The Daily Gamecock

Columbia Jewish Film Festival wants to highlight Jewish culture with movies

Indie Grits - Friday April 17, 2015

Photos by South Carolina photographer Sean Rayford
Indie Grits - Friday April 17, 2015 Photos by South Carolina photographer Sean Rayford

The Columbia Jewish Film Festival will be taking place at the Nickelodeon Theater starting Oct. 10 with the film “Monsieur Mayonnaise.” The film festival has been going on for 17 years and has been screened at the Nick for the past couple. The Columbia Jewish Film Festival is a part of the Columbia Jewish Community Center’s effort to widen Jewish culture around the Columbia area. 

The festival will also include Q&A’s, talk backs and even a reception hosted by the Jewish Film Festival and The Columbia Jewish Community Center. The Nickelodeon Theater’s marketing coordinator, Pauline Arroyo, talked to The Daily Gamecock about the film festival and the importance of events like this that can really open people’s eyes to a side of the world they didn’t know.

The Nick hadn’t worked with the film festival until a few years ago, but their shared love for all things that film can offer started a strong partnership.

“It mainly has to do with a shared passion on culture and film’s place in culture and it kind of came about through that kind of relationship,” Arroyo said.

“Understanding what art can do to sort of bring little known stories that need a little bit more attention. You can bring that to the general public and welcome them to having greater understanding about the other people in history,” she said.

People who may not have a great knowledge of Jewish cinema can still enjoy the festival. In fact, it’s that lack of knowledge that may be one of the best reasons to go.

“They can find wonderful films that covers so many different topics. Find things that entertain them or touch them. Mainly it can show them a common ground, finding stories that are relatable across cultures so they can have a greater sense of unity with each other,” Arroyo said about what people of different nationalities and races can discover at the festival together. 

For the Nickelodeon, being a part of the film festival isn’t just another event for them. They have that urge to get people to go see a movie regardless of where it comes from.

“I think that it’s important to us to be a part of the film festival because these are really important stories and active voices that maybe a lot of people don’t necessarily know about,” Arroyo said. 

The Nickelodeon features other festivals throughout the year that deals with a specific race or gender. The Jewish Film Festival is just one example of the community doing their part to expand a certain perspective for the rest of the general public. 

“This is obviously a very strong community and they’re part of what makes up this entire Columbia family,” Arroyo said. “We’re just excited and honored to be able to be a part of their platform and to introduce them to our audience as well.” 

The Jewish Film Festival will run until Oct. 29.