By now it has become a celebrated fact that the Israeli creative industry is in the throes of a modern renaissance. This makes the annual Israel Film Festival — set to roll out the red carpet for its 27th year next March — a gift to Los Angeles and its two-week film program an anticipated moment on the city’s cultural calendar.
Docaviv, Tel Aviv’s annual international documentary film festival, kicked off on May 3 with a moonlit ceremony at the newly renovated seafront promenade. The event was followed by a beachfront screening of the festival opener, “Never Sorry,” the Sundance decorated portrait of Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei, who spent almost three months last year under house arrest at an unknown location.
"Policeman" was named best film at the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival -- the first time an Israeli film has been recognized there.
Israeli director Joseph Cedars won the best screenplay award at the Cannes film festival for his movie "Footnote."
Kirk Douglas will be honored at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival this summer. Douglas, 94, is expected to attend the July 23 festival to receive the Freedom of Expression award at a special 50th anniversary showing of “Spartacus.”
When Israel fought its War of Independence, there were no embedded TV cameramen, and even combat newsreel photographers were practically nonexistent. The newly created state had more important matters to worry about. More surprisingly, there have been hardly any movies celebrating the near miraculous victories of 1948-49, and, later, of the Six-Day War in 1967.
I recently signed a letter protesting the Toronto International Film Festival's decision to showcase and celebrate Tel Aviv. This in the very year when Gaza happened.
Leigh's physician father and midwife mother met through Habonim, the Labor Zionist youth movement, in 1936. Mike Leigh, in turn, became a Habonim leader and traveled with the group to Israel on a ship as a teenager. The experience had a dramatic effect on his future work as an artist: "The atmosphere was one of chevrah, of sharing, openness and coming together -- of making things happen by colluding -- which describes the spirit of how I work with actors and the atmosphere of my rehearsals."
Critics and audiences alike can try to search for a political message in the 23rd Israeli Film Festival's premiere films
When the Writers went on strike, even comedy paid a price.
Jews of the LBC rejoice as they finally get a film fest all their own. The first Long Beach Jewish Film Festival will be held today and tomorrow, thanks to the support of the Alpert JCC and the Cal State Long Beach Jewish studies program.
When Neil Sheff trekked up and down Rodeo Drive with a film crew, he received surprising answers to his man-in-the-street question, "What is Sephardic Jewry?"
"One person thought it had to do with going on safari," said Sheff, 42, co-founder of the Los Angeles Sephardic Jewish Film Festival. "Most people hadn't a clue."
How do you plan an Israeli film festival to screen in American cities? Very carefully, according to Paul Fagen, program director of the 20th annual Israel Film Festival.
Just as Charlize Theron had her "Monster," Ayelet July Zurer has "Nina's Tragedies" the opening night film of this year's Israel Film Festival.
Fresh winds are blowing through the Israeli cinema these days. In the course of the last year, Israeli films have made appearances and garnered awards at festivals around the world from Cannes to Tokyo.
How do you go from being a member of one of Israel's most popular bands to being the creator of a vibrant film festival in America? Well, the story is a long one, and if you've got some time, Meir Fenigstein will be sure to tell it to you.
Neil Sheff was shocked to find himself something of a celebrity at a conference of North American Jewish film festival directors a couple years ago. Of the 75 festivals in the United States and Canada, his Los Angeles Sephardic Film Festival is the only one dedicated to showcasing the Sephardic experience. "I was literally surrounded by people who wanted to pick my brain," he said, incredulous.
Ephraim Kishon had come to Los Angeles in 1964, when his initial filmmaking effort, "Sallah," became the first Israeli movie to be nominated for an Oscar as best foreign-language film.
Jewish filmmakers descended on this snowy town last month for their annual 11-day-long holiday ritual of schmoozing,skiing and screenings, better known as the Sundance Film Festival.