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35th Annual Israel Film Festival to Honor Henry Winkler

The honors are set for April 29th ahead of the festival, which runs from May 5th through May 26th.

35th Annual Israel Film Festival to Honor Henry Winkler

The 35th ISRAEL FILM FESTIVAL in Los Angeles, the largest showcase of Israeli cinema and television in North America, will honor acclaimed actor/director/producer/author Henry Winkler with the 2022 IFF Career Achievement Award and real estate/philanthropist David Wiener with the 2022 IFF Humanitarian Award on April 29th during the Festival's annual sponsor luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel at Beverly Hills. The event serves as the launch of this year's Festival which will take place May 5th - 26th both in-person and online, announced Meir Fenigstein, founder and executive director of the Israel Film Festival.

The Opening Night Gala of the Los Angeles Premiere of Avi Nesher's Image of Victory, nominated for 15 Israeli Academy of Ophir Awards, will take place at the Saban Theatre on May 5th in Beverly Hills to coincide with Israel Independence Day. That evening the film's producer Ehud Bleiberg will receive the 2022 IFF Cinematic Achievement Award.

Image of Victory is considered Israel's largest budget of film to date. Inspired by true events in 1948. Hassanin, an Egyptian filmmaker, is tasked with documenting a raid on the isolated kibbutz Nitzanim. When the kibbutz learns of the impending army raid, Mira, a young but valiant mother, is forced to reckon with the true cost of war and make an impossible choice.

"Henry Winkler is an exceptional artist that has used his talents both in front of and behind the camera to entertain audiences around the world. His life and body of work is a benchmark that others aspire to for a career," noted Fenigstein. "David Wiener's international philanthropic endeavors and support of the state of Israel is unparalleled while Ehud Bleiberg has created an indelible mark as one of Israel's best and most prolific producers The Israel Film Festival sponsors, who are the very core of the Festival's support, are thrilled to recognize these outstanding gentlemen."

Over more than four decades television viewers and movie-goers have enjoyed Winkler's work from his iconic role of Arthur Fonzarelli, aka "The Fonz," in the television series Happy Days to acting teacher Gene Cousineau on the current hit dark comedy tv show Barry. During his 10 years on the popular 1970's sitcom he won two Golden Globe Awards, was nominated three times for an Emmy Award and was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2018, he won his first Primetime Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy and the Television Critics Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series as well as received nominations for a Golden Globe and SAG Award for the HBO series. He was nominated again for an Emmy in 2019.

Among other acclaimed performances are roles in beloved and critically acclaimed shows such as Arrested Development, Childrens Hospital, and Parks & Recreation to films roles in Nightshift and The Waterboy to last year's The French Dispatch.

His first book, Niagara Falls or Does It? Hank Zipzer the World's Greatest Under-Achiever, became a New York Times bestseller. and grew into a series of 28 novels which have been published around the world in nine languages, with more than 5 million copies sold. To date, he and his co-author, Lin Oliver, have written 37 children's novels. Their newest trilogy, Alien Superstar, became an instant New York Times best seller.

He recently wrapped shooting the lead role in the Israeli/U.S. crossover comedy Chanshi for Israeli network HOT. A father of three and grandfather of six, Winkler and his wife reside in Los Angeles.

Real estate investor and philanthropist David Wiener was born in Lodz, Poland the second youngest of Moshe Chaim and Chana Wiener's nine children. In 1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland. That November, the German army burned the main synagogue, which was a devastating blow to the Wiener family and David never saw his parents again. He miraculously survived several Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz-Birkenau. After liberation, he discovered that only one brother survived. Wiener rebuilt his life in the United States and he became a real estate investor and philanthropist, developing in excess of 1,000,000 square feet of shopping centers and multifamily projects. He has been a major supporter of the Israel Film Festival for over two decades.

Ehud Bleiberg has produced more than 50 films over the past three decades, including Image of Victory. He has worked alongside a long list of Hollywood stars such as Winona Ryder, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Liam Neeson and Whoopi Goldberg, to name a few. In 2007 he produced the multi-award winning international hit The Band's Visit which won more than 40 awards, including the Coup de Couer at the Cannes Film Festival, and it was recently adapted into a hugely successful Broadway musical. In 2018 the documentary Foreign Land, produced by Bleiberg, received the Israeli Academy Ophir Award for Best Documentary. He lives between Hollywood and Israel.

This year the 35th ISRAEL FILM FESTIVAL will be both in-person and online from May 5th - 26th. All film tickets will be available for sale on the Festival website beginning April 20th. Festival screenings will show at the Lumiere Cinema's Music Hall Theater (Beverly Hills) and the Laemmle Town Center 5 (Encino). Connect with the 35th Israel Film Festival on Facebook (The Israel Film Festival), Instagram @IsraelFilmFestival, and Twitter @IsraelFilmFest for festival news and highlights, and join the conversation with #IsraelFilmFestival.

The mission of the Israel Film Festival is to highlight Israel as the lively and innovative nation that it is, as well as to shine a spotlight on its thriving film and television industry and enriching the American experience of Israel's social and cultural diversity. As an international entertainment industry event, the festival has brought acclaim to both the films and participants and has opened new possibilities for cooperation and co-production between the U.S. and Israeli film and TV industries.

Each year, the festival explores Israeli society by premiering Israeli features, documentaries and television dramas, and through conversations with visiting Israeli filmmakers. Since its inception thirty-five years ago, the festival has created an exciting and artistic platform for engaging diverse audiences with the richness of Israeli life and culture. The co-chairs of the Festival are Michelle Sobrino- Stearns, CEO, Variety and Stacey Farish, President, Deadline. The Festival honorary chairman is Arnon Milchan, New Regency Productions.

For nearly four decades, the Festival has presented more than 1,100 feature films, documentaries, television dramas and short films to nearly one million filmgoers, and brought hundreds of Israeli filmmakers to the U.S. to share their art.

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