The Bradenton-Sarasota area hosts several film festivals, but perhaps the most distinctive is the Milman-Kover Film festival, which presents acclaimed films that deal with different aspects of the Jewish experience.
This year's festival, the seventh annual, starts March 6 and features nine films.
"Beneath the Helmet" is a documentary that follows the journey of five Israeli high-school graduates who are drafted into the Israeli Defense Forces.
"Magic Men" is a feature about a jaded Holocaust survivor who returns to his native Greece to find the man who protected him and taught him magic during WWII.
"Apples from the Desert" is a story of tradition versus modernity.
"24 Days" is based on the true story of the 2006 kidnapping of a young French Jew.
"To Life" is a drama about the relationship between an aging Jewish cabaret singer and Holocaust survivor and a young non-Jewish man on the run.
"Besa - The Promise" is a documentary about Albanian Muslims who rescued Jews during the Holocaust.
"Once in a Lifetime" is a fact-based story of a dedicated history teacher at a Paris high school who decides to challenge her apathetic, ethnically-diverse students with a unique assignment: A national competition on the theme of the child victims of the Nazi concentration camps.
"A Borrowed Identity" is a narrative film set in the 1980s and '90s about a young man going through personal transitions against a background of cultural flux in Israel.
"On the Map" is a documentary (called a "work in progress") about the Maccabi Tel Aviv professional basketball team that toppled the four-time defending European Champion, the Russian Army Team.
Details: March 6-13, various locations in Sarasota. Times: various. Tickets: $10 for each film; opening night film and reception $26. Festival pass $100. Information: 941-371-4546, jfedsrq.org.
-- Marty Clear