On February 15, 2005, our dear friend Madelyn Osur lost her battle with breast cancer. Madelyn had been an active member of the Festival’s Operations Committee for the past ten years, served on the Board for seven years, and for the past five years served as Chair of the Film Selection Committee. In her memory, one film is selected each year from the Festival line up that we feel best exemplifies Madelyn’s spirit – her zest for life, her caring and generous nature, and her ever-optimistic attitude.
“Madelyn loved films that were a poignant, but never sloppy, examination of the human condition–from a woman’s perspective. Films that explored relationships–especially between women, most especially between mothers and daughters–were high on her list as were films on subjects of personal interest–dance, animals (especially cats), and anything Jewish. If it was a little quirky or unusual, that was good, too. She gravitated toward the new take on everyday life realities and honest treatment of universal truths. No matter the subject, however, Madelyn never compromised her commitment to excellence in filmmaking and film quality in choosing festival films.” – Jody Alyn, Board Member.
It is our hope that with every “Madelyn’s Choice” selection we are all reminded of the kind of person she was, the values she held, and the unparalleled commitment she had to not only this event, but to everything in her life.
From Schubert to Strauss, Bach to Brahms, Mozart to…Billy Joel, Itzhak Perlman’s violin playing transcends mere performance to evoke the celebrations and struggles of real life; “praying with the violin,” says renowned Tel Aviv violinmaker Amnon Weinstein. Alison Chernick’s enchanting documentary looks beyond the sublime musician to see the polio survivor whose parents emigrated from Poland to Israel, and the young man who struggled to be taken seriously as a music student when schools saw only his disability. Itzhak himself is funny, irreverent and self-deprecating, and here his life story unspools in conversations with masterful musicians, family and friends, and most endearingly his devoted wife of 50 years. As charming and entrancing as the famous violinist himself, ITZHAK is a portrait of musical virtuosity seamlessly enclosed in warmth, humor, and above all, love.