OC Jewish Arts Festival 2017

This year honoring Jewish Heritage through comedy, documentary and Holocaust drama films

Published Monday, October 9, 2017


Each year a dedicated committee of culture-savvy-enthusiasts comb through many(!) films and stories celebrating the rich tapestry of Jewish culture to showcase in the annual OC Jewish Arts Festival.

Seeking to enthrall and inspire audiences, we review over a hundred movies and select three to screen. Below is a sneak preview of the best of the best… like a movie trailer, an exciting teaser to what’s next.


My Hero Brother
Saturday, November 4, 7:30 p.m.

My Hero Brother tells the remarkable true-life story of a group of young Israelis with Down Syndrome who embark on a demanding trek through the Indian Himalayas accompanied by their brothers and sisters. As the siblings deal with formidable physical and emotional challenges, unresolved conflicts surface and heart-warming friendships develop.

Inspiring in its lessons of pushing boundaries, My Hero Brother was the Winner of Best Documentary Film Award and Audience Choice Award at the 2017 Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Film followed by Q&A with award-winning director/co-producer Yonatan Nir. Yonatan Nir grew up on a kibbutz in northern Israel, where he developed his passion for nature and adventure. After his service in the IDF, Nir embarked on a seven-year journey around the world, during which he began his career as a photojournalist. He teaches filmmaking at Israeli universities and serves as a juror in international film festivals.


The Pickle Recipe
Saturday, November 11, 7:30 p.m.

A cash-strapped Jewish party emcee is corrupted by his shameless uncle to steal his grandmother’s top secret pickle recipe. This crowd-pleasing comedy stars Oscar nominee David Paymer, Sex and the City actress Lynn Cohen, and comedian Jon Dore. The Pickle Recipe is a metaphor about the people and memories that comprise the special ingredients of a family, however dysfunctional.

Film followed by a pickle and deli tasting, as well as a Q&A with writer/co-producer Sheldon Cohn.




Alone in Berlin
Shown in partnership with the Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education at Chapman University
Thursday, November 16, 7 p.m.

Emma Thompson and Brendan Gleeson star in this fictionalized version of the true story of Otto and Elise Hampel, Germans who, after losing their only son on the front lines, start writing postcards urging the German people to take a stand against Hitler and the Nazi regime. This seemingly small act of subversion rattles the regime and the couple become a symbol of defiance against Nazi brutality. Based on the bestselling novel Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada, the film is both a gripping thriller and a tribute to resistance. Nominated for the Golden Bear Award at the Berlin International Film Festival.


For the schedule and tickets, visit the OC Jewish Arts Festival 2017 at