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News Release

CinemaSpace at The Segal Centre for Performing Arts announces busy start to Spring
April 2008

Canadian premiere of Anne and the Reverend (Apr. 30/May 1);
Ralph Benmergui to appear live, May 3

April, 2008 – As a spring awakening returns to Montreal after a record setting winter, so too is the new CinemaSpace at the Segal Centre coming to life with an invigorating schedule of films that includes both the Canadian premiere of Anne and the Reverend and an appearance by Ralph Benmergui to promote his new documentary television series, My Israel.

“We got started at CinemaSpace this winter with a successful collaboration with Les Rendez-vous du cinéma Québécois and the Montreal Human Rights Film Festival and then we got very busy watching a lot of new material to pick what we felt would truly inspire Montrealers to come to the Centre and our brand new CinemaSpace in the spring.” says CinemaSpace director Ezra Soiferman. “We’ve got wonderful films and events to share.”

Indeed, the early spring schedule is highlighted by the screening of a film that could be called the next Paper Clips: Anne and the Reverand (April 30th, May1st). “A reverend from Hiroshima who speaks Hebrew fluently… A museum about the Shoah lost in the middle of the Japanese countryside… Anne and the Reverend is a documentary about Makoto Otsuka, a reverend from Hiroshima, who met Anne Frank's father Otto Frank 30 years ago and ever since then has shared the memory of the Holocaust to Japanese children. Through the portrayal of this man, both funny and moving, Anne and the Reverend presents an unexpected approach to the Shoah and an unknown side of Japan.” Filmmaker Francois Uzan, flying in from France, will be present for a post film Q&A on both nights. This is the Canadian premiere of Anne and the Reverend.

“I'm very excited to share my film with the audience: introducing people to Reverend Otsuka and his amazing work is always a thrill,” said Uzan. “Actually, when I first met him I promised I'd do my best to let as many people as possible know about his museum about Anne Frank and whenever I screen "Anne and the Reverend", I feel like I'm keeping this promise.”

On Saturday, May 3rd, journalist Ralph Benmergui offers a sneak peek at video clips from his new TV series and shares stories of his recent experiences in Israel. “Ralph Benmergui: My Israel, coming to VisionTV on May 5, 6 and 7, is a new, five-part documentary series that looks at the past, present and future of Israel through the eyes of one of Canada’s most renowned journalists. The series brings Ralph, a Moroccan-Canadian Jew, face to face with Israelis from every stratum of society, and shows the Holy Land in ways that few Canadians have been privileged to experience. Broadcast in honour of Israel’s 60th anniversary, the program is a heartfelt exploration of belief and values, ethnicity and identity, conflict and reconciliation in a country coming of age in the 21st Century.”

"I'm very excited about this series and feel that in true Jewish style I've given everyone on this journey a hard time,” Benmergui quipped. “We as Canadians need to talk about Judaism, Israel, and Ashkenazi/Sephardic dialogue. I can't wait to see you all."

Also coming up at CinemaSpace are:

Esti Mayer: Artist. A live lecture on The Holocaust Suite (May 1st at 7pm; Entry is free. Must RSVP for tickets 514-739-7944).

Fundraiser screening of award-winning shorts by students from Tel Aviv University (May 4th, 7:30PM, Must RSVP to Cdn Friends of Tel Aviv U. at 514-344-3417).

S&M: Short and Male - Sneak Preview of Howard Goldberg’s new documentary about short men Tuesday, May 6th, 7pm and 9pm.

Six Days in June - Doc produced by Ina Fichman about 1947 Israeli Six Day War. Thursday, May 8th at 8:30PM.

Baghdad Twist - NFB documentary by Joe Balass about his mother’s reminiscences of growing up Jewish in Iraq. May 14th and 15th, 7pm.

Please see the attached full schedule for dates and times, address and more information.

About CinemaSpace:

CinemaSpace is the Segal Centre’s brand new state-of-the-art screening room. Featuring surround-sound, a high definition projector and 77 plush cinema seats covered in hemp eco-fabric, CinemaSpace is Montreal's brand new boutique film venue. It will host independent film screenings, collaborations with existing film festivals, and much more.