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34th Israel Film Festival Goes Online

The festival takes place from December 13th – 27th.

34th Israel Film Festival Goes Online

The 34th Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles, the largest showcase of Israeli cinema in North America, will be presented exclusively online this year from December 13th - 27th and will be available for Southern California residents. Opening Night Film will be Asia, winner of nine Ophir Awards including Best Film, Best Director for Ruthy Pribar, and Best Supporting Actress for Shira Hass, who was nominated for an Emmy Award for her role in Netflix's Unorthodox. Asia has also been chosen as Israel's official selection for the International Film Category at the 2021 Academy Awards.

This year the Board of Directors of the Israel Film Festival has selected one of their very own to receive the 2020 IFF Lifetime Achievement Award: Meir Fenigstein. As the Festival's founder/executive director, and a highly respected member of the Israeli film community (known under his stage name Poogy, the drummer of the legendary Israeli musical rock band, Kaveret / Poogy), it was solely through Fenigstein's dream, vision, dedication and commitment that the Festival was born and has thrived to bring Israeli cinema to audiences around the world.

"As the world faces enormous disruption and loss, we are humbled at the opportunity to bring the simple pleasure of films and entertainment into people's lives," noted Meir Fenigstein. "While theaters are closed, THE MOVIES of this year's Israel Film Festival offer audiences watching at home a chance to escape for a brief time into the wonders of great storytelling and captivating characters, and to recapture some past favorites."

To coincide with Fenigstein's honor and his 70th birthday, a very special showing of the Kaveret / Poogy Reunion Concert Film, shot in 2013 at two sold-out performances in Tel Aviv's Hayarkon Park with over 100,000 concert goers in

attendance, will be screened at the Opening Night event on December 13, 2020.

This year's Festival edition will allow audiences to virtually discover the very best of new Israeli cinema and rediscover old gems, including award-winning features, documentaries, past Ophir Award winners as well as Q&As with leading filmmakers and talent, announced Meir Fenigstein, founder and executive director of the Israel Film Festival.

Sublet, directed and co-written by Eytan Fox, will have the coveted Festival Centerpiece position. This is Mr. Fox's first English speaking feature length film, starring John Benjamin Hickey (The Good Wife) and Israeli actor Niv Nissim.

Laila in Haifa, Amos Gitai's latest feature film which premiered at the 2020 Venice Film Festival in the Official Competition, will close the Festival with a special screening followed by a Q&A with Mr. Gitai, hosted by Richard Peña, former program director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York.

The Festival will also honor beloved actor, producer, director and prankster Yehuda Barkan, who passed away in October at age 75 from complications of the COVID-19 virus, with a screening of his last acting role in Love in Suspenders, a romantic comedy that shows that love comes in many ages. Barkan was a stalwart of classic Israeli comedy films and a master of practical jokes whose penchant for prank calls helped establish his career 55 years ago.

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