2016 starts, reviewing 2013 – 2015 and my film programming

Happy New Year! As we begin 2016 and go back to work after the break, I was prompted to think back over work during the last couple of years since I started programming and running JW3 Cinema. For some time I have wanted to create a list of all the Q&As / special events with film directors etc that I have organised and chaired or moderated at JW3 Cinema so that I have a record of them and also in case my contacts can be helpful for others wanting to get in touch with those people. So why not do so now … here goes!

 

2013

September  – How I Live Now preview screening. Q&A with Meg Rosoff, author of the book How I Live Now. I chaired the Q&A

October – Harold and Maude introduced by LOCO London Comedy Film Festival

– Foodies Film Club and Keshet Israeli TV Club also took place during this month

November Coming To America introduced by Doc Brown, presented by LOCO London Comedy Film Festival

– Foodies Film Club, Keshet Israeli TV Club and Misogynist Film Club also took place during this month

December – What’s Cooking introduced by the film’s director Gurinder Chadha

– Comedy Film Club, Keshet Israeli TV Club and Misogynist Film Club also took place during this month

2014 

January  – Rough Cut plus Q&A with the filmmaker Jamie Shovlin. I chaired the Q&A

February Artists’ Film Salon: I curated an evening of short films from 10 filmmakers and did a special feature interview with filmmakers Whitty Gordon Projects

– I planned and ran a special edible cinema style Foodies Film Club evening with Steph Saffer of Kokopelli’s Chocolate with the film Romantics Anonymous 

– I hosted and presented at a Film London Exhibitors’ Breakfast event which I held at JW3 Cinema

– I organised a screening of the opera film Don Giovanni (Juan) including an in conversation with the film’s director (Director of Opera for the Royal Opera House, London) and                         Norman Lebrecht in the JW3 Howard Hall

– Comedy Film Club, Foodies Film Club and Keshet Israeli TV Club also took place during this month

March Clueless introduced by Charlie Lyne,  presented by LOCO London Comedy Film Festival

– I organised an Oscars™ Warm Up Night screening of Searching For Sugar Man and panel discussion with Simon Chinn, Jason Solomons and Nicola Christie  with special activities

– Comedy Film Club, Foodies Film Club, Keshet Israeli TV Club and Misogynist Film Club also took place during this month

April – Artists’ Film Salon: I curated an evening of short films from 10 filmmakers and did a special feature interview with filmmaker Rebecca Feiner

– during late April to May I put together an Israel mini Season – 66 Years: The Party and the Political of film screenings and events

May – Advanced Style special screening with director and cast Q&A which I chaired

– Regina screening with panel discussion including the film’s director, Rabbi Laura Janner Klausner, Adam Ganz and Emily Kasriel

– Comedy Film Club and Foodies Film Club also took place during this month

June  – I organised 3 film screenings as part of the London wide Anxiety Arts Festival

– I worked with SERET London Israeli Film & Television Festival on a number of screenings and events during this month for their annual festival

–  Artists’ Film Salon: I curated an evening of short films from 8 filmmakers and did a special feature interview with filmmaker Lewis Rose

– Comedy Film Club, Foodies Film Club and Keshet Israeli TV Club  also took place during this month

– we also had a go at outdoor screenings for the first time with 3 taking place, which I organised with the Lost Picture Show

July – Finding Mike special film screening with panel discussion including the film’s director, executive producer and others

August – special screening of 112 Weddings for Tu B’Av, Jewish Israeli festival of love

September – Holes In My Shoes plus Q&A with the film’s director

The Woman At The End Of The World plus Q&A with the film’s director

– Comedy Film Club, Foodies Film Club and Keshet Israeli TV Club  also took place during this month

October – I initiated Arts On Screen series (live opera, ballet, theatre via satellite from London and other venues) from this month, still popular and continuing into 2016

– I organised a one off Chantal Akerman Day symposium with A Nos Amours including speakers: Chantal Akerman, Prosessor Griselda Pollock

– Foodies Film Club and Keshet Israeli TV Club  also took place during this month

November – I oversaw Artists’ Film Salon: an evening of short films from 12 filmmakers, curated by Lewis Rose

– UK Jewish Film Festival took place in the cinema and JW3 Howard Hall with a large number of special screenings and events

– Comedy Film Club and Keshet Israeli TV Club  also took place during this month

December – 2 special screenings as part of the inaugural UK Jewish Comedy Festival

– A Short Film About Killing special screening as part of the Institute of Contemporary Arts Kieslowski retrospective

– I organised a screening of Magic Mirror and Q&A with the film’s director adn Helena Reckitt

– in this month I launched the monthly Film Night Out for those in their 20s and 30s in this month, still popular and taking place in 2016. Thanks to training course I carried out with Independent Cinema Office

– Foodies Film Club and Keshet Israeli TV Club also took place during this month

– Arts On Screen and Exhibition On Screen also took place during this month

 

2015

January – special screenings for Holocaust Memorial Day

– Comedy Film Club and Keshet Israeli TV Club also took place during this month

February – I organised a series of 3 films to celebrate Storytelling Through Film, coinciding with the Society for Storytelling’s National Storytelling Week

– Including Samuel special screening with Q&A in partnership with The Judith Trust, in recognition of Jewish Disability Awareness Month

–  Comedy Film Club and Jung and Film: Creativity and Madness presented by the Confederation of Analytical Psychology took place this month

March – Artists’ Film Salon, Comedy Film Club, and Foodies Film Club took place during this month

April – special screenings to celebrate Yom Ha’atzma’ut (Israel Independence Day)

– Jung and Film: Creativity and Madness presented by the Confederation of Analytical Psychology took place this month

May – I organised a special screening of Queen Of Hearts with London’s Little Italy On Film plus Q&A with the film’s screenwriter Tony Grisoni

– Comedy Film Club and Foodies Film Club In The Kitchen with Kosher Roast took place during this month

June – I organised a screening of the film Hebreo: The Search For Salomone Rossi introduced by the film’s director and with a concert from Minim Singers and His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts which I sang in

– I organised a screening of the film We Are Many and Q&A with the film’s director Amir Amirani which I chaired

– special screening and dance workshop with the film Shall We Dance

– screening of Hedy & Yumi Crossing The Bridge plus Q&A with Hedy and Yumi from the film

– I worked with SERET London Israeli Film & Television Festival on a number of screenings and events during this month for their annual festival

July Breath Made Visible film screening and discussion celebrating dance artists Anna Halprin

August – I organised a preview screening of The President plus Q&A with the film’s director Mohsen Makjmalbaf

September  Stealing Klimt plus conversation with the film’s producer, founder and Co-Chair of the Comission for Looted Art in Europe & Executive Director of the Association of Jewish Refugees. Organised with Second Generation Network

– I organised a screening of Perlman In Russia and an exclusive filmed interview, in partnership with Warner Classics

– I organised an evening with filmmaker Ruth Novaczek who was in conversation with Dr Rachel Garfield as part of Onwards and Outwards in partnership with the Institute of Contemporary Arts

– Jung and Film: Creativity and Madness presented by the Confederation of Analytical Psychology and The Tango Lesson screening with dance workshop took place this month

October – I began a new partnership with Cinema Italia UK screening the best Italian films that are not released in the UK, starting in this month with Se Dio Vuole. The series is continuing in 2016

– I organised a screening of A Syrian Love Story and Q&A with the film’s director Sean McAllister which I chaired

– Jung and Film: Creativity and Madness presented by the Confederation of Analytical Psychology and a special screening as part of the Kafka Festival at JW3 took place this month

November – UK Jewish Film Festival took place in the cinema and JW3 Howard Hall with a large number of special screenings and events

– Foodies Film Club in the Kitchen with Kosher Roast and the film Hannah And Her Sisters 

– I organised a film screening of Hand Gestures including a Q&A with the film’s director, who I met on the course I did in Venice with CICAE in the summer 

– I organised a screening of the film Letters From Palestine with Cinema Italia UK and I chaired a Q&A with the film’s director

December – I organised a screening of They Will Have To Kill Us First: Malian Music In Exile and a Q&A with the film’s writer Andy Morgan, chaired by Rita Ray

– I organised a one off preview screening of Rabin, the Last Day plus the film’s director Amos Gitai & Alain Elkann in conversation

– Cinema Italia UK presented Noi E La Giulia and there were film screenings and dance workshops with The Blues Brothers and Happy Feet during this month

In addition to these events I have also curated an artists’ film evening and chaired a Q&A with the film’s director for the film War Art with Eddie Redmayne at Chelsea Arts Club

2016 …

There will be many more Q&As and special events coming up for me this year to add to this list – here’s to a great one!

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Oscars™ Warm-Up Night at JW3 London

Last Saturday night I was running an Oscars™ Warm-Up Night I had organised at JW3 London – the new Jewish Cultural Community and Arts Centre. For some time I had been planning an evening in celebration of the 86th Academy Awards and we decided that our pre awards event would take place the night before the awards ceremony itself. Here’s what the evening entailed:

JW3 is the place to be for the hottest warm up to the Oscars™! Not only will we be joined by a panel of film industry experts sharing their experiences of the Academy Awards™ and their predictions for awards winners, but we will have our own red carpet, cocktails and a real statuette! Dress in your finest award ceremony attire to create some of your own great photo opportunities. Producer and writer Simon Chinn (Man on WireProject Nim), director Roger Michell (Notting HillHyde Park On HudsonLe Week-End) and film journalist and presenter Nicola Christie are on the panel chaired by film critic Jason Solomons. Simon Chinn will introduce a special screening of Searching for Sugar Man on the final night of its status as winner of the Academy Award™ for Best Documentary Feature. The perfect night out before your perfect night in for the 2014 Oscars™ live coverage the following evening.

the panel of film industry speakers at JW3 London's Oscars Warm - Up Night. Photograph by Blake Ezra Photography

the panel of film industry speakers at JW3 London’s Oscars Warm – Up Night. Photograph by Blake Ezra Photography

 

I set about creating an event which would be one of the hottest warm ups to the Oscars in town! I knew it was important to establish a glam and glitzy atmosphere so the evening would feel special and would also build excitement with our audience and the press. Indeed Londonist website listed the night as the top event for their piece Sparkle And Fizz: Oscar Night Action In London and the Ham and High also included the event as one of their Top Five Things To Do In Hampstead and Highgate for that week.

my brother and I in the audience at JW3's Oscars Warm - Up Night. Photography by Blake Ezra Photography

my brother and I in the stylish audience enjoying JW3’s Oscars Warm – Up Night. Photography by Blake Ezra Photography

Londonist - Sparkle And Fizz: Oscar Night Action In London

Londonist lists JW3’s Oscars Warm – Up Night as their number one event for the piece ‘Sparkle And Fizz: Oscar Night Action In London’

So I worked with my colleagues to create a JW3 branded backdrop for a photo opp area with a red carpet so people could pose with the real Oscar statuette from two time Academy Award winning producer Simon Chinn. We arranged for a professional photographer to be there on the night to take photographs of people with the statuette, dressed in their best awards ceremony attire. Plus we dressed up the event hall where the panel talk was taking place so it would look special and we also made sure there was popcorn in the cafe – bar area of the centre with an award themed soundtrack and image slideshow playing as guests enjoyed cocktails and canapés.

holding a real Oscar at JW3's Oscars Warm - Up Night. Photograph by Blake Ezra Photography.

me holding a real Oscar at JW3’s Oscars Warm – Up Night. Photograph by Blake Ezra Photography.

panel of speakers at JW3's Oscars Warm - Up Night

panel of speakers at JW3’s Oscars Warm – Up Night. L-R film critic Jason Solomons, the panel’s chair, film presenter & journalist who is also a programmer for UK Jewish Film – Nicola Christie, film director Roger Michell and film producer and writer Simon Chinn. Photography by Blake Ezra Photography.

with my brother Alexander, holding a real Oscar at JW3's Oscars Warm - Up Night. Photograph by Blake Ezra Photography.

with my brother Alexander, holding a real Oscar at JW3’s Oscars Warm – Up Night. Photograph by Blake Ezra Photography.

I was pleased to be able to put together a great range of film industry names (including a film critic, film presenter and journalist, film director and film producer) for panel who spoke about their past experiences of the awards and their predictions for the winners of the awards the next night, which were all absolutely correct! It was an honour and pleasure to meet and host Jason Solomons, Simon Chinn, for a fun and glamorous evening which was enjoyed by all.

It was also a wonderful opportunity to get all dressed up which if you see my writing on this blog about costumes and characters, you’ll know that’s something I love to do! Included in this post are some pictures of the evening dress I wore the evening, that I hadn’t worn since I went to Glyndebourne opera festival!

For for information about my role working at JW3 running London’s newest independent cinema, see the previous blog post here.

holding a real Oscar at JW3's Oscars Warm - Up Night. Photograph by Blake Ezra Photography.

me holding a real Oscar at JW3’s Oscars Warm – Up Night. Photograph by Blake Ezra Photography.

me at  JW3's Oscars Warm - Up Night.

me at JW3’s Oscars Warm – Up Night.

Jewish Chronicle includes pictures from JW3's Oscars Warm-Up Night

Jewish Chronicle newspaper includes pictures from JW3’s Oscars Warm-Up Night, including a photograph of my brother and I. Photographs by Blake Ezra Photography.


my new role managing & programming for London’s newest independent cinema at JW3 – Jewish Cultural Community Centre for London

As it’s a new year and 2014 has just started, I thought it was about time I got back into blogging and wrote about what I’ve been up to over the end of last year and from when I last posted.

I completed my fellowship tenure working at CHELSEA space thanks to the Chelsea Arts Club Trust at the end of the summer and was then busy as curator at Notting Hill Arts Club, having curated a successful event in August. Whilst taking a short summer break, happily it didn’t take me long to secure a new role as an Arts & Culture Programmer at JW3, specifically as film programmer also managing London’s newest independent cinema there.

JW3 - london's new Jewish Cultural Community Arts Centre

JW3 – london’s new Jewish Cultural Community Arts Centre

The centre has been around 10 years in the making and it is thanks to Dame Vivien Duffield’s foundation – the Clore Duffield Foundation that JW3 has a stunning multi floor venue on the Finchley Road in London. The organisation JCC (Jewish Community Centre London) operated for many years on a smaller level without its own building, offering a range of cultural events in a range of venues throughout London. In the United States, Jewish Community Centres are very common and can be found in most major cities as well as in other cities in Europe. So it was about time we had one in London! JW3 is not a religious centre, it is cultural – summed up by the CEO Raymond Simonson’s words

 “I want to talk about Curb Your Enthusiasm instead, and the paintings of Chagall, the music of Amy Winehouse and Woody Allen films.”

– JW3’s CEO Raymond Simonson

So JW3 (a play on the centre’s postcode NW3, which has the tagline the new postcode for Jewish life) opened on the last weekend of September and so far, thousands and thousands have visited for a range of activities. The centre houses the critically acclaimed restaurant Zest, has a demonstration kitchen, fitness/ dance and drama studios and classrooms offering an impressive programme of classes and courses from languages to art studio sessions to krav maga and more. The multi purpose hall has been used for specially commissioned theatre productions, music concerts and gigs as well as in conversation talks from leading cultural figures such as Kevin Spacey.

Here’s a video made over the launch weekend of the centre to give you an idea what its all about and you’ll even see me for a few seconds, introducing the opening night for JW3’s cinema.

JW3 is an exciting, creative, innovative and fresh place to work. I feel very lucky to be part of something which is changing London’s cultural and Jewish landscape and to be here right at the start of the centre’s life is a great opportunity. It has been a steep learning curve for me, jumping in at the deep end of discovering everything about running an independent cinema and I love it! I’ve certainly been kept busy with the day to day organisation – dealing with film distributors and setting up bonds with them, working with our projectionist team and the wonderful organisation that is the Independent Cinema Office who JW3 cinema is a client of.

JW3 Cinema. Photograph by Blake Ezra Photography for JW3

JW3 Cinema. Photograph by Blake Ezra Photography for JW3

UK Jewish Film Festival at JW3 – screening of ‘Let’s Dance’ and dancing traditional Israeli folk dancing afterwards in the JW3 Hall. Photograph by UK Jewish Film

17th UK Jewish Film Festival Pears Short Film Event at JW3. Screening of the winning films for Pears Short Film Fund at UK Jewish Film – ‘Happy New Year’ & ‘The Funeral’. Photograph by UK Jewish Film includes Judy Ironside, Founder and Executive Director of UK Jewish Film, film critic Jason Solomons & directors and cast of the winning Pears Short Film Fund films

JW3 Cinema which is a boutique, intimate 60 seater cinema has around 19 screenings a week which range from indie new releases to 6 screenings a week of Jewish and Israeli film with our partner UK Jewish Film as well as family films and our Monday evening film clubs plus other special screenings. I organise everything from the programming of which films to screen, with assistance from ICO (Independent Cinema Office) for the new releases for example, to timetabling the screenings as well as organising Q&As, in conversations and other events in the cinema and hall for the film programme. I’ve also had to learn a lot about the technicalities of projection and so on for the technical side of the cinema operation! You can see my profile on the ICO website here  and a page on JW3 Cinema here as well as my top 10 films.

LOCO London Comedy Film Festival has partnered with JW3 Cinema for a Comedy Film Club screening the films that changed comedy...

LOCO London Comedy Film Festival has partnered with JW3 Cinema for a Comedy Film Club screening the films that changed comedy…

One of my favourite parts of the JW3 Cinema programme that I work on are the film club evenings on Monday nights. We have a Foodies Film Club which involves screening a film all about food (we’ve had Babette’s FeastI Am LoveWhat’s Cooking) and the team at Zest restaurant prepare a relevant edible item connected to the film that the audience can eat whilst watching the foodies film. I run our Comedy Film Club in partnership with the wonderful LOCO – London Comedy Film Festival. Each film is introduced by a comedy / film expert who is passionate about that film. I love having a laugh on those evenings and happily the list of excellent comedy films, many with Jewish connections seems to be never ending! In our first season we screened Harold and Maude, Coming To America and Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Our Misogynist Film Club (the only one in the UK!) is an opportunity for a feminist celebration of the terrible portrayal of women in film and we have had speakers including Isy Suttie, Caroline Quentin and Henrietta Foster talk about these films they love to hate. In 2014 our film clubs have been re imagined and we will have an Edible Cinema experience as a Foodies Film Club special, more great comedy films and excellent speakers as well as a new film club – the Artists’ Film Salon for filmmakers and film fans. I’ll be sharing more about these soon.

I’ve also organised some very exciting crossover special events taking place in the JW3 hall which unite film and music. I’ve invited Kasper Holten, director of opera at the Royal Opera House, London and cultural commentator Norman Lebrecht for an in conversation and Q&A after a screening of the feature film Don Giovanni (JUAN) directed by Kasper Holten. You can find out more about the event here  . I’m also organising an Oscars™ Warm-Up Night and screening of Searching For Sugar Man introduced by the producer Simon Chinn complete with red carpet, cocktails and real statuette from the awards! To add to the excellent events of the season, I have organised for my choir the English Chamber Choir to perform at JW3 and I will be singing Handel’s Israel In Egypt with them plus the English Players on period instruments in concert! You can see more information about the concert here.