Virginia Festival of Jewish Film’s BIG Saturday Night: Focus on Israeli photographer Amos Nachoum

January 18, 2020

What’s Happening

4,000 people have summited Mount Everest, 12 people have walked on the moon, 5 people have ever dived with polar bears, and one of them will be in Virginia Beach.

Saturday, February 22, 8 pm
Sandler Center for the Performing Arts
Tickets $35 or under 21, FREE

The BIG Saturday Night Celebration of Jewish Film and Champagne Reception features a screening of the award-winning documentary, Picture of His Life, followed by a discussion with director Dani Menkin and environmental activist and world-renowned wildlife photographer Amos Nachoum. It concludes with a champagne toast.

The annual Patricia & Avraham Ashkenazi and Alma & Howard Laderberg Virginia Festival of Jewish Film will celebrate its 27th year with a fantastic lineup of films, offering something for everyone. As in years past, the BIG Saturday Night event will focus on an Israeli story. This year, the story is about of one of the greatest underwater photographers of all time, Amos Nachoum.

The film follows Nachoum’s journey as he contemplates the series of unspoken events that drove him to the end of the world in search of fulfilling his goal of being only one of a handful of people in the world who have (fewer than five) swam with and photographed polar bears. More people have landed on the moon. It was a long and painful journey for Nachoum, as the film shares, after serving in an Elite Israeli Commando unit and witnessing the horrors of war, but where others find fear, Nachoum finds redemption.

An internationally-awarded marine and wildlife photographer, dedicated conservationist, and champion of the Earth’s last remaining wild places and species, Nachoum has led numerous National Geographic expeditions. His work, including his underwater photography and films, has been seen in more than 500 publications and on TV in North America, Europe, Israel, Japan, and elsewhere. Nachoum is the founder and president of BigAnimals Global Expeditions, taking small groups of four to six clients to observe, photograph, and responsibly interact with whales, Polar bears, sharks, dolphins and more. He believes that interaction builds understanding and respect for the fragile environment—and that is the secret to its preservation.

With Picture of His Life winning audience awards at four festivals (Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, Syracuse International Film Festival, and Gold Coast International Film Festival) to date, it’s certain to also be a winner with Tidewater’s audience.


The evening is presented in partnership with Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, Simon Family JCC, and community partners’ ninth annual Israel Today. To see a full list of partners and additional visiting experts as part of Israel Today, visit JewishVA.org/IsraelToday or contact Megan Zuckerman, CRC director, at MZuckerman@ujft.org.

To purchase tickets or learn more about the 27th annual Virginia Festival of Jewish Film, for the full lineup of films, visit JewishVA.org/FilmFestival or contact Patty Shelanski, Arts + Ideas manager, at PShelanski@ujft.org.

Letter to the Editor