Jewish Film Festival Touches on LGBT Themes

Cupcakes

A094R1PYDirected by Eytan Fox, “Cupcakes” is a fun-filled film about neighbors who get together every year to watch the “Unisong” competition. In a Tel Aviv suburb, a group of friends gathers to watch a “Eurovision”-style song contest, trying to escape the troubles of their daily lives. Yael is an ex-beauty queen turned lawyer. Dana is a stressed-out aide to a cabinet minister. Anat has a successful bakery, but is stuck in a loveless marriage. Keren is a shy blogger who hesitates to leave cyberspace. Efrat is a lesbian alternative singer-songwriter whose career has stalled, and Ofer is a nursery-school teacher who is upset that his boyfriend, a spokesmodel for his family’s famous brand of hummus, is still in the closet and won’t publicly acknowledge their romance. After Anat’s friends realize how saddened she is over the crisis of her marriage, they write a song to cheer her up, and Ofer secretly submits it as Israel’s entry to “Unisong.”

Ronnie Scheib of Variety says that in “Cupcakes,” one man and five women “…jettison their paralyzing fears and, in the grand old MGM tradition, put on a show! Endearingly goofy with its ‘dare to be yourself’ moral and ‘70s-tinged aesthetic, this sweet confection could tempt gay and straight audiences alike.”

“Cupcakes” will have its Rockland premiere on Saturday, April 5 at 9PM at the AMC Palisades Theaters, as part of the 11th JCC Rockland International Jewish Film Festival. Purchasing tickets in advance saves $2.00, so go to jccrockland.org or call 845-362-4400 x 100.

Melting Away

Melting AwayDirected by Doron Eran, “Melting Away” is the heartfelt drama that follows the story of a family drawn into crisis after the parents kick their child, Asaf (Hen Yanni), out of their house upon discovering that he’s secretly a cross-dresser. Years later, when the father is dying of cancer, the mother hires a private detective to track down their son. Instead of a “son,” however, the detective finds a woman who earns her pay dancing at gay cabarets under the name “Anna.” Will the daughter now manage to overcome the past and forgive her parents? Will the parents be able to accept their new daughter? Find out in this emotional film that will engage both straight and LGBT audiences.

For the first time in the history of Israel cinema, a feature film depicts parents as they learn to accept their transgender child. “Melting Away” was conceived after the brutal murder at the Tel Aviv LGBT Youth Center and the deep shock felt by Doron Eran and his partner, screenwriter Bili Ben Moshe, after hearing of parents refusing to visit their injured children at the hospital.

“Melting Away” will have its New York State premiere on Thursday, April 10 at 7:30PM at the AMC Palisades Theaters, as part of the 11th JCC Rockland International Jewish Film Festival. Purchasing tickets in advance saves $2.00, so go to jccrockland.org or call 845-362-4400 x 100.

Comments