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2020 Guests + Honorees

Festival Publicist: Media/PR Contact

Rachael Brister (she/hers)
RCB Communications, Public Relations for SJCC

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | (206) 218-8912
Guest PR, film screeners, and interviews available upon request


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Rabbi Chaim Bruk

Subject: THE RABBI GOES WEST
Rabbi Chaim Bruk, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, studied at the prestigious Rabbinical College of America in Morristown, New Jersey. In 2006, he married Chavie and in 2007 they founded Chabad Lubavitch of Montana. 

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Aaron Goldfarb

Mixologist: CLOSING FILM: SHALOM TAIWAN
Aaron Goldfarb's most recent book is Gather Around Cocktails:  Drinks to Celebrate Usual and Unusual Holidays, featuring cocktail recipes for Jewish holidays such as Hanukkah, Purim, and Passover. His 2018 book Hacking Whiskey:  Smoking, Blending, Fat-Washing, and Other Whiskey Experiments was a Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards finalist. He has written 3 novels, a short story collection, and a book of essays. He lives in Brooklyn with his family and writes for Esquire, PUNCH, VinePair, and Whisky Advocate among others.

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Barak Heyman

Director: IN YOUR EYES
Barak Heymann joined the Heymann Brothers Films company in 2003 and has since directed and produced several documentary films and series (LIFE IN STILLS, SJFF 2018; ALMOST FRIENDS, SJFF 2017; LADY KUL-EL ARAB, SJFF 2009; STALAGS, SJFF 2009). Heymann Brothers Films is an independent Israeli company dedicated to the release of documentaries on the social aspect of the Israeli/Jewish culture. IN YOUR EYES won the Israeli Documentary Award and the Human Rights Award at the Cine Invisible Film Festival in Bilbao, Spain.

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The Klez Katz! Klezmer Band

Musicians: BRUNCH FILM: THE SPY BEHIND HOME PLATE
The Klez Katz! are dedicated to the preservation and encouragement of the rich musical heritage of the Yiddish diaspora. Their repertoire encompasses freilachbulgarsherterkishekhosidl, theater music, folk songs and even the odd klezmer-influenced jazz tune. The Klez Katz have been featured at numerous events, including City Hall Concerts, The Wallingford Wurst Festival, Northwest Folklife, and The Tilth Harvest Fair. Learn more...

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Cem Kitapci

Producer: THE FINAL HOUR
Cem Kitaci is the film producer and a partner in Case Productions. THE FINAL HOUR is his feature debut. IMDB

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Dani Menkin

Director + 2020 REEL Difference Award: PICTURE OF HIS LIFE + AULCIE
Menkin is a two-time Israeli Academy Award winner. The writer, director, producer's award-winning narrative and documentary films include DOLPHIN BOY (SJFF 2012), 39 POUNDS OF LOVE (SJFF 2006 Audience Choice Award Winner), IS THAT YOU (2014), and ON THE MAP (SJFF 2018). His movies have screened and sold worldwide, including to Disney and HBO. Menkin will receive both the 2020 SJFF REEL Difference Award, honoring filmmakers who shed a bright light on social issues through cinema, and our first Golden Or (light in Hebrew) Juried Prize for Best Independent Film for PICTURE OF HIS LIFE, our Opening Night Film. IMDB

 

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Devin Naar

SpeakerTHE FINAL HOUR
Dr. Devin E. Naar is the Isaac Alhadeff Professor in Sephardic Studies, Assistant Professor of History, and faculty at the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. Born and raised in New Jersey, Dr. Naar graduated summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis and received his Ph.D. in History at Stanford University. His first book Jewish Salonica: Between the Ottoman Empire and Modern Greece was published in 2017.

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Amos Nachoum

Photographer/Film Subject: PICTURE OF HIS LIFE
World renowned wildlife photographer and explorer Amos Nachoum began his career as a war photographer in Israel. For 35 years, Amos has pursued his photographic skills in a quest to show harmonious interactions between man and big animals. Amos aims to raise awareness about threatened and endangered species using his camera and expeditions, promoting their conservation for future generations. Learn more...

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H. Alan Scott

Comedian/Film Subject: LATTER DAY JEW
H. Alan Scott is a writer/comedian/producer and tonight's film subject. His work has been published on VICE, Fusion, Esquire, Newsweek, Nerdist, MTV, and OUT. He's contributed to Jim Henson's No, You Shut Up on Fusion, TV Land's Younger, and BBC's Danger Mouse. He co-hosts the "Out on the Lanai: The Golden Girls Podcast"; and "You're Making it Worse" on Dan Harmon's Starburns Audio Network. He's appeared on MTV, Fusion, CNN, ABC, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Ellen. Learn more | IMDB

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Martin Selig

REAL Difference Award Winner
Martin Selig will receive the SJFF 2020 REAL Difference Award recognizing his unparalleled longtime support of the Seattle Jewish Film Festival for almost a quarter century and many arts organizations locally. Selig is one of Seattle's largest commercial real estate developers, developing close to 8 million square feet of first-class mid to high-rise office space over the last 50 years, representing approximately one third of downtown Seattle's office market. He is the second recipient of this award, since founding chair Deborah Rosen won in 2016, which honors local arts advocates, philanthropists, and community leaders. Learn more...

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Yiscah Smith

Film Subject: I WAS NOT BORN A MISTAKE
Yiscah Smith is a Jewish educator, spiritual activist and published author who addresses the spiritual practice of encountering the Divine spark within, the foundation of authentic living.  She employs her personal story of ‚Äčthe joys and struggles with her spirituality, Jewish tradition and commitment to authentic living. Learn more...