Handpicked Highlights from The Jerusalem International Film Festival Starting Tonight

Handpicked Highlights From The Jerusalem International Film Starting Tonight  

Handpicked Highlights from The Jerusalem International Film Festival Starting Tonight

A wave of summer festivals peaks this July with the Jerusalem International Film Festival (July 9-19), one of Israel’s most popular and influential artistic showcases. A production of the Jerusalem Cinemtheque-Israel Film Archive, this acclaimed annual event marks its 32nd anniversary this year in true Jerusalem Cinematheque fashion, with a vibrant mix of mainstream productions and budget films; the big names and the not-yet-heard-of. Co-founded and continually supported by the Jerusalem Foundation, The Jerusalem Cinematheque and the Festival mirror the Foundation’s vision for a pluralistic, open and creative Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Foundation will continue to play an influential role in identifying and supporting rising talent through prizes such as the Alex Bernstein Student Documentary Film Production Prize and Haggiag Family Awards


Accompanying the screenings at the Jerusalem Cinematheque and other venues across the city are numerous events offering insights into the industry, opportunities to forge contacts and to hear expert opinions. Meet filmmakers, attend lectures and don’t miss out on outdoor film screenings!


For the full program, go to: http://www.jff.org.il/?cl=en


Festival Hotlist: Handpicked Highlights


1) Opening Night: My Mother @Sultan’s Pool (Merril Hassenfeld Amphitheater)

9th July, 20.00


Prominent Italian actor-director Nanni Moretti fills a slot previously occupied by such directing greats as Woody Allen, J.J. Abrams and Andrew Stanton (of Wall-E fame), firing the starting gun with his latest drama "My Mother" (Mia Madre). Focusing on the travails of director Magherita, who struggles to cope with her mother’s deteriorating health offset, and the pressures of a difficult actor (John Turturro) onset, Moretti’s Palme d’Or-nominated film channels comedy and pathos.


English and Hebrew subtitles available.




2) In Celebration of Life - An Evening in Memory of Lia van Leer, Founder of the Jerusalem Cinematheque @ Jerusalem Cinematheque 13th July, 17:30


The Festival this year is tinged with nostalgia, following the passing of its founder, the late Lia van Leer in March. Van Leer was instrumental in protecting and promoting Israeli cinema, first founding the Israel Film Archive (1960) and later establishing cinematheques in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. A screening of "The Tales of Hoffmann" will also be held in memory of the late Aviva Meirom who dedicated 25 years of her life to the Jerusalem Cinematheque.





3) Cinema Nights in the Old City & Moonlight Cinema @ First Train Station

14th -16th July/ 12th-18th July


Free outdoor cinema is an irresistible prospect. Roll up to watch Hollywood’s biggest stars beneath the stars with Cinema Nights in the Old City, including screenings of recent epic sci-fi fantasies at the beautiful Habonim garden, or award-winning alternatives such as "Whiplash" at Mauristan Square. Wednesday’s a good bet for families, with stop-motion animation film "The Box Trolls" drawing in both kids and adults with its stunning execution, witty dialogue and endearing storyline. Also of note are screenings of Israeli Film Archive greats on the walls beside the Jaffa Gate. Alternatively, the week-long Moonlight Cinema series at Jerusalem’s favorite culture and entertainment hub, The First Station, serves up strictly Israeli cinema.


For the full program, go to: http://www.jff.org.il/?cl=en


4) Master Classes @ Jerusalem Cinematheque


Receive unrivalled insight into the film industry with master classes led by American actor-turned-director John Turtorro, Israeli director (and sometime architect) Amos Gitai and Austrian director Ulrich Seidl. All three have works featured in the Festival, with Turtorro making a star turn in the opening film "My Mother". The Camera d’Or-winning director will be in conversation following a screening on 10th July, while Gitai, who is currently wrapping his film on the murder of Yitzhak Rabin, will be tackling the complex ethical questions confronting native filmmakers. Meanwhile, European film festival regular Seidl will be addressing an audience alongside his longtime collaborator, the actress Maria Hofstätter. This follows a screening of "Ulrich Seidl – A Director at Work" (11th July). The Festival also presents his most recent documentary work, "In The Basement" (showing 10th, 14th & 16th July).





5) Oscar-nominated Shorts 2015: Live Action @ Jerusalem Cinematheque

17th July, 10:00


Enjoy a selection of Oscar nominated films from around the world, including Israeli short Aya which centers on a woman who cons a Danish researcher into thinking she is his driver. Enjoying the spontaneity of it all, she decides to keep up the charade. Director Mihal Brezis, a graduate of the Sam Spiegel Film & Television School, concocted her drama from a whimsical notion she had while in Ben Gurion airport. Aya narrowly missed out on an Academy Award to UK entry :The Phone Call,"  which will also be showing in the Oscar Nominated Shorts: Live Action category.




6) Phil Solomon Exhibition: Archaeology in Reverse @ Mamuta at Hansen House

13th July – 31st August


The American dream is thoroughly abstracted by experimental filmmaker Phil Solomon in his acclaimed video/sound installation "American Falls," which shows at Hansen House from 13th July. In an ironic take on star-spangled period films, Solomon chemically-manipulates classic American iconography in order to render foreign the universally familiar. He also probes convention in the "In Memoriam" animated digital video trilogy – another foray into surreal territory – which collates appropriated footage from action-adventure video game Grand Theft Auto. The films both featured in the New York Film Festival’s experimental film showcase "Views of the Avant-Garde."


A symposium examining the creative exchange between gaming and experimental cinema will further explore and contextualize Solomon’s oeuvre.




7) Critic’s Panel: “Israeli Cinema – In the Eyes of the Foreign Press” @Mediateque

12th July, 16.00


Attendees are encouraged to take a step back with this panel discussion and see Israeli film through the eyes of select international critics. Time Out Tel Aviv film critic Yael Shuv will be in discussion with reviewers from Denmark, Germany, Hungary and the UK, exploring whether their external perspective, as well as their political and ideological values, may affect their response to Israeli cinema. Their expectations and understanding of national film will also be scrutinized, with opportunities for audience involvement.




8) Closing Event: The Godfather Live in Concert @Sultan’s Pool (Merril Hassenfeld Amphitheatre) 18th July, 20:45


For the Festival’s closing event a live orchestra puts an epic spin on cult classic "The Godfather," bringing to life Nino Rota’s timeless score under the direction of conductor Justin Freer. Al Pacino and Marlon Brando lead in Francis Ford Coppola’s unnerving portrait of the organized crime scene in 1940’s New York; a work that has undoubtedly earned its proverbial title of ‘Best Film Ever Made.’ Guaranteed to trump any surround-sound system. Book now.  


English, with Hebrew subtitles.