ELLEN WEDNER NAMED NEW DIRECTOR OF THE PALM BEACH JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL
Wedner previously led the Miami Jewish Film Festival, established two film festivals prior to role at one of the largest Jewish film festivals in Florida
PALM BEACH GARDENS (September, 2013) – Ellen Wedner, a veteran event planner and television producer with more than 35 years of experience, has been named Director of the renowned Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival, one of the largest Jewish film festivals in Florida. Held annually, the 2013 festival featured 39 films, documentaries and shorts viewed by more than 13,000 throughout Palm Beach County. Wedner, who has been a fixture in the South Florida arts and non-profit community for more than 20 years, will oversee the 24th Annual Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival planned for January 16-26, 2014. A complete list of films, locations and ticket information will be announced in the fall.
“The festival is at a pivotal point where we have experienced a tremendous surge in attendance and viewing locations in the past few years,” said Mindy Hanken, Mandel JCC director. “Ellen has the quintessential mix of experience, passion and vision to continue that momentum and take it to the next level, where we can further broaden our audience, in both size and demographics, and continue to deliver high-caliber, Jewish films that educate, inspire and entertain. She has worked with Time Warner, CBS Radio, and the cable TV industry in everything from TV production to cable management. I’m confident this will help lead the festival to an even more successful future.”
Wedner’s passion for film led her to create two film festivals in the Miami area; KidFlix and the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, now in its 16th year. KidFlix is a film festival geared toward a wide age range of kids from toddlers to age 12. Under Wedner’s leadership, the Miami Jewish Film Festival was voted Best Film Festival 2009 by Miami New Times.
Previously, Wedner served as Managing Director of the Miami International Film Festival, overseeing all operations such as guest relations, events and the technical aspect of screenings. Also notable was her role as Artistic Director of the Fire Island Pines International Film Festival in 2010.
Wedner most recently ran her highly successful special events, marketing and management firm, Wedner & Friends. Her clients included the Miami Jewish Film Festival, the Miami International Film Festival, the City of Miami Beach, the American Red Cross, the Fire Island Pines Arts Project, the City of Wilton Manors, the South Beach AIDS Project, the Miami Beach Botanical Garden and the Stonewall National Museum & Archives.
Prior to starting her special events firm, her background encompassed more than two decades of cable, radio and television expertise, earning her two Cable Ace nominations for Time-Warner Cable and six Cable Ace Nominations and two Cable Ace wins for Dynamic Cable. Previously, she was an executive producer of local programming at Time-Warner Cable in New York City, where she wrote and directed programs and oversaw all facets of production, including serving as television show producer for Realty Views, a weekly New York lifestyle talk show.
As a producer for her eponymous Ellen Wedner Productions in New York, NY, she produced the feature film Beware Children at Play, in addition to organizing logistics for the Vassar Film Festival. Prior to that, she was the international account executive for Laser 558 radio, New York and London, and the national account executive for Cableshop in New York. Her significant television, radio and cable tenure also includes promotions director for CBS Radio in New York.
Wedner earned her Bachelor of Science from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA., concentrating in communications, drama and art history. A long-time supporter of the arts and non-profit community, she serves as board chairman for Creative Arts Enterprises and is a former board member of South Florida Dance for Life, the Dade Cultural Alliance and the Miami Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
More about the Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival
The Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival is the longest-running, largest festival of its kind in Florida. The festival examines Jewish culture, history, and religious, social, political issues through international, Israeli, and independent films not typically seen in local, mainstream theaters. These first run films are sourced from the Berlin and Israel film industries and screened at the Festival before national release. Many of the films screened have won Academy Awards and Golden Globes.
Through the Film Festival, the JCC builds bridges between divergent community groups by bringing film lovers together and offers a welcoming gateway to understanding and embracing Judaism and Jewish heritage.
o The 2014 Festival celebrates 24 years of provocative international Jewish films
o Explosive growth: more than 13,000 viewers in 2013
o The 12-day festival is held in locations throughout Palm Beach County:
o Palm Beach Gardens
o Palm Beach
o Delray Beach
For more information about the Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival, visit pbjff.org.
For more information about the JCC, visit www.jcconline.com.
The mission of the Jewish Community Center of the Greater Palm Beaches is to help create a strong Jewish community by providing high quality programs close to where people live that connect people to Jewish Life.
The JCC is a partner agency of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County.