Festival director Joshua Abbey calls this the Las Vegas Jewish Film Festival’s “bar mitzvah year,” since the event is turning 13, the traditional age of maturity for Jews. But the LVJFF has been mature for years, offering up a diverse selection of independent, foreign and documentary films related to Jewish culture and history. Here are some of this year’s highlights:
Blumenthal Writer-director Seth Fisher will be on hand to talk about his comedy starring Brian Cox as a legendary playwright who dies of a heart attack while laughing at one of his own jokes; The Boston Globe compared the movie to an early Philip Roth novel. January 12, 1 p.m.
Brave Miss World This documentary tells the story of Israeli Linor Abargil, who was crowned Miss World in 1998 only weeks after being raped. Abargil, who is a global activist against sexual violence, will be at the screening to share her experiences. January 16, 7 p.m.
Hannah Arendt This acclaimed, award-winning biopic about the famed German philosopher and political theorist never played Las Vegas during its theatrical run last year. Arendt scholar Roger Berkowitz of Bard College will lead a discussion after the movie. January 18, 7 p.m.
Bethlehem Israel’s official submission for this year’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, which tells the story of the complex relationship between an Israeli government agent and his teenage Palestinian informant, has played a number of prestigious film festivals. January 23, 7 p.m., Century South Point.