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25th Israel Film Festival October 20th - November 4th, 2010

IFF Bestows Awards to Special Honorees Richard Dreyfuss, Ryan Kavanaugh, Jon Landau and Avi Lerner at Gala Awards Dinner on October 20 at The Beverly Hilton. The Matchmaker, winner of Best Actor and Actress at recent Israeli Academy Awards, is Opening Night Film. Beverly Hills, CA.

IFF Bestows Awards to Special Honorees Richard Dreyfuss, Ryan Kavanaugh, Jon Landau and Avi Lerner at Gala Awards Dinner on October 20 at The Beverly Hilton. The Matchmaker, winner of Best Actor and Actress at recent Israeli Academy Awards, is Opening Night Film. Beverly Hills, CA.

By

Israel Film Festival

 

Enriching the American vision of Israeli life and culture through the powerful medium of film, the Israel Film Festival has definitively become the largest showcase of Israeli films in the United States.  2010 marks the 25th anniversary of this much acclaimed Israeli showcase that celebrates a quarter-century of Israeli cinema in the United States, and today the film festival announced its most dynamic program since its founding.  Encompassing over 30 titles, including award winning features, documentaries and television programs, the Festival runs from October 20 – November 4, 2010 in Los Angeles.  The Opening Night film is the West Coast premiere of Avi Nesher’s The Matchmaker (previously titled as Once I Was), which just last week won two Ophir Awards from the Israeli Film and Television Academy (the Israeli Oscars) for Best Actor and Best Actress by Adir Miller and Maya Dagan, respectively, it was announced by Meir Fenigstein, the Founder/Executive Director of the Israel Film Festival.

 

The 2010 Israel Film Festival will begin its milestone anniversary year with a Gala Awards Dinner, honoring Richard Dreyfuss with the Career Achievement Award; Ryan Kavanaugh with the Outstanding Achievement in Film Award; Jon Landau with the Visionary Award; and Avi Lerner with the Lifetime Achievement Award.  The Gala Awards Dinner will take place in Beverly Hills at the Beverly Hilton, International Ballroom on October 20, 2010.  For reservations, contact Levy, Pazanti & Associates at 310-201-5033.

 

“We are proud and honored to celebrate both terrific, award-winning films and creative thinkers at this year’s milestone Festival,” said Fenigstein.  “We have assembled a noteworthy array of talent both in front of and behind the cameras, whose artistry, vision and achievements are legendary around the world, but particularly in the United States and Israel.”

 

All Israel Film Festival films will screen at the Laemmle Sunset 5 in West Hollywood, the Royal in West Los Angeles and the Laemmle Fallbrook 7 in West Hills.  Tickets will be available beginning in October.  For additional information, visit www.IsraelFilmFestival.com or call IsraFest toll-free at 1-877-966-5566.

 

In the last two and a half decades, the Festival has presented more than 800 feature films, documentaries, television dramas and short films to over 900,000 filmgoers and brought hundreds of Israeli filmmakers to the U.S. to share their art.  The Israel Film Festival is produced by IsraFest Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization created in 1982.  The 25th Anniversary festival is presented in association with the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles and sponsored in part by Dr. Miriam & Sheldon G. Adelson, Bank Leumi USA, Clear Channel Outdoor, Israel Film Fund, Los Angeles Times, Nu Image/Millennium Films, Rabinovich Foundation-Cinema Project, Cheryl and Haim Saban, LeRoy & Shoshana Schecter Foundation, and Twentieth Century Fox, amongst others.

 

The Festival’s mission is to showcase the finest new Israeli films in order to share with American audiences the country’s rich culture, diverse stories and modern Israeli life.  The 25th Festival Chairman is Arnon Milchan; the Dinner Co-Chairs are Danny Dimbort and Cheryl and Haim Saban.  The Honorary Committee includes Avi Arad, Mark Canton, Gil Cates, Michael Douglas, Meyer Gottlieb, Penny Marshall, David Matalon, Mike Medavoy, Bette Midler, Rob Reiner, Terry Semel, Nina Tassler, and many others.  Proceeds from the Gala Awards Dinner will provide funds to support the IsraFest Foundation and scholarship funds at the top six film schools in Israel.

 

 

ABOUT THE FEATURE FILMS

 

THE MATCHMAKER – OPENING NIGHT FILM

Dir: Avi Nesher

 

Set in 1968, an Israeli born teenage boy gets a summer job with a holocaust survivor who makes ends meet by brokering marriages and smuggled goods. The Matchmaker’s office is located in the back of a rundown movie theater, run by seven Romanian dwarfs (true story!!!) who were saved from the gas chambers by the infamous doctor Mengale. The dwarfs run nothing but romantic Indian movies in the theater, and may or may not be aware of the illegal goings on in the back. Throughout the summer, the mysterious matchmaker takes the boy on a dangerous coming of age ride into the deepest and darkest urban underbelly of Six Day War Haifa – where love assumes surprising shapes and forms and history is transformed into mythology.  (113 min. Israel, 2010)

 

Toronto International Film Festival 2010

Chicago Jewish Film Festival  

Winner of 4 Israeli Academy Film Awards 2010, including Best Actor & Best Actress

 

Special Guests: Avi Nesher, Director and David Silber, Producer

 

A MATTER OF SIZE

Dir: Erez Tadmor & Sharon Maymon

 

Herzl is a shy, 340 pound man living with his mother in Ramle. Fired from his job because of his unpresentable image and dumped by his weight-loss group because he keeps adding rather than shedding pounds, he takes a job as a dishwasher in a Japanese restaurant. There, he discovers the one activity where girth is a virtue and fat guys can be rock stars - sumo wrestling! He and three obese friends begin a rigorous training program and follow their path from body shame to body celebration and from loneliness to love. With echoes of The Full Monty, this is a hilarious yet tender film (90 min. Israel, 2009)

 

Winner of 3 Israeli Academy Awards

Winner of 8 Film Festival Audience Awards: San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, Washington Jewish Film Festival, Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival, Detroit Jewish Film Festival, Brooklyn Jewish Film Festival, Seattle Jewish Film Festival, Rockland County Jewish Film Festival, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

 

BENA

Dir: Niv Klainer

 

Middle-aged health worker Amos takes care of mentally ill people. He’s a widower who lives with his mentally-disabled son Yurik. One day while treating a patient, Amos meets an illegal Thai immigrant named Bena. Rather than turn her in, Amos brings the quiet young woman home. Bena helps Amos care for Yurik (outstandingly played by young Michael Moshonov) and she gradually becomes part of their household. Mutual affection begins to develop between Amos and Bena, which Yurik has a hard time accepting. The disabled young man starts to abuse Bena and she finds herself in a trap. Screenwriter and director Niv Klainer has shot an intimate relationship drama founded upon the accurately-portrayed, erratic behavior of a mentally disabled person. He depicts Yurik’s situation with dignity while sensitively investigating Amos’s difficult relationship with immigrant Bena. Will this unusual triangle find a mutually acceptable modus vivendi? (86 min. Israel/ France, 2009) 

 

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 2010

Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2010

 

BROTHERS (Spotlight Premiere)

Dir: Yigal Nidam 

 

Dan chooses to work on the land, living in a kibbutz in south of Israel. Aaron, his brother is a doctor of law and philosophy and distinguished scholar of the Torah. He comes to Jerusalem from the US to defend the rights of Torah students. The conflict which arises between the two brothers reflects that of a society torn between its religious and political principles. With restrictions on the increase and injustices multi- playing, Israel today is on the brink of civil war. This film opens a subtle yet essential debate on the question of the separation of the state and religion in Israel. (116 min. Israel, 2008) 

 

Nominated for Best Feature, European Film Academy 2009

Prix du Public, Cinéma Tous Écrans 2008

Best Actress and Best Actor, FIPA D'OR 2009

 

Special Guest: Yigal Nidam, Director

 

FIVE HOURS FROM PARIS (Spotlight Premiere)

Dir: Leonid Prudovsky

 

Sometimes the most powerful love hides beneath the surface of the most ordinary people. When divorced cab driver Yigal drops his son off at school, he meets Lina, a married woman on the brink of leaving Israel to join her husband in Canada. Neither is looking for romance, but somehow they find themselves drawn to each other, and their conventional lives are radically transformed. With a stunning performance by Dror Keren, the film reveals the beauty and ache of awakening romance. An extremely strong feature debut for director Leonid Prudovsky, Five Hours from Paris marks the beginning of a new voice in film. (90 min. Israel, 2009)

 

First Prize for Best Film, Haifa International Film Festival 2009

 

JAFFA

Dir: Keren Yedaya

 

This film unfolds the dramatic story of Mali, who lives with her family in Jaffa, and works with her brother and father at the family owned car repair shop. Mali falls in love with Tauffik, a mechanic in the garage. Despite underlying racism and jealousy that surrounds them, their love affair grows. When Mali finds out she is pregnant, the couple decides to run away and get married abroad. On the morning of the flight, a tragic event reshapes this couple's future.  (105 min. Israel, 2009) 

 

Official Selection – Cannes Film Festival

Official Selection – Toronto International Film Festival

Nominated for Israeli Academy Awards 2010 for Best Actress and Best Music

 

THE LONERS

Dir: Renen Schorr

 

The Loners tells of two Russian-speaking immigrants serving in the army who desire to assimilate into Israeli society. Through events they could not have foreseen, they are accused of treason; although innocent, their demand for a retrial falls on deaf ears. Increasingly desperate as they lose their freedom and dignity in prison, they attempt one last-ditch effort to be heard. The Loners was inspired by true events that took place in a military prison in northern Israel. The Loners is the new long-awaited feature by Schorr, who has influenced a whole generation of young Israeli filmmakers through the world-renowned Sam Spiegel Film School in Jerusalem, which he founded and has headed for over 20 years. (92 min. Israel, 2009)

 

Israeli Academy Awards for Best Actor – Received 11 nominations

Jerusalem International Film Festival – Honorable Mention to Sasha Agrounov

Cinema South Festival, Israel – Award for Best Film

Toronto Jewish Film Festival

 

MAYA (Spotlight Premiere)

Dir: Michal Bat-Adam

 

A struggling young actress gets a leading part in a play. The role is of a young girl that undergoes a traumatic experience and is committed to a mental hospital. The actress, seeking to understand her character, is allowed to spend some time in a psychiatric ward. As a result, she brings into the role aspects that go against the view of the director, and creates a conflict between them. At the evening of the premiere, the actress walks a thin line between acting and madness. (89 min. Israel, 2010)

 

The Boston Jewish Film Festival – Opening Film

Houston International Film Festival

 

PHOBIDILIA

Dir: Yoav Paz & Doron Paz

 

After suffering an emotional breakdown in a public place, a young man vows to quit the chaotic city life and never leave his apartment. He quickly discovers that in today’s world all his needs can be easily met: sex via the internet, food by telephone delivery and entertainment by television. Four years later, his idyllic existence comes under attack when Daniella, a free spirited girl comes into his life and Grumps, the building’s real estate agent, informs him that the apartment is about to be sold.  (87 min. Israel, 2009)

 

Berlinale - Panorama

Toronto International Film Festival - City to City

Istanbul Film Festival

Taipei International Film Festival

PiFan Film Festival

Nominated for Israeli Academy Award 2010 for Best Actor

 

Special Guest: Doron Paz, Director

 

THERE WERE NIGHTS (Spotlight Premiere)

Dir: Roni Ninio

 

Gony's father lost his reputation, his pride and his desire to live after serving a short prison sentence twenty years ago. A little later he lost his wife, Gony's mother, to cancer. Since then, at age seven, Gony, an only child, has served as her father's emotional crutch, living through his terror and loss. Now, at twenty-five, Gony is about to make her first steps into the world. But before being allowed to begin her life, she must overcome the grip of her father's desperate loneliness and sense of loss. (90 min. Israel, 2008)

 

Haifa International Film Festival – Award for Best Actress

Shanghai International Film Festival

 

Special Guest: Roni Ninio, Director

 

WALLS

Dir: Danny Lerner    

 

Galia (Olga Kurylenko) longs to escape her life as a Tel Aviv sex worker and reunite with the young daughter she left behind in Ukraine. With the promise of cash and the return of her passport, she is enlisted to commit murders for Tel Aviv heavies Ronnie and Michel. Across the hall lives Elinor (Ninet Tayeb), a grocery-store clerk and battered wife who dreams of fleeing her abusive husband. The two forge a friendship and for a few precious hours, the two women forget their exploiters. (102 min. Israel, 2009)

 

Toronto International Film Festival – Official Selection

 

Special Guest: Ehud Bleiberg, Producer

 

ZION AND HIS BROTHER (Spotlight Premiere)

Dir: Eran Merav

 

Cascading events threaten the unshakeable loyalty of two teenage siblings in Zion and His Brother, a sensitive coming-of-age drama set in a gritty working-class neighborhood of Haifa. Fourteen-year-old Zion (Reuven Badalov) and cocky older brother Meir (Ofer Hayun) live with their divorced mother (Ronit Elkabetz) in a dumpy apartment, and can count only on each other. After a tragic accident involving a neighborhood Ethiopian boy, the brothers react differently and are challenged by thorny questions of personal responsibility and morality. The bottled up secret, coupled with Meir's clashes with his mother's boyfriend (Tzahi Grad), stretches the bonds of fraternal allegiance to the breaking point. Zion and His Brother is the accomplished directorial debut of Eran Merav, who was born in Haifa and now resides in Atlanta. (84 min. Israel, 2009)

 

Official Selection 2009 Sundance Film Festival

Ghent International Film Festival – Best Screenplay

 

ZOHI SDOM (This is Sodom) – Spotlight Premiere

Dir: Adam Sanderson, Muli Segev

 

Zohi Sdom recounts the story of the birth of the Jewish people and the advent of monotheism on the backdrop of the last week in history of the infamous city of Sodom, the entertainment, gambling, sex and corruption capital of biblical times.  A close look will reveal that the biblical reality is no different than our reality in 21st century Israel. A jungle of wheeling and dealing where it’s every man for himself: The father of the nation extorts God to save a relative, the evil king of Sodom proves authority will corrupt even the one righteous man in the city, Lot’s Wife redefines opportunism, and even the angels assigned to do justice discover that scruples are of no consequence when the heat is on.  However, and most important, Zohi Sdom is an attempt to revive the tradition of wacky Israeli comedies, for the first time in years, with a large serving of infantile humor, ridiculous characters and pure fun.(88 min. Israel, 2010)

 

Winner of Israeli Academy Film Awards 2010 for Best Supporting Actress

 

Special Guests: David Silber and Avi Nesher, Producers

 

 

HOMAGES

 

Homage to David Silber, Producer

LEBANON

Dir: Samuel Maoz

 

June, 1982 - The First Lebanon War. A lone tank and a paratrooper’s platoon are dispatched to search a hostile town - a simple mission that turns into a nightmare. The four members of a tank crew find themselves in a violent situation that they cannot contain. Motivated by fear and the basic instinct of survival, they desperately try not to lose themselves in the chaos of war. (93 min. Israel, 2009) 

 

Winner: Golden Lion 2009 Venice Film Festival

Official Selection: 2009 Toronto Film Festival

Official Selection: 2009 New York Film Festival

Tribeca Film Festival 2010

 

Special Guest: David Silber, Producer

 

 

Homage to Avi Nesher, Director

 

TURN LEFT AT THE END OF THE WORLD

Dir: Avi Nesher

 

This humorous drama follows two young women in the Negev desert who make exciting new plans when they discover the sexual revolution is raging in the outside world. (110 min. Israel/ France, 2004)

 

RAGE AND GLORY

Dir: Avi Nesher

 

Nesher's film about the 1940s Israeli terrorist group the Stern Gang, caused massive controversy and the level of hysteria prompted him to leave for Hollywood. (118 min. Israel, 1984)

 

Special Guest: Avi Nesher, Director

 

 

ABOUT THE DOCUMENTARIES

 

A DUCK’S JOURNEY  

Dir: Gabriel Bibliowicz

 

A comics-like biography of one of Israel's greatest comics-artist and animator Dudu Geva. Geva never hesitated to combine friends, family and enemies in his comics. That's what this documentary does, places his family and friends inside his body of work and lets them speak thorough it as his personal diaries. The Duck, or, Yosef- the lonely and optimistic clerk, were his disguise. As an artist, Geva took the Israeli press to the highest artistic peak it could afford. He represented the generation that grew up on the works of Gutman, Dosh and Navon. (72 min. Israel, 2009)

 

AMOS OZ: THE NATURE OF DREAMS

Dir: Masha Zur Glozman, Yonathan Zur

 

Greek director Stelios Charalampopoulos has crafted an engaging and intimate portrait of the acclaimed Israeli iconoclastic and internationally celebrated author Amos Oz, nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize. Shot partly in Arad, Jerusalem, and in Salonica, Greece the film traces Oz's personal background: his childhood, his adolescence on kibbutz where he met his wife, the sole editor of his works, his family tragedies including his mother's suicide and his resulting inclination to narrate family chronicles. This poignant piece allows the viewer to enter the world of one of Israel's most fiercely eloquent proponents of co-existence and the Middle East Peace Process. (86 min. Israel, 2010)

 

BLOOD RELATION

Dir: Noa Ben Hagai

 

On a hot summer day in 1940, 14 year old Pnina left her home in the Galilee province of Yavniel and disappeared. 27 years later she sent a letter, revealing that she lived in a refugee camp near Nablus, married to a Muslim and mother of eight. The director, granddaughter to Pnina's sister, tracks the family secret and finds that Pnina's children, who live in a refugee camp only half an hour away from her home in Tel Aviv, have been waiting for their Jewish relatives to call for years. Renewing the contact between the families leads to unpredictable events that take place in front of the camera, involving all in a moving saga. (75 min. Israel, 2010)

 

HISTORY OF THE ISRAELI CINEMA

Dir: Raphael Nadjari

 

In a project initiated by ARTE—the Franco-German TV network, Raphael Nadjari investigates more than 70 years of Israeli cinema. The journey begins with the Zionist propaganda of the 30s, 40s, and 50s, establishing Jewish life in Palestine on film. The 60s introduced the fiction era, influenced by European and American cinema. In the late 60s and 70s, Israeli cinema tried to form its unique and local identity, when directors, born and raised in Israel, appeared onstage. During the 80s, Israeli cinema became an important means of political expression. In the 90s and the 2000s, we start hearing a diversity of voices, representing the different cultures forming Israeli society. At the same time, Israeli filmmakers begin searching for individual poetic expression. The film before us includes interviews with filmmakers and researchers from different eras. Their cinema contains wars, dreams, existential questions, social, and familial relations. It deals with the place of the individual in the emerging national state, with Palestinian life in Jewish society, and with questions of belonging and alienation. This cinema never stops questioning its place in the international arena, through subjects such as authenticity, globalization, locality, and universality.  (103 minutes, 2009) 

 

I’M NOT PHILIPINA

Dir: Anat Tel 

 

Six year old Krizel is a blind girl of Philippine origin, born in Israel. Together with her adopting mother, Janette, a foreign Philippine worker, they try to bridge the gaps of language and mentality amid the harsh reality of their lives, in a country that one of them regards as her homeland and the other feels like a stranger in. Operating on one of Krizel's eyes should allow her to see and will also improve their chances of remaining in Israel. Krizel doesn't want to go to the Philippines, asking her mother, in the event of "getting new eyes", that they be blue ones. This is a film about mother and adopted daughter and the fate that binds them to each other. (51 min. Israel, 2010)

 

LAND OF GENESIS

Dir: Moshe Elpert 

 

Land of Genesis introduces a completely different Israel – an Israel of amazing landscapes and multitudes of plants and wildlife. Israel is located at the meeting point of three continents.  It hosts five distinctive climatic zones along its 540 Km of length and dozens of km of width.  These different zones create a rich and diverse world of flora and fauna. As the seasons change, the colors countrywide shift and wildlife alters its behavior in accordance with the biological clock ticking within each species.  Throughout the year, a beautiful and sometimes amazing world of insects, reptiles, birds and mammals is presented here. Most of this world is unfamiliar and not always apparent even to the people who live here. Each of the animals – the wolves of the Golan Heights, the swamp cats of the Sea Of Galilee and the ibexes of the desert – will open a window to the world of plants and animals of the region, a world filled with amazing beauty, a world in which there is no hatred, and which is guided only by one urge – the urge for survival. (89 min. Israel, 2009)

 

LONE SAMARITAN

Dir: Barak Heymann

 

As a tiny sect constantly in danger of extinction, the Samaritans have very harsh rules about assimilation. After Sophie Tzdaka and her three sisters left the community, one after the other, the family became subject to terrible physical and mental harassment by sect members. Barak Heymann follows Sophie, who is the youngest daughter as well as a TV personality, on a journey to her family's open wounds in an attempt to understand who the real victim of their shattered home was. Lone Samaritan is a touching father-daughter journey, which raises universal issues of belonging, faith and identity, and forces its heroes to confront the difficult isolation of those who seek a personal path within a closed tribal world. (50 min. Israel, 2009) 

 

Toronto Jewish Film Festival, 2010

 

NEIGHBORS AND MURDERS

Dir: Menachem Hadar 

 

Neighbors and Murders documents the circumstances of the Jewish residents of the Ukrainian town of Bolechow under Nazi Occupation in WWII. First screened in 2009 as an Israel television documentary film, the film is based on three books: "The Lost" by Daniel Mendelsohn, (depicting the experience of a physician, now living in Texas, who learns that his father killed several hundred Jews in Bolechow); "Damals in Bolechow - The Town Square is Empty" by Anatol Regnier; and "Jewish Again" by Shlomo Adler. (60 min. Israel, 2009)

 

OUT OF FRAME

Dir: Nurit Kedar

 

Ilana Gur, the controversial artist, sought after by the who’s-who in the Israel and politicians around the world, sits on the balcony of her remarkable museum in Jaffa and offers us a glimpse into her life. (49 min. Israel, 2009)

 

SAYED KASHUA (Forever Scared)

Dir:  Dorit Zimbalist

  

Despite being one of Israel's leading columnists, novelists and screenwriter, Sayed Kashua feels he doesn't belong. The Jews don't like him because he's an Arab. The Arabs don't like him because he's successful. The Arabs think he's a collaborator. The Jews think he's a drunk. He's always the "other" and he's always scared. This intimate portrait follows Kashua over seven years through the upheavals and events that change his life, wandering from place to place, from nation to nation, belonging neither here nor there.  (Israel, 2009) 

 

THIEVES BY LAW

Dir: Alexander Gentelev

 

Following the stories of three mafiosi-cum-businessmen, Thieves By Law paints a fascinating tableau of men that would make Tony Soprano cringe. Most intriguing, though, are their personal histories interwoven with the evolution of the Russian Mafia itself. Beginning in Stalin's gulags and slowly transforming into an international organization, the mafia and Code of Thieves have always directly correlated to the political struggles of the Soviet Union-reflecting society back to the government like a funhouse mirror. (90 min. Israel, 2010)

 

THE WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD

Dir: Regev Contes

 

Three divorced, middle aged men with glasses work together in a small, failing insurance agency, located in the rented apartment of the manager. Although they are highly intelligent and well educated with a sense of humor, they have absolutely no idea how to run a business, and their company is losing a good deal of money and is continually on the verge of bankruptcy. The film documents the attempts of the manager's son, the film's director, to join this motley crew at the onset of the recession, and save his father's collapsing firm. (50 min. Israel, 2009)

 

Special Guest: Regev Contes, Director

 

YES! MISS COMMANDER

Dir: Dan Setton and Itzik Lerner

 

A military base in Galilee conducts a special training program addressed to young men from pathological environment. The privates undergo exhausting military training, which is intended to make them change their attitudes to life. Confrontation with the cadre of commanders, who are young women of impeccable past, puts the men in a difficult situation, in which they must undertake a real trial of obedience. (96 min. Israel, 2009)

 

Jerusalem International Film Festival

The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema

23rd International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam

 

ZUBIN AND I

Dir: Ori Sivan

 

Zubin Mehta is the most non-Israeli patriot in Israel. He is the artistic director and the conductor for life of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. In Zubin & I, Ori Sivan tries to get closer to Mehta and understand the work of the conductor and his complex relationship with the orchestra's musicians. Sivan meets with his grandmother Klaris Sarvas who was the first harpist of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, and learns about the work of a musician through her story, which is compared to Mehta's story. (67 min. Israel, 2010)

 

 

ABOUT THE TELEVISION DRAMAS

 

ARAB LABOR

Dir: Roni Ninio 

 

Amjad is a 35-year-old Arab journalist, married to Bushara (a social worker) and father to Maya. In order to become the darling of the In-crowd, Amjad is willing to lie, flatter and conceal all of his Arab traits. Meanwhile, he vehemently represents the suffering of Arabs at any given forum. This excessive Israelization is a source of conflict between Amjad and his conservative parents. His wife mocks his ways and deeds, but shows restraint in order to preserve domestic peace. Amjad`s only ally is his friend Meir (an Israeli Jew) - a photographer who works with him at the newspaper, a sworn bachelor who falls In love with Amal, Bushara`s feminist Arab friend. (24 min. Israel, 2007) 

 

SRUGIM

Dir: Eliezer (Laizy) Shapiro

 

A new social class of well-educated singles in their thirties is rising up in Jerusalem. They haven’t found their place in the existing religious framework and what was supposed to be a temporary pre-marriage existence has become rather permanent.  With a religious upbringing that did not prepare them for single adulthood, these young adults work to create normal lives within the constraints of religion and tradition while seeking warmth and love. 

 

 

ABOUT THE HONOREES

 

Richard Dreyfuss

ACTOR AND FOUNDER OF THE DREYFUSS INITIATIVE

2010 IFF Career Achievement Award 

 

Award winning actor, Richard Dreyfuss, has been in feature-film, TV and theatre since he began performing as a young boy at the Beverly Hills Jewish Center. He has earned an Academy Award® (The Goodbye Girl) and a Golden Globe® (Mr. Holland’s Opus), amongst many other awards for his filmography which includes Jaws, Tin Men, Once Around, Close Encounters of a Third Kind, and many others. Dreyfuss is also known for authoring the novel The Two Georges and most recently, for founding TheDreyfussInitiative.org, a non-profit corporation formed to revive, elevate and enhance the teaching of civics in the United States.

 

Ryan Kavanaugh

CEO OF RELATIVITY MEDIA

2010 IFF Outstanding Achievement in Film Award

 

At 35, Ryan Kavanaugh has become one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers and a highly regarded expert in film finance who has created business and financial structures worth $10 billion for numerous studios and production companies including Sony, Universal, Warner Bros. and Marvel. As Relativity’s CEO, Kavanaugh has acquired a wealth of strategic assets including Rogue Pictures, and the marketing and distribution operations of Overture Films. He recently reached the first of its kind distribution deal with Netflix. To date, Relativity has committed to, produced and/or financed more than 200 studio-quality motion pictures through 2014. Thirty-one of the company’s films have opened at #1 at the box office; 43 films have earned Oscar® nominations; and 51 have each generated more than $100 million in worldwide box-office receipts, with total releases accumulating more than $14 billion in worldwide box office revenue. 

 

Jon Landau

COO OF LIGHTSTORM ENTERTAINMENT

2010 IFF Visionary Award

 

Jon Landau has repeatedly demonstrated an ability to oversee and deliver major motion pictures. As an Academy Award winning producer and COO of Lightstorm Entertainment, he holds the distinction of having produced the two highest grossing movies of all-time: longstanding leader, Titanic (1997) and Avatar in 2009. The combination of Landau’s creative vision, thorough understanding of the most complex state-of-the-art visual effects technologies, his ability to work hand-in-hand with the highest caliber of creative talent, and his motivational ability has enabled him to play a significant role in creating motion pictures that are a spectacular visual experience unlike anything cinema has seen before.

 

Avi Lerner

CO-CHAIRMAN & CEO OF NU IMAGE/MILLENNIUM FILMS

2010 IFF Lifetime Achievement Award

 

With over 300 action films to his credit including the Rambo franchise and current box-office hit The Expendables, Avi Lerner is one of the most prolific producers and distributors of independent films in the global motion picture industry. Born and raised in Israel, Lerner’s film career began as the manager of Israel’s first drive-in cinemas. He acquired a chain of movie theaters and later, anticipated the explosion of home video rental in l979, pioneering the largest specialized video distribution company in Israel. Lerner continues to be a driving force in the global independent film marketplace developing, financing, producing and distributing approximately 16 pictures a year with budgets ranging from $20 to $80 million and shooting in locations globally. 

 

 

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Tags: Israel Film Festival