Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival now underway

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -The Greater Phoenix Jewish Film festival is now underway in Harkins theaters around the Valley. This year's event features 11 films  chosen from entries all over the world.

This is the 17th year for the film festival. Organizers say they hope to increase awareness of the variety and richness of Jewish culture among all residents of the Valley of the Sun.

The films don't just focus on religion or the Holocaust. While the Festival embraces those subjects, you'll also find many other film genres, including romantic comedies, music documentaries and LGBT dramas.

Film festival execs are showcasing diversity this year, with the selection of film-fest favorite "Melting Away." The film marks the first time in Israeli cinema that a feature film depicts parents learning to deal with a transgendered child.

It will play at all three festival locations and feature post-screening discussions with local religious and community leaders.

Executive director Jerry Mittelman encourages both Jewish and non-Jewish film-goers to attend the event. "Its purpose is really to show slices of Jewish life to the entire community, not just to the Jewish community," he says.

The festival runs through Feb. 24 at Chandler Crossroads 12, Camelview 5 in Scottsdale and Arrowhead Fountains 18 in Peoria.

For information on movies, tickets and showtimes, you can visit the event's website.

Admission is $10 for adults if you purchase your ticket ahead of time. The price is $11 at the door. Students are offered a special rate, at just $5 per film.