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About The Film

Presales have ended | Standby tickets released before the show only (first come). Arrive early. Get in standby line.

  • Want to avoid festival standby lines and possible disappointment? AARP is hosting a FREE screening of BIG SONIA, Mon, April 3, 3:30 pm @The Egyptian Theater. RSVP Required! Space Limited. First come.
  • Also, join Sonia and her granddaughter filmmaker Leah Warshawski at the Holocaust Center for Humanity's Lunch and Learn. More info...

Holocaust survivor. Storyteller extraordinaire. Diminutive diva. Big impact. For years, 91-year-old Sonia Warshawski has been an inspirational speaker to teenagers in public schools and convicts in prison, telling her harrowing tales, and six days a week she keeps busy ministering to countless customers in her withering-on-the-vine tailor shop located in a deserted mall in suburban Kansas City. Handed an eviction notice, Sonia—standing at 4’8” in leopard print and high heels with a towering personality to match, earning her the nickname “Big Sonia”—struggles with the notion of retirement and insignificance. BIG SONIA received the Seattle International Film Festival True Productions Filmmaking Grant, was nominated for the AARP Movies for Grownups Award 2017, and won both jury and audience prize for best documentary feature at the Napa Valley Film Festival 2016.

Special Guests: Sonia Warshawski and Regina Kort (her eldest daughter), Morrie Warshawski (her son), and filmmakers Leah Warshawski (her granddaughter) and Todd Soliday.

Directors Bio

Producer/Director Bios: Leah Warshawski is Sonia’s granddaughter, and with husband Todd Soliday the Seattle-based couple specializes in documentary storytelling in remote parts of the world for commercials, features, branded entertainment and reality shows.  Their last film, the award-winning documentary FINDING HILLYWOOD (2013) about Rwanda’s burgeoning film industry, premiered at SIFF in 2013. 

Big Sonia poster

Film Details:

Director: Todd Soliday, Leah Warshawski
Country: USA
Language: English
Running Time: 93m
Year: 2016
Genre: Documentary
Official Website


  • Family-Friendly Stories
  • Holocaust
  • Holocaust survivors
  • Aging
  • Women’s issues
  • Origins research

Rating/Warning: PG

  • Adult themes


About The Filmfacebook-rsvp

ON THE MAP combines pulse-pounding, nail-biting sports action with a Cold War chill in this fast-moving documentary that captures the spirit of an Israeli nation triumphant against all odds that will rivet sports and non-sports buffs alike. In 1977, while Israel was still reeling from years of war and terrorism, the underdog Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team had a sensational season that inspired the beleaguered nation, drew the active interest of leader Moshe Dayan, and culminated in a dramatic, high-stakes match against four-time defending European champions, CSKA Moscow (aka “the Red Army”). The tense game captivated every Israeli. Maccabi’s shocking, emotional victory forever altered Israel’s self-image and psychology, and Israel-American team hero, Tal Brody’s statement resonated with Jews the world over: “Israel is on the map—not just in sport, but in everything.” Told through the eyes of six reunited American basketball players who played for Maccabi and exciting archival game footage, ON THE MAP also features interviews with basketball icon Bill Walton, former NBA Commissioner David Stern, former Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, and former refusenik Natan Sharansky.


Menkin headshot

Dani Menkin’s films include documentaries 39 POUNDS OF LOVE (SJFF 2006 Audience Choice Award Winner for Best Doc) and DOLPHIN BOY (SJFF 2012) and the delightful narrative feature IS THAT YOU? His current projects include a documentary about wildlife photographer Amos Nachoum and a biopic about basketball star Aulcie Perry (who plays a prominent role in ON THE MAP).

On the Map poster

Film Details:

Director: Dani Menkin
Country: USA
Language: English
Running Time: 85m
Year: 2016
Genre: Documentary
Official Website


  • Family-Friendly 
  • Sports
  • Politics
  • Cold War
  • USSR
  • Israel

Rating/Warning: G

2017 SJFF Sponsors

About the Event

It unites. It divides. It's delicious. Travel around the world across religious and cultural divides to discover the origins of hummus in this eclectic, touching film about the delicious superfood sweeping across America. Join us before for a hummus cooking class taste-off or buy a ticket for film only.

Hummus poster


Director: Oren Rosenfeld
Country: Israel
Language: Hebrew w/subtitles
Running Time: 90m
Year: 2015
Genre: Documentary


  • Culinary
  • Israel-Arab Relations
  • History
  • Personal Stories


Pre-Valentine's Matinee

The announcement of a first-of-its-kind speed dating event exclusively for 70- to 90-year-olds spurs a diverse group of seniors to take stock of their aging bodies and still-hopeful hearts in this playful and poignant documentary. Come early (with our without a date) for happy hour before the film.

age of love poster


Director: Steven Loring
Country: USA
Language: English
Running Time: 79m
Year: 2014
Genre: Documentary. Romance



About the Event

"A Festivus for the rest of us!" Chinese food and a movie. 

Join us for a night of "kung powerful" cinema, community, and holiday family fun JCC style featuring NOODLE, winner of the 2008 Seattle Jewish Film Festival Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film. Flight attendant Miri’s life has been crumbling around her for years and she wants nothing more than to be left alone, but things take a dramatic turn when her Chinese housekeeper asks her to watch her young son for "only one hour." Despite the language barrier, Miri tries to reunite the boy she affectionately calls “Noodle” with his mother.

NOODLE is a touching, light-hearted story about the importance of family and emotional healing. Dinner included. Rec: Ages 8+ (b/c film is subtitled).

Noodle poster


Director: Ayelet Menahemi
Country: Israel
Language: Hebrew, Mandarin w/subtitles
Running Time: 90m
Year: 2007
Genre: Comedy, Drama


  • Ages 8+ (b/c film is subtitled)
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