About Us

Introducing the Inaugural The Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Film Festival©
presented by MorseLife

Our Mission

The mission of THE DONALD M. EPHRAIM PALM BEACH FILM FESTIVAL© presented by MorseLife is to bring highly anticipated, critically acclaimed and thought-provoking films to Palm Beach County. This festival will present these films alongside exclusive events with actors, directors, and industry guests. The festival’s aim is to showcase Palm Beach as a diverse and cosmopolitan community. As a world-class film festival, THE DONALD M. EPHRAIM PALM BEACH FILM FESTIVAL© represents a major contribution to the cultural life of Palm Beach County.

Festival 2023

In late January-early February, THE DONALD M. EPHRAIM PALM BEACH FILM FESTIVAL© will offer approximately 100 film screenings in this inaugural festival, fostering dialogue and interaction among our attendees and supporters.

We will strive to bring the work of both emerging and established filmmakers from around the world to this festival. The festival will foster collaboration with community partners, diverse populations and student filmmakers so that we can bring a mix voices and perspectives to our film discussions and panels.

The inaugural DONALD M. EPHRAIM PALM BEACH FILM FESTIVAL© is proudly presented by MorseLife Health System. A charitable, not-for-profit organization, MorseLife has built a reputation and tradition of caring for seniors with excellence, dignity and compassion for nearly 40 years and currently serves more than 3,600 seniors daily on its campus in West Palm Beach and through its community outreach programs. With films that reflect its values and commitment to enhancing the lives of the seniors, the festival supports MorseLife’s mission to enrich lives, uplift minds and touch hearts.

Donald M. Ephraim, for whom the festival is named, retired to North Palm Beach in the late 1990s. After spending most of his life as a lawyer in Chicago representing some of the city’s biggest and brightest celebrities, including famous film critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel. For many years Ephraim funded and significantly guided the Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival. He is currently on the Board of Directors of the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County, where he helped in the creation and funding of the forward-leaning Institute for Cultural Advancement and the Donald M. Ephraim Family Gallery.

Founding Festival Director Ellen Wedner has been a fixture in the South Florida arts and non-profit community for over 20 years. She directed the Miami Jewish Film Festival, voted Best Film Festival 2009 by Miami New Times, for ten years before becoming the Festival Director of the Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival for seven years. Wedner’s passion for film led her to create two film festivals in the Miami area: KidFlix Festival for children ages 2-12 and the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (now Outshine Film Festival). Previously, Wedner served as Managing Director of the Miami International Film Festival overseeing all operations such as guest relations, special 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 and 2011. Ms. Wedner is thrilled to be working with Don Ephraim and MorseLife to present a world-class film festival to residents and visitors of Palm Beach County.

About Us

Introducing the Inaugural The Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Film Festival©
presented by MorseLife

Our Mission

The mission of THE DONALD M. EPHRAIM PALM BEACH FILM FESTIVAL© presented by MorseLife is to bring highly anticipated, critically acclaimed and thought-provoking films to Palm Beach County. This festival will present these films alongside exclusive events with actors, directors, and industry guests. The festival’s aim is to showcase Palm Beach as a diverse and cosmopolitan community. As a world-class film festival, THE DONALD M. EPHRAIM PALM BEACH FILM FESTIVAL© represents a major contribution to the cultural life of Palm Beach County.

Festival 2023

In late January-early February, THE DONALD M. EPHRAIM PALM BEACH FILM FESTIVAL© will offer approximately 100 film screenings in this inaugural festival, fostering dialogue and interaction among our attendees and supporters.

We will strive to bring the work of both emerging and established filmmakers from around the world to this festival. The festival will foster collaboration with community partners, diverse populations and student filmmakers so that we can bring a mix voices and perspectives to our film discussions and panels.

The inaugural DONALD M. EPHRAIM PALM BEACH FILM FESTIVAL© is proudly presented by MorseLife Health System. A charitable, not-for-profit organization, MorseLife has built a reputation and tradition of caring for seniors with excellence, dignity and compassion for nearly 40 years and currently serves more than 3,600 seniors daily on its campus in West Palm Beach and through its community outreach programs. With films that reflect its values and commitment to enhancing the lives of the seniors, the festival supports MorseLife’s mission to enrich lives, uplift minds and touch hearts.

Donald M. Ephraim, for whom the festival is named, retired to North Palm Beach in the late 1990s. After spending most of his life as a lawyer in Chicago representing some of the city’s biggest and brightest celebrities, including famous film critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel. For many years Ephraim funded and significantly guided the Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival. He is currently on the Board of Directors of the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County, where he helped in the creation and funding of the forward-leaning Institute for Cultural Advancement and the Donald M. Ephraim Family Gallery.

Founding Festival Director Ellen Wedner has been a fixture in the South Florida arts and non-profit community for over 20 years. She directed the Miami Jewish Film Festival, voted Best Film Festival 2009 by Miami New Times, for ten years before becoming the Festival Director of the Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival for seven years. Wedner’s passion for film led her to create two film festivals in the Miami area: KidFlix Festival for children ages 2-12 and the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (now Outshine Film Festival). Previously, Wedner served as Managing Director of the Miami International Film Festival overseeing all operations such as guest relations, special 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 and 2011. Ms. Wedner is thrilled to be working with Don Ephraim and MorseLife to present a world-class film festival to residents and visitors of Palm Beach County.

Let’s Go to the Movies!

Top 8 Reasons MorseLife Presents The DONALD M. EPHRAIM Palm Beach Film Festival

MorseLife is

MORE personal
Enjoy festival selections that are personally relevant to you.

MORE original
Independent filmmakers lead the way by taking risks and challenging the status quo.

MORE illuminating
Our curated selection of films tells stories that can open our eyes to events in the world’s most remote corners.

MORE social
Like-minded film buffs enjoy screenings, festival events, and related gatherings.

MORE worldly
International selections explore universal themes through a global lens.

MORE access
Our audience and film professionals come together to hear about what’s new and exciting.

MORE diverse
Unique stories on film offer insight into cultures different from our own.

MORE life
The film festival supports MorseLife’s mission to enrich lives and touch the hearts and minds of its community.

Let’s Go to the Movies!

Top 8 Reasons MorseLife Presents The DONALD M. EPHRAIM Palm Beach Film Festival

MorseLife is

MORE personal
Enjoy festival selections that are personally relevant to you.

MORE original
Independent filmmakers lead the way by taking risks and challenging the status quo.

MORE illuminating
Our curated selection of films tells stories that can open our eyes to events in the world’s most remote corners.

MORE social
Like-minded film buffs enjoy screenings, festival events, and related gatherings.

MORE worldly
International selections explore universal themes through a global lens.

MORE access
Our audience and film professionals come together to hear about what’s new and exciting.

MORE diverse
Unique stories on film offer insight into cultures different from our own.

MORE life
The film festival supports MorseLife’s mission to enrich lives and touch the hearts and minds of its community.

MORE personal
Enjoy festival selections that are personally relevant to you.

MORE illuminating
Our curated selection of films tells stories that can open our eyes to events in the world’s most remote corners.

MORE worldly
International selections explore universal themes through a global lens.

MORE diverse
Unique stories on film offer insight into cultures different from our own.

MORE original
Independent filmmakers lead the way by taking risks and challenging the status quo.

MORE social
Like-minded film buffs enjoy screenings, festival events, and related gatherings.

MORE access
Our audience and film professionals come together to hear about what’s new and exciting.

MORE life
The film festival supports MorseLife’s mission to enrich lives and touch the hearts and minds of its community.

SCREENING COMMITTEE

FESTIVAL FOUNDER & CO-CHAIR
DONALD M. EPHRAIM

CO-CHAIR
MIK CRIBBEN

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

DAVID
COHEN

MARJIE
COOPERSMITH

NICK
MARTIN

DEANIE
MELNIKER

TERRI
SRIBERG

CLAIRE
TORNAY

STAFF

ELLEN WEDNER

FESTIVAL DIRECTOR

MELISSA ENGELBERG

MANAGING DIRECTOR