Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Jerusalem Film Festival

It's that time of year again! What time of year, you might ask? Well, I've got the scoop for you. This month, in just a few days -- between July 7-16, 2011 -- Jerusalem will be welcoming it's 28th annual Film Festival. This celebrated annual event will showcase a whopping 150-200 films which will be screened and viewed by the public over the course of the week. So, if you are a movie aficionado like me, then you best be getting busy reading your way through the couple of hundred of film synopses listed on the Jerusalem Film Festival's website, seen here

Sultan's Pool Jerusalem
Jerusalem Cinematheque

The Jerusalem Film Festival takes place at the Jerusalem Cinematheque and the Sultan's Pool Amphitheater, two of the most exciting venues in town. The Cinematheque is always showing multiple films from around the world, both current releases and older films, all of which have been reviewed favorably and the majority of which have been awarded prestigious honors from industry peers. The Sultan's Pool is a popular outdoor venue which is home to several events including outdoor concerts, plays, theater performances, lecture series and films. Both venues make an ideal choice to house the Jerusalem Film Festival's many films in classy and sophisticated environments that are also typically Jerusalem.
Jerusalem Cinematheque
Sultan's Pool Jerusalem
The 150-200 films being shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival are divided into a number of categories including international feature films, documentary films and also full-length films and shorts involving issues of Jewish identity, history, freedom and human rights. This year, in addition to the existing cinematic competitions, there will also be an international competition for short animation and sci-fi films that depict Jerusalem in the year 2111.

Jerusalem Film Festival @ Sultan's Pool
"Super 8", the award-winning film directed by J.J. Abrams from his original script and produced by Steven Spielberg, will open the 2011 Jerusalem International Film Festival on July 7 at the Sultan’s Pool. The movie tells the story of a group of friends in a small Ohio town who witness a catastrophic train crash while making a super 8 movie and soon suspect that it was not an accident.


At least 10 Israeli films will compete for the title of "Best Full-Length Feature Film" (known locally as the Haggiag Family Award for Israeli Cinema) including the following films: Jonathan Sagall’s “Lipstick,” which competed at the Berlin Festival; Hagar Ben Asher’s “The Slut,” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival’s Critics’ Week; and Yossi Madmoni’s “Good Morning Mr. Fidelman,” (also referred to as "Restoration") which received the prize for best screenplay at the Sundance Festival. You will have to browse through the remaining film descriptions on your own in order to see what suits your fancy.



As for documentary films, among the films this year competing for the "Van Leer Award for Israeli Cinema for Best Documentary Film" are Dani Menkin’s “Dolphin Boy,” Arnon Goldfinger’s “The Flat,” and David Fisher’s “Mostar Round-Trip.” A new documentary film from David Ofek, “Meatless in Gaza,” will also have its debut at the festival. 

Dolphin Boy
Mostar Round-Trip
The Flat
Ameer Got His Gun
It is simply impossible to go through each and every film here in this short blog post so go see for yourself what this year's Jerusalem Film Festival has to offer. Be sure not to miss the Jewish Experience films section which offers handfuls of enticing and educational films on a plethora of current affairs topics.  My vote would be to view one of the following films: Between Two Worlds; Nicky's Family; Pourquoi Tu Pleures?; and The Lost Love Diaries.

Between Two Worlds
Nicky's Family
The Lost Love Diaries
On the Jerusalem Film Festival website (see here) you can purchase your tickets ahead of time, which is highly recommend due to the big crowds! (hint: here in Israel, you also book your seat ahead of time when buying a ticket). Also, don't worry, the preponderance of films are either in English or have English subtitles! Enjoy your movie-going experience! I'll have to report back on any films worth discussing and/or seeing.

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