In celebration of the 20th Jewish Film Festival Berlin & Potsdam, Ambassador John B. Emerson invited over 100 guests to a reception in his residence in Berlin-Dahlem on Saturday, March 29, 2014. The reception took place in attendance of U.S. film director, screenwriter, and actor John Turturro, whose new romantic comedy “Fading Gigolo”—starring Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Liev Schreiber, Sofia Vergara, and Vanessa Paradis—inaugurated the film festival one day later at the Hans-Otto-Theater in Potsdam, Brandenburg. “Fading Gigolo” represented the first time ever that a U.S. movie was shown at the festival’s opening since its inception in 1995.
Among the invited guests were well-known German actors and actresses, screenwriters and film directors, such as Yasemin Şamdereli (director of Almanya – Welcome to Germany), the festival godparents Christoph Letkowski and Annika Kuhl, renowned German singer Max Raabe, and also representatives of the Babelsberg film studios, of Berlin and Brandenburg cultural institutions and foundations as well as city representatives.
In his welcome remarks, Ambassador John B. Emerson stressed that the first Jewish film festival was held in San Francisco in 1980 and elaborated on the importance of these international festivals insofar as they convey the diversity of Jewish identity around the world today. He congratulated Ms. Nicola Galliner, the festival director, on the twentieth anniversary of the Jewish Film Festival Berlin and Potsdam, which will run for two weeks until April 13, 2014.