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Jazz at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
(Published: June 29, 2007)

Dear Jazz Enthusiast,

I wanted to let you know about an incredible musical event that is happening at this years annual San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. There is a silent film titled HIS PEOPLE, that is accompanied by a live score written and performed by Composer/ Instrumentalist Paul Shapiro who is coming out from New York, and his New York-based jazz sextet to play his new film score. This great appearance is a one-time-only musical event.

Seeing as Jazzcorner.com has a large selection of jazz programming, we thought that you would find this particular event quite unique.

To inquire about this film, or Paul Shapiro, who is available for interviews for any of the programs, please contact us at Larsen Associates at 415.957.1205. We can also provide the music from his score if any of the shows would like to put it on the air.

For more information about Paul Shapiro, this film, or other films in the festival that are musically oriented please see below.


Xander Walbridge

Always a Delight-Movies About Music and Movies with Music
HIS PEOPLE, a 1925 Silent Classic with Live Jazz Score Paul Shapiro

27th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
July 19-August 6, 2007
San Francisco, Berkeley, Palo Alto and San Rafael

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival-the first, largest and most prestigious celebration of its kind in the world-presents a lively selection of movies about music and movies with music. The 27th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival takes place July 19-26 at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, July 28-August 4 at The Roda Theatre (at Berkeley Repertory Theatre) in Berkeley, July 28-August 2 at the Aquarius Theatre in Palo Alto and August 4-6 at the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael. For ticket information, please contact the Box Office at (925) 275-9490 or visit the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival online at www.sfjff.org.

World Premiere of THE CHOSEN ONES
Musician and filmmaker Wendla Nölle traveled to Manhattan in search of the face of young Jewish music. SFJFF is pleased to offer the World Premiere of THE CHOSEN ONES, an energetic sampler of New York's next generation of Jewish musicians. The artists profiled include an Orthodox convert who can rap in four different languages, weaving them into a musical study of Talmudic teachings; a young blues musician who sings almost forgotten cantorial chants against African beats; a pop music group that combines a funk sound with Jewish spirituality and Hebrew lyrics; and an Orthodox rabbi who has found a home in the Lower East Side's indie music scene with funny, quirky songs that often deal with weighty subjects such as the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Special Revival Screening With New Score and Live Accompaniment By Paul Shapiro
The Jewish Film Festival is pleased to offer Edward Sloman's rarely seen 1925 silent film HIS PEOPLE. HIS PEOPLE will feature a new jazz score, performed live by New York composer/instrumentalist Paul Shapiro and his sextet. Shapiro is best known for his releases ("Midnight Minyan," "It's in the Twilight"), on John Zorn's Tzadik label, that combines his love for jazz and his Jewish roots. Shapiro is a founding member of the Brooklyn Funk Essentials and a longtime member of the Microscopic Septet. He is also heard on recordings by Lou Reed, Queen Latifah, and Jay-Z.

HIS PEOPLE tells of two brothers- Sammy and Morris Cominsky (George Lewis and Arthur Lubin), the sons of poor immigrant Jewish parents-living in the Lower East Side tenements. The siblings are trying to take very different routes out of the ghetto and into their vision of the American dream; tough but good-natured Sammy decides to become a boxer and Morris, a social-climbing rat proclaims himself an orphan, because he is embarrassed by his immigrant family. Of his new score for HIS PEOPLE, Shapiro explains: "The tonalities are informed by Jewish music from antiquity to the post-klezmer ‘Yiddish Swing' of the 1940s and 50s - with jazz sonorities and improvisation woven into that fabric."

Movies about music
Movies about music are always an enlightening and entertaining element of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. This year's musical docket includes one short and four feature-length documentaries.

Yasmin Levy, an electrifying 29-year-old Israeli singer, is following in the footsteps of her father, Yitzhak Levy, a revered singer who dedicated his life to recording and documenting the musical culture of Ladino, the ancient language of the Jews of Spain. Since her father died when she was only one, Yasmin knows him only through his songs, but she has taken it upon herself to immortalize and disseminate the musical legacy that he helped preserve. The North American premiere of Rina Papish's LADINO - 500 YEARS YOUNG follows Yasmin on a powerful and exciting singing tour of Israel and Spain.

Creating a lyrical road movie with BETWEEN TWO NOTES, Paris-based filmmaker Florence Strauss sets out to trace the origins of Arabic music and in the process makes discoveries about her own family's hidden heritage. The locations are storied and exotic: Cairo, Aleppo, Damascus, Beirut, and Tel Aviv. In a war-torn and bitterly divided Middle East, what binds these people and places together is their deep-rooted connection to classical Arabic music.

In the early 1990s, a chance meeting between conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim and the late Palestinian-born writer and professor Edward Said resulted in a unique friendship. Their friendship led to Barenboim's first concert in the West Bank and to the creation of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which involved talented musicians between the ages of 14 and 25 from Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Tunisia. In KNOWLEDGE IS THE BEGINNING: DANIEL BARENBOIM AND THE WEST-EASTERN DIVAN ORCHESTRA director Paul Smaczny follows the orchestra, which has grown to 80 Arab and Israeli musicians, since its inception. The film, a delightful hybrid of concert movie and a documentary about artistic diplomacy, chronicles all five summer workshops in Weimar and Seville; Barenboim's visit to Ramallah and Jerusalem in May 2004, during which he received the prestigious Wolf Prize at the Knesset; as well as a celebrated concert in Geneva and highlights of the 2005 European Tour.

It takes a global village to preserve the musical traditions of Jewish shtetl life. The collective effort of an entire continent is featured in YIDDISH SOUL and CONCERT YIDDISH SOUL, a new two-part concert film by Turi Finocchiaro and Nathalie Rossetti. Nearly decimated under the Nazis and shunned in Israel at the state's inception, Yiddish and its art forms still struggle to survive. Enter the fans, scholars and stars of Europe's recent Yiddish and klezmer music revival, a diverse and intergenerational assortment of music lovers. Hailing from points throughout the continent, these gifted musicians - including Chava Alberstein, Myriam Fuks, Shura Lipovsky, Karsten Troyke, and the KlezRoym Ensemble - share a passion for the world of storytelling and song rescued from the brink of extinction.

Screening in the "I Am You Are" shorts program is SARAH SINGS TO THE HEAVENS, a quick glimpse at an Argentinean Jewish street musician.

About the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF), the world's oldest and largest Jewish film festival is proudly celebrating its 27th anniversary. The SFJFF's signature summer Film Festival, monthly screenings, youth mentorship program (New Jewish Filmmaking Project), publications, and online resources have made SFJFF a recognized leader in the use of media arts to foster cultural understanding. Annually attracting more than 33,000 filmgoers, the SFJFF is world-renowned for the diversity and breadth of its audiences and films.

More Information: http://sfjff.org/festival_2007/

Submitted By: Xander Walbridge

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