“Fanny’s Journey,” a French drama screening April 22 at the Crest Theater in Sacramento
“Fanny’s Journey,” a French drama screening April 22 at the Crest Theater in Sacramento

Bollywood meets klezmer at Sacramento Jewish film fest, April 19-22

The Sacramento Jewish Film Festival kicks off on Thursday, April 19, offering a long weekend of features and documentaries, with a special focus on Israel in honor of the nation’s 70th anniversary.

Festival director Teven Laxer also has scheduled live Israeli and klezmer music, a Bollywood dance troupe and post-film discussions. All events will be held at the downtown Crest Theater.

The opening feature film at 5:30 p.m. is the lighthearted “Hummus! The Movie,” which tells stories of Jews, Muslims and Christians who share a love for the Middle Eastern dip. The klezmer group KlezMeerkats performs at 8:15 p.m. Following the concert, the festival screens the documentary “Epilogue: Ben-Gurion,” based on a 1968 interview with Israel’s first prime minister.

The program skips Friday and resumes Saturday, April 21, with a ticketed 6 p.m. reception catered by Sacramento’s new Jewish deli, Solomon’s. “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story,” about the Hollywood actress whose Jewish origins and intellectual talents were downplayed, will screen at 8 p.m. Director Alexandra Dean will appear at the post-film discussion and attend the opening reception.

Three films and a Bollywood dance performance fill the program on Sunday, April 22, starting at 1:10 p.m. with the French feature film “Fanny’s Journey,” about a group of children who escape the Nazi occupation of France. A Bollywood dance concert by the Arts of India company at 3:15 p.m. will be followed by the documentary “Shalom Bollywood: The Untold Story of Indian Cinema.” The festival closes with the Hungarian postwar drama “1945” at 5:30 p.m., with a post-film discussion.

The 19th Sacramento Jewish Film Festival is presented by the Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region and the Jewish Community Relations Council. Tickets can be purchased at crestsacramento.com or at the Crest box office, 1013 K St., Sacramento.