For years, Long Island’s Jewish Film Festival hosted by the Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach has been a community staple. Many of the latest Jewish and Israeli films would first come to the Hamptons for their U.S. debut before going to other cities throughout the country.
This year, due to COVID-19, synagogue leadership had to get creative as they wanted to continue with the festival but to do so in a manner that would be safe for all participants. As a result they decided to take it in a new direction — a drive-in movie series.
The festival launched the first weekend in July and instead of taking place in the synagogue’s theater as in the past, it is now taking place it at Francis Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach.
The films air each Sunday evening through Labor Day and begin at 8:30 p.m.
On Sunday, August 2, “Standing Up Falling Down” will be screened. The comedy film, directed by Matt Ratner and written by Peter Hoare, stars Billy Crystal as a struggling stand-up comedian forced to move back home with his tail between his legs, and his new friend, an alcoholic dermatologist. The film also features Ben Schwartz and Eloise Mumford.
The rest of the schedule:
August 9 — Set against the enchanting backdrop of 1960s Brooklyn, Albert Dabah and Brian Drillinger’s “Extra Innings” tell the story of a young man who is caught between pursuing his dream of playing baseball and staying devoted to his Syrian Jewish family that is afflicted with mental illness.
August 16 — Dani Menkin’s film “Aulcie” tells the inspiring story of Aulcie Perry, a basketball legend who led Maccabi Tel Aviv to an upset win in the European Championship in the 1970s.
August 23 — Oscar Tod Lending’s documentary “Saul & Ruby, To Life!” is full of comedy and tragedy as it follows 94-year-old Saul and 90-year-old Ruby, Holocaust survivors and musicians with an insatiable lust for life, as they pursue their ultimate goal of paying tribute to their loved ones.
August 30 — Directed by Chris Weitz, “Operation Finale” is a historical thriller based on the story of how 15 years after WWII, a group of Israeli secret agents arrested notorious SS officer Adolf Eichmann — the man who masterminded the “Final Solution” — in Argentina.
September 6 — “Spider in the Web,” a 2019 spy thriller directed by Eran Riklis and starring Ben Kingsley, focuses on a young operative who is sent on a mission to follow an older agent, whose behavior has come into question.
Admission is free, but reservations should be made by calling the synagogue at 631-288-0534. For more information visit thehamptonsynagogue.org.