cold shoulder from other athletes and death threats from spectators. With no media in the Olympic Village due to COVID restrictions, the athletes are given cameras to record their own experiences. This crowd-pleasing sequel to the 2017 hit Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel will inspire pride and cheers from baseball lovers and non-fans alike.
We are the Troopers tells the story of the Toledo Troopers, the most successful team in the National Women’s Football League (NWFL).
From 1971 until the league was sold off, these women from all walks of life and ethnicities dominated the sport and made history as the winningest team in professional football history.
If you’re an Ohio football fan, you probably know that this state has produced some of the most successful football players and coaches in the NFL; but that's not the full story. What you may not know is that Ohio is the birthplace of the Women’s Professional Football League, and the Toledo Troopers hold the record for the most championship titles in women’s football history.
A captivating collage of stories from former players and supporters, We Are the Troopers looks back on the winningest team in NWFL history and highlights the history, struggles and triumphs of these local legends, starting in 1971 - a time when there were very few female sports opportunities. Although at times an uphill battle, this crew of strong women would beat the odds through hard work, perseverance, and love of the game.
The Cohen Family Philanthropic Fund
Stu & Jo-Jo Goldberg Donor Advised Fund