The Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival is shaping up to be everything a good film fest should be. There are movies from around the world, flicks in a variety of languages, screenings exploring the margins of different societies, and films from the comedy, drama, and short film categories. Yes, this festival hosted by the Sabes JCC packs quite the cinematic wallop. A party with a screening of A Matter of Size kicks off the festival. The film tells the story of a miserable, obese Israeli who, after being banished from his weight-loss group and fired from his job, learns the art of sumo wrestling from staff at the Japanese restaurant where he washes dishes. Recruiting his other chunky friends, he forms Israel's first sumo-wrestling club and engages in humorous shenanigans. The opening party will feature sushi and sweets beforehand. Other highlights from the 10-day festival include the clay-animated Mary and Max, about an eight-year-old girl in Australia (Toni Collette) and a middle-aged man in New York (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who carry on a 22-year pen-pal friendship; and City of Border, a film documenting the importance of the lone gay bar in Jerusalem to the region's gay community. The opening party is being held at the Hopkins Center for the Arts; all other screenings are at the Sabes JCC. For a full list of movies and times, visit www.sabesjcc.org/arts_film_festival.htm.
Thu., April 8, 5:45 p.m., 2010