During closing night of the 26th annual The Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film FestivalFestival Director Ellen Wedner announced the winners of this year’s three prestigious Audience Awards.

“The winners of this year’s Audience Award winners were selected by the more than 11,000 attendees at this year’s Film Festival, which featured more than 30 different movies from all over the world at five different locations through Palm Beach County, from January 20 through February 11,” said Wedner.
Best Feature Film
APPLES FROM THE DESERT, from Israel – Palm Beach Premiere

Adapted from Savyon Liebrecht’s short story, this charming film is a spiritual coming of age journey. A young Orthodox woman runs away to a kibbutz and meets an attractive musician, leaving her between two worlds. Nominated for three Ophir awards, Israel’s Academy Awards. (Directed by Matt Harari & Arik Lubetzky)

+ First Runner Up:  TO LIFE!
(Palm Beach Premiere, from Germany, directed by Uwe Janson)
+ Second Runner-Up:  ONCE IN A LIFETIME
(Palm Beach Premiere, from France, directed by Marie-Camille Mention-Schaar)

Best Documentary Film
IN SEARCH OF ISRAELI CUISINE, from USA – Palm Beach Premiere
Most people are surprised to learn that Israel has one of the most dynamic food scenes in the world. They think Israeli cuisine is falafel and hummus, or Jewish food like brisket and blintzes. This documentary is a portrait of the Israeli people told through food. It puts a literal face on the culture of Israel. Profiling chefs, home cooks, farmers, vintners, and cheese makers drawn from the more than 100 cultures that make up Israel today – Jewish, Arab, Muslim, Christian, Druze a rich, complex and human story emerges. (Directed by Roger Sherman)

Note: The Festival’s Film Partners for this movie were One World Davis Fund and Women’s Division of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County 

+ First Runner Up:  RABIN: IN HIS OWN WORDS
(Palm Beach Premiere, from Israel, directed by Erez Laufer)
+ Second Runner-Up:  ROCK IN THE RED ZONE
(Palm Beach Premiere, from USA and Israel, directed by Laura Bialis)
Best Short Film
THE WALKfrom USA – Palm Beach Premiere
Soon after the death of his father, Danny, growing up in 1980s Brooklyn, meets an older Jewish man, Alfred (Peter Riegert), outside the local synagogue. The two quickly strike up a friendship. Over twenty years later, Danny will learn a whole new lesson he never saw coming. (Directed by Aaron Wolf)
Presented by the Mandel Jewish Community Center of the Palm Beaches, The Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival strives to bring to South Florida the finest examples of cinema from around the world. Founded in 1990 the festival continues to grow and evolve as it continues to expand the selection of narrative features, short films and documentaries to reflect the tastes and needs of its audience. The 27th annual The Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival will be held starting in January 2017. For more information, please visit www.PBJFF.org.
The Mandel JCC has two locations in Palm Beach County. The Boynton Beach building is at 8500 Jog Road and the Palm Beach Gardens building is at 5221 Hood Road. For more information about the Mandel JCC of the Palm Beaches, visit www.jcconline.com.

The mission of the Mandel JCC of the Palm Beaches is to build community and enhance connection to Jewish life. The Mandel JCC is a partner agency of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County.

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