Surviving longer than any other film festival in Palm Beach County, the venerable Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival celebrates its landmark 25th anniversary this week, promising an eclectic buffet of 30-plus features and documentaries from around the world at five theaters, from Boca to Palm Beach Gardens. The festival opens at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Kravis Center (701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach) with the gripping, patriotic documentary Above and Beyond, about U.S. pilots covertly assisting Israel in its 1948 War of Independence. Other don’t-miss premieres, running through February 8, include Uruguay’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar submission Mr. Kaplan, a black comedy about a potential Nazi next door; Zero Motivation, another dark comedy, set among female soldiers in an Israeli outpost, which that country’s Film Critics Association chose as its best film of 2014; and Closer to the Moon, a Vera Farmiga vehicle based on the bizarre fallout of a 1959 Romanian bank heist. There will be screenings of these titles at most of the host theaters, including Cinemark Palace (3200 Airport Road, Boca Raton). Jewish stage and screen legend Lainie Kazan, whose credits run a gamut from The Delta Force to My Big Fat Greek Wedding, will be honored at a reception on January 29 at the Kravis, where her 2010 dramedy Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay! will be screened. For tickets and a full schedule of films and locations, call 877-318-0071 or visit palmbeachjewishfilm.org.
Thu., Jan. 15, 2015