Jan 2016

Opening Night

Opening night of the Miami Jewish Film Festival is tonight!  We will be screening 80 films over two weeks and are almost entirely sold out. I am especially proud that we will be screening the North American premiere of Natalie Portman’s new film, A Tale of Love and Darkness. This is her directorial debut and she stars in the movie, too. Most people don’t know that she was born in Israel or that she speaks Hebrew, but they will know soon because her Hebrew in the movie is pretty fantastic. I am also excited about our spotlight on Israeli film. We sent the festival’s director to Israel over the summer and we are determined to build bridges between the American and Israeli film industries. Israel has a flourishing film industry, representing a broad spectrum of cultural and political thought. Because of our efforts, we have already seen several unknown Israeli filmmakers get picked up by international distributors. We are featuring incredible Israeli films and supporting Israeli industry at the same time.

Over the last three years, our audience has grown from 4,000 to 20,000 people. We are now the third largest Jewish film festival in the world and one of the largest cultural events in Florida. We have a lot of “Wexner” support, especially from my much-cherished Miami 11 classmates – at least four have sponsored films this year, which is spectacular.

Mark Kravitz, a Wexner Heritage alum (Miami 11), demonstrates his commitment to diverse concerns through his involvement on the Board of Directors of Greater Miami Jewish Federation, the board of the Center for Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE), the national board of KESHET and the board of Beth Torah Congregation in Aventura. His leadership positions include chairing the Day School Market in Miami, the Jewish Volunteer Center and, most recently, the Miami Jewish Film Festival. Mark has won Federation’s Sandra C. Goldstein Young Leadership Award and its Stanley C. Myers Presidents’ Leadership Award. Mark is the president of Jenco Properties, a real estate management and investment firm located in South Florida. Mark lives with his husband, Jonathan, and their two children. He can be reached at mbkravitz@hotmail.com.