There are more films screening at the San Diego Jewish Film Festival than we could even begin to list here. But, we can certainly point you to some good ones to check out, like 55 Socks, the animated short based on Marie Jacobs' poem and drawn by Oscar winner Co Hoederman. Or, Battle for Brooklyn, about an activist who fought to save his apartment building—and other beloved buildings near Prospect Park—from demolition to make way for a new pro basketball arena. Hitler's Children is about just that—what life is like for the offspring of some of the most reviled people in history. Get a synopsis of each film (and, in some cases, a full trailer) at the film fest's website. A festival pass will set you back $210, or you can get a six-film pass for $70. Individual tickets are available, too. Most films are screening at the Clairemont Reading 14, though there are a handful of other locations for select films and festival-related events happening Thursday, Feb. 7 through Sunday, Feb 17.
On Saturday, Feb. 9, we're recommending you head on up (or down) to La Jolla for Solus Voices, an exhibition of new works at Thumbprint Gallery (920 Kline St.) by three artists we dig a lot: Pamela Jaeger, Brian Dombrowsky and Paul Brogden. Jaeger creates seductive, dreamlike paintings that are a perfect balance of beautiful and eerie. Dombrowsky, who often exhibits his work alongside Jaeger's, is a trained sculptor who's translated his skills to his paintings. Or, as he puts it eloquently on his website: "Now I carve lines and manipulate space on canvas, to tell a story, make a suggestion, plant a seed, hold a mirror." And Brogden alone is worth a trip to Thumbprint—his art career was almost ended by a car accident that left him with limited use of his hands, but you wouldn't know it by looking at his bold, pop-surrealistic paintings. An opening exhibition takes place from 5 to 10 p.m. and the works will be on display through March 3.
Digable New Year
People are often surprised by the fact that Tijuana has a fairly large Chinese community. Their presence is another cultural layer that makes the city so vibrant and interesting. It also makes it more delicious—there are some great Chinese restaurants in Tijuana. Join Turista Libre to ring in the Chinese New Year TJ style on Saturday, Feb. 9. Your $45 ticket gets you a progressive meal that highlights the city's tasty Chinese eateries and includes stops at a local Asian market and at the Asocación Colonia China, a Mandarin-language school. Your adventure will cap off with a drink at La Mija, the Asian-themed backroom discotheque of one of TJ’s best bars, La Mezcalera, described as "on par with a Shenzhen opium den." No need to worry about the border wait. Just walk over the border to the Tijuana side and the Turista Libre party bus will take you to the fun and ensure your safe return. Pack your passport. The tour starts at noon and ends at around 8 p.m. Get more info here.
The Oscar for short animation was first introduced at the fifth Academy Awards back in 1932 and Walt Disney won it the first eight years in a row. Thankfully, the cartoon as an art form has grown over the last 80 years, leading to a diverse range of independent animators taking home the prize. Not a small amount of the credit is due to the support of Craig "Spike" Decker and Mike Gribble, who founded “Spike and Mike’s Festival of Animation” way back in 1983. From Saturday, Feb. 9, through Friday, March 22, the festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary at the Museum of Contemporary Art's La Jolla location (700 Prospect St.). The show is appropriate for children 10 and up (i.e. this isn’t the “Sick & Twisted” festival) and features a long list of Oscar winners and nominees, including Aardman Animation's 1989 “Creature Comforts” (which spun off into its own series) and Bill Plympton’s 2004 “Guard Dog.” Tickets are $15 at the box office.