December 20, 2011
By Rebecca Gross
Hank Greenberg, the subject of Aviva Kempner’s documentary The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg. Photo cropped from a posed picture of 1937 Major League Baseball All-Stars in Washington, DC. Image used courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Every year, the Washington Jewish Film Festival (WJFF) exposes the nation?s capital to the history, culture, and traditions of Judaism. The 22nd annual festival, held from December 1-11, was no different. With a special focus this year on women in film, the event screened nearly 50 films throughout the DC area, 19 of which were the work of 16 female filmmakers. Three of these women took part in an informal conversation about the role of Jewish women behind the camera. Panelists included Aviva Kempner, winner of the 2011 WJFF Visionary Award, whose documentaries include Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg, The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, and The Rosenwald Schools; Nina Shapiro-Perl, a current filmmaker-in-residence at American University who produced and directed Through the Eye of the Needle; and Anna Kempner, known for her films Remembrance and Me and Max Minsky. We followed up with the three women via e-mail to hear more about their views on film, culture, and family influence.