For five years, the Columbus Jewish Film Festival has presented a wide assortment of independent and foreign Jewish films, and an excuse to visit a variety of theaters and arts sites around the city. The 2009 program of 10 movies keeps a good thing going, bookended by stories of children suddenly without their parents.

For five years, the Columbus Jewish Film Festival has presented a wide assortment of independent and foreign Jewish films, and an excuse to visit a variety of theaters and arts sites around the city. The 2009 program of 10 movies keeps a good thing going, bookended by stories of children suddenly without their parents.

Opening-night film Noodle, screening Saturday at CCAD's Canzani Center, follows the efforts of an El Al flight attendant to reunite the abandoned son of a Chinese migrant worker with his mother - complicated by her growing attachment to the boy.

The following Thursday at the Arena Grand, the fest closes with the critically acclaimed The Year My Parents Went on Vacation, in which a 12-year-old soccer nut's parents take off mysteriously and he's left with a neighbor of his dead grandfather in a Jewish neighborhood of Sao Paolo.

In between, highlights include The Deal, a behind-the-scenes Hollywood comedy that has Meg Ryan and William H. Macy sparring romantically; Surfwise, Doug Pray's documentary about Doc Paskowitz and the ascetic, nomadic, surfing lifestyle he created for his family of 11; and Waiting for Armageddon, a doc that explores the potentially explosive connection between Israel and Evangelical Christians.

A panel discussion follows the film's Tuesday screening at the Columbus Museum of Art.

To watch a selection of trailers from the Columbus Jewish Film Festival, click to the Bad and the Beautiful blog.