“The Outrageous Sophie Tucker,” a biopic about the popular bawdy singer, kicks off the 14th season of the Jewish Film Series in Fresno. It will be shown at 7:15 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17.
All eight offerings in the series will be shown at Temple Beth Israel, 6622 N. Maroa. Four of the screenings will include dinner options. For instance, audience members attending the opener will be able to purchase corned beef sandwiches.
As has been the case for the previous three series, each film will be preceded by an episode of “Srugim,” a TV series from Israel that looks at modern Orthodox Jews and their lifestyle problems.
Elizabeth Kassel, chairwoman of the film series, explains the 10-person committee assigned to select this year’s lineup spent four months looking at potential productions to be included.
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“There were a lot of frogs, but we found some real princes,” Kassel says. “It was a hard job because it wasn’t a matter of what we liked or disliked, but movies that we thought our audience would like.”
The selections are a mix of comedy, drama and biography.
Individual tickets are $8, while a season pass can be purchased for $50.
Here are the other films in this year’s series:
▪ “Hunting Elephants” (Nov. 19): A youngster bent on revenge leads retirees in a comical attempt to rob a bank. The cast includes Patrick Stewart.
▪ “Borrowed Identity” (Dec.10): A young Palestinian who attends a prestigious Jewish school is caught in conflicts between Israelis and Arabs.
▪ “Blind Hero” (Jan. 14): A blind factory owner tries to save disabled employees and his love interest from a Nazi concentration camp.
▪ “Midnight Orchestra” (Feb. 11): The estranged son of a famous Jewish musician hopes to reunite with his father and understand his legacy.
▪ “In Search of Israeli Cuisine” (March 18): Chef hosts tour of Israeli restaurants, bazaars and family kitchens.
▪ “Wunderkinder” (April 8): Three young musicians, two of them Jewish in the Ukraine, confront a world being destroyed by the Nazis .
▪ “Sabena Hijacking: My Version” (April 29): Story of the pilot who was forced to land his flight from Vienna in Tel Aviv on May 8, 1972.
For more information on the series, telephone 559-285-0013.