Jay Allen Sanford 11 a.m., Feb. 14
Documentary pays tribute to one of Hollywood's founding fathers. San Diego Jewish Film Festival: Carl Laemmle
Outside of a small chain of SoCal art houses that bear his family name, Carl Laemmle is an all but forgotten footnote in the annals of cinema. James J. Friedman’s illuminating documentary is hell-bent on sounding a clarion call to acquaint the unfamiliar with the Laemmle legacy. Laemmle emigrated to America before there was an Ellis Island. A pioneering studio head, his insistence on assigning billing to his players gave rise to the star system. Without his “Universal Horrors,” moviegoers might never have gasped at the sight of Karloff or Lugosi. (Next time you visit Universal City, remember it was he who first invited the paying public to tour the studio.) Laemmle earned the sobriquet “Uncle” Carl for the familial approach he took to running Universal Pictures, not to mention his proneness to padding the payroll to include as many relatives as possible. This proved Schindler-worthy when, years later, mishpucha found the guaranteed employment needed in order to emigrate from Nazi Germany. (Laemmle is credited with saving over 300 families.) The director will be present for a post-show discussion. — Scott Marks
- When: Sunday, February 17, 2019, 1:30 p.m.