2023 Boston Jewish Film Festival – Guests

Paul Michael Bloodgood, Director/Producer, Finding Light

Lone Star Emmy-winning filmmaker Paul Michael Bloodgood enjoyed a career spanning 20 years as a professional ballet dancer, performing in a myriad of principal roles.

Paul Michael has a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and the Humanities from St. Edward’s University and is a SAG-AFTRA stunt performer with recent work in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon. Paul Michael has also appeared in major feature films directed  by filmmakers including Michael Bay, Forest Whitaker and Richard Linklater.

Stephen Mills, Choreographer/Film SubjectFinding Light

Known for his innovative and collaborative projects, Lone Star Emmy-winning choreographer Stephen Mills has over 45 dance productions in the repertoire of companies across the United States and around the world, including Hong Kong Ballet, Ballet Augsburg, American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, Atlanta Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Washington Ballet, Cuballet in Havana, Cuba, BalletMet Columbus, Dayton Ballet, Sarasota Ballet, Ballet Pacifica, Dallas Black Dance Theater, Louisville Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Texas Ballet Theater, The Sacramento Ballet, Dance Kaleidoscope, and Ballet Austin.

Chandler Levack, Writer/Director, I Like Movies

Chandler Levack grew up in Burlington, Ontario and lives in Toronto, where she studied cinema at the University of Toronto and screenwriting at the Canadian Film Centre. She has directed numerous music videos, earning two JUNO nominations, and is a veteran music writer and a current film critic for the Globe & Mail. In 2017, her short film We Forgot to Break Up premiered at TIFF and went on to play SXSW. In 2022, her debut feature film I Like Movies premiered at TIFF, was selected for Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival and won prizes around the world. She is currently working on her second feature Anglophone, a portrait of the Montreal music scene circa 2011, with Zapruder Films and Banner House Productions.

Isaiah Lehtinen, Actor, I Like Movies

Isaiah can be seen as the lead in the independent feature I Like Movies which recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and for which he was named a TIFF RISING STAR. Other credits include Deadly Class and When The Street Lights Go On.

Louise Archambault, Writer/Director, Irena’s Vow

Screenwriter and director Louise Archambault made her feature film debut in 2005. Familia won Best Canadian First Feature Film at TIFF. In 2013, Louise created a world sensation with her second feature film, Gabrielle, Canada’s entry for the 2014 Oscars and Golden Globes. As prolific as she is talented, Louise Archambault is also a very sought-after director with several TV series for Radio-Canada and CBC at her credit. In 2019, she released two feature films: Il Pleuvait Des Oiseaux (And the Birds Rained Down), an intense drama which premiered at TIFF, and Merci Pour Tout (Thanks for Everything), a girl road movie. Her recent film work includes Irena’s Vow (2022), a World War II drama shot in English in Poland, and Le Temps d’un été (For A Summer, 2023), set on the shores of the St. Lawrence River and already a bona fide success in Quebec.

Hilla Medalia, Director/Producer, Mourning in Lod

Hilla Medalia is a Peabody winning and Emmy nominated director/producer with over 20 years of experience in the documentary field. She is the founder of award-winning Medalia Productions whose films have aired by the leading broadcasters in the world, including MTV, HBO, Arte, Netflix, Paramount, and BBC and screened at the Venice Biennale, Cannes, Berlinale and Sundance among others.

She is a regular lecturer at The NY Film Academy, NYU, EWA (European Women’s Audiovisual Network) and the New Fund for Cinema’s Women Greenhouse on the subject of production, directing and crowdfunding.

Hilla is a mentor for the NFCT’s Program for Emerging Filmmakers, at Ex Oriente and Dok Incubator. She acts as a lector and judge at film festivals and forums, Hilla is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the PGA and she holds an M.A. from Southern Illinois University.

Romy Neumark, Moderator, Mourning in Lod

Romy Neumark is a Gerard Weinstock Visiting Lecturer and Fellow at Harvard’s Center for Jewish Studies. During the 2023-2024 academic year, she will teach about Israeli documentaries and Israeli media. In addition, she will conduct research on diversity-focused journalism training programs in Israel.

As an Israeli public broadcaster, she worked as a senior anchor at KAN before arriving at Harvard as a Nieman fellow (2023). Neumark created and hosted “Night News” on television and a weekly radio interview show at KAN and previously reported on in-depth magazine stories and anchored a daily news program at Channel 10 News and Gali Tzahal.

Nathaniel Kahn, Director/Film Subject, My Architect

Nathaniel Kahn is an Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker. His documentary My Architect (2003)—about his father, the architect Louis Kahn—was nominated for an Academy Award, two Independent Spirit Awards, and won the Directors Guild of America Award. His film Two Hands (2006) about the pianist Leon Fleisher was nominated for an Academy Award and an Emmy. Kahn’s documentary on the interaction between the worlds of art and commerce, The Price of Everything (2018) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, was broadcast by HBO and was nominated for an Emmy. His film The Hunt for Planet B (2021) about NASA’s Webb Telescope. premiered at SXSW, was broadcast by CNN and won an Emmy for Outstanding Science and Technology Documentary

Stefan Sarazin, Writer/Co-Director, No Name Restaurant

Born in Würzburg in 1964, Stefan Sarazin was an assistant to various photographers while he attended drama school in Munich from 1982 to 1984. Initially under contract for a play at the Residenztheater under the direction of Ingmar Bergman, he moved on to the HB Studio in New York from 1985 to 1987. From 1989 to 1996 he studied documentary film at the University of Television and Film in Munich and directing at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome. As a writer and director, he made the feature films PASSACÖR (1993) and NACKTER HIMMEL (1996), his graduation film. His 1996 European Script Award-winning screenplay NITSCHEWO became a feature film that he directed in 2001. In addition to other material, he developed the concept and the content for NO NAME RESTAURANT during extensive travels and research in Israel and the Sinai Desert from 2002 to 2007.

Peter Keller, Writer/Co-Director, No Name Restaurant

Born in 1966, Peter Keller studied medicine in Munich and Ireland from 1987 to 1993 and gained experience on set on various practice films by students at the University of Television and Film Munich (HFF). After graduating, he was a production assistant in film from 1994 to 1996, and from 1996 onward, in addition to stints of medical residency, he was a performer and dancer at Munich’s Nationaltheater. From 1998 to 2004 he was a production manager and assistant director at various production companies. After initial forays into video, the short motion picture SCHICHT (2002) was his first professional calling card. In 2005 he founded the production company ppfilm. This was followed by the short film LETZTE BERGFAHRT (2008)

Luzer Twersky, Actor, No Name Restaurant

Luzer Twersky is an actor, writer, and an occasional musician. He was raised as a Hasidic Jew in Brooklyn, NY and broke away from his community in 2007 to pursue a career as an actor and writer. He has been nominated and won numerous awards for his performances including Best Actor at the 2014 Torino International Film Festival for Felix and Meira.

Fritjof Hohagen, Producer, No Name Restaurant

Fritjof Hohagen is the the creative driving force at Munich and Berlin based enigma film which he founded in 2006. Since then, he has produced more than 10 feature films, most recently the international culture clash comedy NO NAME RESTAURANT, for which he was awarded with the Bavarian Film Award 2022 “Best Producer”. Fritjof previous productions include the award-winning desert drama FATA MORGANA (2007) starring German shooting-star Matthias Schweighöfer („Army of Thieves“), the drug-sport-drama RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! (2008) starring Max Riemelt („The Matrix Resurrections“) or the film adaptation of Noble Price winner Elie Wiesel’s novel DAWN (2011) starring Jason Isaacs („Harry Potter“). Fritjof scripted and produced the german-swiss-coproduction THE BLACK BROTHERS (2013) directed by Academy Award-winner Xavier Koller („Journey of Hope“) starring Moritz Bleibtreu („Baader Meinhof Complex“). Other productions include the german-austrian drama HANNA’S SLEEPING DOGS (2016) which won the renowned „Golden Goblet Award“ 2016 at the International Film Festival Shanghai and the Political-Thriller UNDER THE RADAR which won numerous national and international awards including the INTERNATIONAL EMMY AWARD 2016 „Best Performance by an Actress“ for Christiane Paul.

Ma’ayan Rypp, Writer/Director,  The Other Widow

Ma’ayan Rypp is a writer-director who was born in 1984 and raised in Tel Aviv. She holds American, Canadian, and Israeli citizenship and is a native speaker of English and Hebrew. Her short films have been screened at various festivals, including Cannes, Palm Springs, and Raindance, winning best film, most promising artist, and special awards. Her first feature film, THE OTHER WIDOW, was developed as part of the Cannes residency and screened at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival as part of the inaugural feature film competition. Ma’ayan has worked in the art department on various films and is currently developing her second feature film.

Dana Ivgy, Actor, The Other Widow

Ania Bukstein, Actor, The Other Widow

Lior Ashkenazi, Writer/Director, Perfect Strangers

Lior Ashkenazi is known as one of Israel’s most prominent stage, television and film actors. In 2017 Ashkenazi won Best Actor at the Ophir Awards for his performance as Michael Feldman in Samuel Maoz’s Foxtrot, winner of the Grand Jury Prize Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival. He also played Yitzhak Rabin in the feature film 7 Days in Entebbe, alongside Rosamund Pike and Daniel Brühl. Most recently, Ashkenazi directed the feature film Perfect Strangers ,anIsraeli adaptation of a 2016 Italian film of the same name. He can currently be seen as a series regular on Netflix’s “Hit & Run,” alongside Lior Raz and Sanaa Lathan. Ashkenazi starred opposite Richard Gere in Joseph Cedar’s 2016 feature Norman, playing Israel’s humble, youthful and inspiring prime minister. In 2013 he played a disturbed, violent cop in the Israeli thriller Big Bad Wolves, which received widespread international acclaim. In 2011 Ashkenazi won the Israeli Film Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in Joseph Cedar’s Footnote, which was nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars. Ashkenazi also won the 2001 Israeli Film Academy Award for Best Actor for his breakthrough role in Dover Koshashvili’s Late Marriage. On the small screen Ashkenazi starred in Israel’s “In Therapy,” which was later adapted as HBO’s “In Treatment” in the U.S. Ashkenazi can also be seen in HBO’s “Our Boys” and he was a series regular in the HBO Max original “Valley of Tears.