Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles Announces Programming, Actors, Filmmakers

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Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles Announces Programming, Actors, Filmmakers

The 32nd Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles, the largest showcase of Israeli cinema in the United States, will present from November 6th - 20th over 40 Israeli narrative films, documentaries, short films and television series as well as in-person appearances from more than 25 of today's leading Israeli filmmakers and talent. Along with hosting U.S. and west coast premiere showings, the Festival programming will include filmmaker tributes, its first ever co-presentation with the Skirball Cultural Center as well as select films reflective of both Jewish and Israeli living, the #MeToo Movement, the hip hop music scene, portraits of influential cultural leaders and sexual identity, announced Israel Film Festival Founder/Executive Director Meir Fenigstein.

Festival screenings will show at the Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre in Beverly Hills and the Laemmle Town Center 5 Theatre in Encino. For further information or to purchase tickets for all Festival events, contact the IsraFest Foundation: 310.247.1800 or email Tickets will also be available to purchase on the website as of October 22nd: Festival 6-pack: $75 (available only at Laemmle Theaters) good for 6 Regular Screenings (must be exchanged for tickets at box office). General Admission: $15; Seniors, Students and Children: $13; Matinee Shows: Monday through Thursday - $10.

Additionally, for the first time, The Israel Film Festival at the Skirball is being introduced, taking place November 13th at the Skirball Cultural Center, which is dedicated to exploring Jewish culture. Among the offerings are special screenings of episodes of the award-winning Israeli television series The New Black, about four hip yeshiva students grappling with who they are and what they dream of becoming and the documentary Kishon about writer Ephraim Kishon who sold millions of books yet never wrote his own biography. At the age of 70 he invited journalist Yaron London to assist him using animation to bring back to life his persona and reenact intimate interviews, rare footage and home movies. Select showings will be followed with Q&As with their creative teams.

"I'm very proud and excited that the Israel Festival can showcase to Los Angeles audiences the work of great Israeli filmmakers," said Fenigstein. "This year's film slate mirrors and gives voice to many of the important, thought-provoking topics of today's society in Israel from the principals of Orthodox Jews in the modern world and women's rights to family values and the LGBTQ community. There is truly something for everybody of all ages to see."

Among this year's Festival highlights are:

  • Redemption, the Audience Award winner at the 2018 Jerusalem Film Festival, the story about unconditional parental love, the strength of male friendship and the importance of inner integrity
  • The Dive, the semi-autobiographical debut film from writer-director and actor Yona Rozenkier about the macho imperative that questions loyalty to one's family, country and gender (2018 Jerusalem International Film Festival - Winner: Best Israeli Film, Best Debut Film, Best Actor, Best Cinematography)
  • Working Woman, the timely and devastating #MeToo story expertly told by long time feminist filmmaker Michal Aviad, about a young woman, mother and wife struggling with sexual harassment in the workplace
  • Here and Now, a hip-hop musical drama which was the winner of the Ophir Award for Best Original Music
  • Rescue Bus 300, the intense and gripping true story docu-drama based on the 1984 hijacking of bus line 300 while on its way from Tel Aviv to Ashkelon
  • Broken Mirrors, a story about a family fraught with serious problems that only unravel with self-truths and confessions
  • The Cakemaker, which debuted in the Festival last year and will have encore showings as Israel's official submission for Best Foreign Film for this year's Academy Awards.

Notable documentaries at the Festival include:

  • Black Honey, The Life and Poetry of Avraham Sutzkever, the incredible story of the greatest Yiddish poet of modern times who led the Paper Brigade UNDERGROUND movement that saved Jewish manuscripts from the Nazis. On November 13th the film will screen as the Festival's Centerpiece as part of The Israel Film Festival at the Skirball. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion and award presentation honoring director Uri Barbash with the 2018 IFF Artistic Achievement Award.
  • Family in Transition which is reflective of many within the LGBTQ community as the film follows a family from the moment the father suddenly decides to share his secret desire to become a woman.

In celebration of Israel's 70th anniversary, the Festival will pay tribute to renowned late Israeli filmmakers and their classic Israeli films. This includes:

  • director Avraham Heffner and his film Aunt Clara (special guest: producer Rudy Cohen)
  • producer Zvi Shpilman and his film One of Us (special guests: director Uri Barbash and actor Alon Abutbul)
  • producer Leon Edery and his film Turn Left at the End of the World (special guest: director Avi Nesher)
  • director Assi Dayan and his film Halfon Hill Doesn't Answer
  • director Moshe Mizrahi and producer Menahem Golan and their film I Love You Rosa (special guest: cinematographer Adam Greenberg)
  • director Rafi Bukai and his film Avanti Popolo
  • Over 25 Israeli filmmakers and actors will attend this year's Festival, accompanying their films and participating in Q & A sessions, including:
  • Rudy Cohen, Producer - Aunt Clara
  • Uri Barbash, Director - Black Honey, The Life and Poetry of Avraham Sutskever/ One of Us
  • Ronit Reichman, Producer - Broken Mirrors
  • Guri Alfi, Actor - Echo
  • Ofir Trainin, Director - Family in Transition
  • Roman Shumunov, Director - Here & Now
  • Vlad Dubinskiy, Actor - Here & Now
  • Itai Tamir, Producer - Here & Now/Red Cow/The Cakemaker
  • Marco Carmel, Director - Noble Savage
  • Shay Eines, Producer - Noble Savage
  • Shraga Bar, Producer - Noble Savage
  • Alon Aboutboul, Actor - Noble Savage, One of Us
  • Shira Haas, Actress - Noble Savage/Broken Mirrors/The Conductor
  • Dana Idisis, Creator & Writer - On the Spectrum
  • Yuval Shafferman, Director & Creator - On the Spectrum
  • Nati Dinnar, Producer - Rescue Bus 300
  • Rotem Shamir, Director- Rescue Bus 300
  • Ofer Naim, Producer - Shooting Life
  • Noa Astanjelove, Actress - Shooting Life
  • Ofir Raul Graizer, Director - The Cakemaker
  • Lior Ashkenazi, Actor - The Conductor
  • Yona Rozenkier, Director/Actor - The Dive
  • Mor Loushy, Director - The Oslo Diaries
  • Daniel Sivan, Director -The Oslo Diaries
  • Avi Nesher, Director - The Other Story
  • Yariv Mozer, Director - To Err is Human
  • Adam Greenberg, Cinematographer - I Love You Rosa
  • Ehud Bleiberg, Producer - Foreign Land

As previously announced, multi-Academy Award nominated and Emmy Award winning producer Jason Blum, founder of Blumhouse Productions, and award-winning Israeli director/screenwriter Avi Nesher, director of the opening night film The Other Story, will be honored with the 2018 IFF Achievement in Film and TV Award and the 2018 IFF Cinematic Achievement Award, respectively. The Opening Night Gala on November 6th will take place at the Steve Tisch Cinema Center at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. VIP Opening Night Tickets $150, Regular Tickets $50

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