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Jessica Alpert
Jewish Women in Global Perspective

Steve Hinnefeld
University Communications

Last modified: Thursday, October 2, 2008

Documentary film festival to bring films and filmmakers to IU Bloomington

Oct. 2, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Jewish Women in Global Perspective, a student-produced documentary film festival at Indiana University on Oct. 11-13, will feature free showings of 10 films from around the world and discussions with two award-winning filmmakers.

The festival, at the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St., will feature films that explore Jewish women's identity and authority across cultures, with documentaries set in Israel, Western Europe, South Africa, Pakistan, India and Ecuador, as well as in the United States.

"By showcasing these films and bringing some of their directors to Indiana University, Jewish Women in Global Perspective aims to increase the visibility of independent films by and about Jewish women, to bring international documentary films to a wider American audience, and to demonstrate the professionalism and achievement of women filmmakers from around the globe," said Jessica Alpert, co-producer of the festival.

"A Good Uplift"

A Good Uplift, one of the films that will be shown at the Jewish Women in Global Perspective festival, features Magda, a Jewish grandmother and owner of a lingerie shop on New York's Lower East Side.

Print-Quality Photo

Co-producers and founders Alpert, an IU doctoral student in history, and Devorah Shubowitz, an IU doctoral student in anthropology, came up with the idea for the film festival more than a year ago. They enlisted volunteer help from other IU students, faculty, staff and community members and sponsorship from more than 20 IU departments, programs, centers and offices.

Two directors will be in Bloomington to discuss their award-winning documentaries, which are being shown at the festival. Jennifer Fox, director of Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman, has been featured at festivals around the world, including the Sundance, the International Documentary at Amsterdam, Hot Docs, Thessaloniki and Edinburgh festivals. Faye Lederman, director, producer and writer of A Good Uplift, has had films screened around the world and has been supported by the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Other scheduled films address such topics as pregnancy and childbearing among ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel and Brooklyn, a student's efforts to establish a gay-straight alliance at a Jewish high school in the Boston area, and the careers of great women comic performers from Fanny Brice and Sophie Tucker to Gilda Radner and Wendy Wasserstein.

IU faculty members and Bloomington community members will serve as panelists for discussions of films being shown at the festival.

Founded in 2007, Jewish Women in Global Perspective seeks to foster a pluralistic conversation about women's identity, establish grounds for comparative study of authority between Jewish women and women who identify with various groups, counter stereotypical representation of Jewish women in film and television, and increase the visibility of independent documentaries by women.

For a complete schedule and details about the films and discussions, see the Jewish Women in Global Perspective Web site, For more information, contact Jessica Alpert at