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Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan Announces 14th Annual Other Israel Film Festival

The week-long festival will take place online from December 3 - 10, 2020.

The Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan announces the lineup for its 14th Annual Other Israel Film Festival, which will virtually highlight some of the top cinema from Israel, coupled with meaningful discussion on the future of the region. The week-long festival will take place online from December 3 - 10, 2020.

Over 24 feature length and short films will be available for ticket holders to stream during the festival, examining timely and impactful themes such as Israel and the Diaspora, Israel and the military, education, Israeli leaders, and more. Screenings of award-winning international films such as 'Til Kingdom Come and Kings of Capitol Hill will be accompanied by notable guests and interactive conversations.

The Other Israel Film Festival, founded in 2007, presents high-quality cinema that inspires conversation and takes an in-depth look into Israeli and Palestinian societies and underrepresented populations in Israel. The festival explores human stories and social issues for Israel and its neighbors through dramatic and documentary films, as well as panels and events about history, culture, and identity. With partner organizations New Israel Fund, Encounter, J-Street, and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues, the festival aims to engage the community, deepen its views, challenge its perspectives, and drive it to action.

The festival brings new perspectives into the realities of Israel and Palestine. Highlights from the

14th Annual Other Israel Film Festival Include feature films such as One Hundred Percent,

winner of the best documentary award at the Jerusalem Film Festival, which follows a small school in a marginalized Druze village with the highest graduation rate in the country. Legendary director Amos Gitai will feature his latest film, Laila in Haifa which premiered at this year's Venice Film Festival and tells the story of one night in the multicultural city of Haifa. The festival will also re-examine Israeli political history with films like the NY premiere of Golda, which scrutinizes some of the critical decisions made by the legendary leader, Golda Meir; and The Prophet, about the controversial right wing leader Rabbi Meir Kahane. The delicate relationship between America and Israel is highlighted in a few films such as Kings of Capitol Hill, which follows the polarization of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC; and 'Til Kingdom Come, which takes an in-depth look at the American Evangelical support of Israel.

"Through dozens of films and conversations, Other Israel will take a deep dive into Israel's Arab and other underrepresented populations," says Carole Zabar, founder of the festival. "We present other narratives and new perspectives with the hope of enlightening and challenging our audiences."

Along with the on-demand screenings, the festival will feature Q&As with the filmmakers and panel discussions to create a welcoming dialogue about underrepresented populations, the Middle East conflict, and more.

"This year's lineup is our most diverse to date, and we will explore Israeli society like never before," says Isaac Zablocki, director of the festival. "This is the third film festival that the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan is running virtually, and we are excited to use technology to take our community and the conversation to new levels."

The full, week-long festival ticket pass is available for an early bird price of $75 (regular price $90) and includes access to all conversations and films, which can be streamed on demand during the event. Access to individual screenings is $11 per film ($13 regular price). Below is the full lineup of films. Conversations, guest speakers, and film schedule to be announced shortly. For more information about films and purchasing tickets, visit www.otherisrael.org.

FEATURES

A Common Goal

Dir. Shuki Gozhik

Israel | 2020 | 52 min |Doc

Almost half the players on the Israeli National Soccer Team are Muslim, including the captain. The team's diverse group of players causes controversy, especially during an important European tournament, most of it provoked by racist fans and the media. The players have their loyalty questioned by all sides while trying to guide Israel's national team through the year's biggest international challenge.

Crossings

Dir. Itzik Lerner

Israel | 2020 | 88 min | Doc

An in-depth look into the training and activity of soldiers serving at the controversial checkpoints between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. For the first time in their lives, these young Israelis must play a direct role in the conflict. This behind-the-scenes perspective is a glimpse into the process and feelings of the soldiers.

Golda

Dir. Sagi Bornstein, Udi Nir, and Shani Rozanes

Israel/Germany | 2019 | 85 min | Doc

Shortly before her passing, Golda Meir was interviewed for Israeli television. After the filming ended, the cameras kept rolling, recording an intimate talk with the first and only woman to ever rule Israel. As she lit one cigarette after the other, Golda spoke freely, pleading her case for her term as Prime Minister-five turbulent years that secured her place in history, albeit at a high personal cost.

Kings of Capitol Hill

Dir. Mor Loushy

Israel | 2020 | 90 min | Doc

AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) is the spearhead of the pro-Israeli lobby in the US. What started out as a liberal grassroots organization has become one of the most influential lobby organizations in America. For the past 60 years, AIPAC has maintained a strict "no interview" policy. Now, for the first time, its founding fathers are speaking out, granting full access to the untold story of the organization and to the turbulent relationship between Israel and the US.

Ma'abarot

Dir. Dina Zvi Riklis

Israel | 2019 | 84 min | Doc

The Israeli transit camps of the 1950s were a controversial enterprise, housing hundreds of thousands of new immigrants from different parts of the world, transitioning them into becoming part of the Israeli cultural tapestry. The film unravels multiple stories of the camp residents, examining and discovering many surprising new details while shattering stereotypes prevalent in the current Israeli consciousness.

Objector

Dir. Molly Stuart

Israel/Palestine | 2019 | 75 min | Doc

Like all Israeli youth, Atalya is obligated to become a soldier. Unlike most, she questions the practices of her country's military, and becomes determined to challenge this rite of passage. Despite her family's political disagreements and the possibility of social backlash and imprisonment, she refuses military duty and takes a stand for justice.

One Hundred Percent

Dir. Yael Kipper, Ronen Zaretzky

Israel | 2019 | 70 min | Doc

The Druze are an Arabic-speaking religious population scattered around the Middle East that frequently experiences systemic discrimination. The Druze village of Beit Jann has the highest rate of high school graduates in Israel. Until recently, the school had only a 12 percent graduation rate, but now, through dedicated educators, it has climbed to 100 percent. But is this goal worth the extreme measures that are being taken? Do the students possess a real chance for a better future? This is the story of a closed society trying to navigate a changing reality.

One More Jump

Dir. Emanuele Gerosa

Italy/Switzerland/Lebanon | 2019 | 83 min | Doc

Abdallah and Jehad are athletes and old friends from Gaza whose choices have led them down diverging paths. Abdallah has managed to escape to Italy to pursue his professional parkour career. Jehad still lives in Gaza, caring for his family and training young athletes who see sports as a means of hope and release amidst the conflict.

The Prophet

Dir. Ilan Rubin Fields

Israel | 2019 | 68 min | Doc

The story of Israel's most radical politician, Rabbi Meir Kahane. The American rabbi's teachings remain one of the largest influences of Israel's right wing. Today, thirty years after Kahane himself was barred from Israeli parliament, "Kahanism'' has seeped into Israeli society, and Kahane's prophecy about the divide between Judaism and democracy echoes today in the Knesset halls.

'Til Kingdom Come

Dir. Maya Zinshtein

Israel/UK/Norway | 2020 | 76 min | Doc

Millions of American Evangelicals are praying for the State of Israel. Pastors encourage an impoverished Kentucky community, "the forgotten people of America," to donate to Israel in anticipation of Jesus's impending return. A deep look into the controversial bond between Evangelicals and Jews, in a story of faith, power, and money, revealing how America's Right is led by an end-times apocalyptic countdown.

My Dearest Enemy

Dir. Zipora Trope

Israel | 2020 | 100 min | Narrative

The story of a friendship between two women-Alice, a Palestinian-Israeli professor, and Maya, a Jewish-Israeli artist. The two women met in Jerusalem as young girls, but grew up taking very different paths.The film spans over 25 years as they struggle to keep their friendship in the midst of their communities' ever growing conflict.

Laila in Haifa

Dir. Amos Gitai

Israel/France | 2020 | 99 min | Narrative

One fateful night in a club in the diverse port city of Haifa, the interweaving stories of five women come together. The film presents a snapshot of contemporary life in one of the last remaining spaces where Israelis and Palestinians come together to engage in face-to-face relationships.

SHORTS

Birth Right

Dir. Inbar Horesh

Israel | 2019 | 25 min | Narrative

Natasha is participating in a trip to Israel organized to encourage immigration of descendants of Jews. The group arrives at a Bedouin camp in the desert, where two soldiers join them for the night.

Cinema Rex

Dir. Mayan Engelman and Eliran Peled

Israel | 2020 | 7 min | Narrative, Animated

A young Arab girl and a Jewish boy are swept away together by the magic of film in 1938 Jerusalem.

Home Constructors

Dir. Nitzan Rozen

Israel | 2019 | 4 min | Doc

Five Palestinian workers try to find their place alongside their Jewish-Israeli manager during Israel's Memorial Day. Another worker who is a refugee from Darfur brings yet another level of complexity to this somber day.

Image of Victory

Dir. Adi Mishnayot

Israel | 2019 | 25 min | Doc

In 2014, Israel is at war in Gaza. Uri, a wounded Israeli soldier, is rushed to the hospital where he finds himself unwillingly turned into a war hero. A critical look into the Israeli perceptions of glorification of war and heroism.

Jegna

Dir. Gal Sagy

Israel | 2019 | 9 min | Narrative

While her family is away, Michal, a 17-year-old Ethiopian-Israeli girl, looks after her 76-year-old grandmother, Tata, who has dementia. When Michal receives a surprising text saying that her boyfriend has been given leave from the army, she considers changing her plans.

Listening In

Dir. Omer Sterenberg

Israel | 2019 | 11 min | Narrative

A soldier in an IDF intelligence unit eavesdrops on a gay Palestinian couple. The complicated relationship between the two fascinates the soldier, and forces him to confront his own sexual identity. Will his feelings conflict with his duty?

Shlomo

Dir. Ya'aqov Yamsa

Israel | 2019 | 8 min | Narrative

Shlomo is an Ethiopian-Israeli struggling to handle intimacy with his girlfriend while dealing with a past trauma. After a dispute with an African migrant, he realizes that only by facing his fear will he get a chance to turn things around.

Sofa So Good

Dir. Noa Osheroff

USA | 2020 | 12 min | Narrative

In the streets of New York, a young woman is relentlessly, stubbornly and desperately looking for a sofa.

Soft Grass

Dir. Shadi Habib Allah

Israel | 2020 | 15 min | Narrative

Hussein lives in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, and is in desperate need of solace. On the morning of his father's funeral, his pet deer runs amok, all while the funeral procession is held up at a checkpoint.

Swing

Dir. Shadi Habib Allah

Israel | 2017 | 11 min | Narrative
Brother and sister Muhand and Rasha move to a new village, and are subjected to ridicule and scorn because the local children know that their mother was murdered by their father in an "honor killing."

The Present

Dir. Farah Nabulsi

Palestine | 2019 | 24 min | Narrative

Yusef and his daughter Yasmine set out to buy his wife an anniversary gift. Between the soldiers, segregated roads, and checkpoints, how hard can it be to go shopping?

White Eye

Dir. Tomer Shushan

Israel | 2020 | 20 min | Narrative

A man finds out that his stolen bicycle now belongs to a stranger. In his attempts to retrieve his bicycle, he struggles to retain his humanity.




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