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~Israel to be the Country Focus at IFFI 2018~
~Ten Israeli films to be screened at IFFI 2018 under the Country Focus section~
~The Indo-Israeli Co-production Seminar is slated to be held on 22nd November,2018 ~
~Israeli filmmaker Dan Wolman known for Hide and Seek, Tied Hands and An Israeli Love Story, to be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award~
Every year IFFI features a Country of Focus that brings out the cinematic excellence and contributions of that particular Country. In the 49th edition of IFFI, the Country of Focus will be Israel. Ten films in collaboration with the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai, have been selected for the country focus package.
The Opening film for the Country Focus Section is ‘The Other Story’ by Avi Nesher. Other films in the section include Footnote, The Other Story, The Bubble, Working Woman, The Unorthodox, Longing, Para Aduma, Redemption, Shalom Bollywood: The Untold Story of Indian Cinema and Waltz with Bashir.
Popular Israeli actor Alon Aboutboul to be the special guest as part of Israeli delegation
The famous Israeli Actor, Alon Aboutboul, known for his stellar work in Hollywood films including, Rambo III, Munich by Steven Spielberg, Body of Lies by Ridley Scott, London Has Fallen and The Dark Knight Rises, will be the special guest as part of Israel delegation. The veteran actor known for his deep chesty voice, has over the years played many theatre shows, mostly in the Habima Theatre, which included among others: Hamlet, Caviar and Lentils, Blood Brothers, Closer, and Forgiveness.
Some of the popular works of Aboutboul include the Israeli film Shiva (2008), and the American film Body of Liesdirected by Ridley Scott in which he played alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe. Aboutboul then went on to star in Yigal Burstein’s film Hand of God alongside Moshe Ivgy and Dorit Bar-Or. His performance with Moshe Ivgy earned both of them the Best Actor Award at the Jerusalem Film Festival.
In addition to this, Aboutboul was awarded the IFFI Best Actor award at the 44th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) held in Goa.
Israeli filmmaker Dan Wolman, best known for Hide and Seek, Tied Hands, to be awarded the Lifetime achievement Award
Veteran Israeli filmmaker Dan Wolman is a director and writer, known for his works like Hide and Seek (1980), Tied Hands (2006) and Ben’s Biography (2003). Wolman’s films have been presented in Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Shanghai, Goa, Moscow, to name a few and have won awards and prizes the world over. Dan received a ‘Lifetime achievement award’ at Jerusalem International film festival and ‘The Silver Hugo’ award at the Chicago International Film Festival for his unique vision and innovative work. In January 2015 he was awarded the ‘Arik Einstein prize’ for his achievements and contribution to Israeli cinema and culture. In 2016 Dan won ‘The Ophir Life Time Achievement Award’ by the Israeli Film Academy.
Wolman was in Goa earlier in March this year as a part of an art festival held in Panjim where his film, An Israeli Love Story was screened. The 2017 film is a love story set in 1947 – around the time of the formation of Israel.
Dan Wolman was also a part of the jury at the 42nd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) held in Goa in 2011.
In addition to screening the ten chosen films, the Indo-Israeli Co-production Seminar is slated to be held on 22nd November 2018 at the 49th IFFI.
Synopsis of the films selected for the Country Focus package.
Director: Joseph Cedar
The film is a 2011 Israeli drama film written and directed by Joseph Cedar, starring Shlomo Bar’aba and Lior Ashkenazi. The plot revolves around the troubled relationship between a father and son who teach at the Talmud department of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The film won the Best Screenplay Award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. Footnote won nine prizes at the 2011 Ophir Awards, becoming Israel’s entry for the 84th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. On 18 January 2012, the film was named as one of the nine shortlisted entries for the Oscars.
- The Other Story:
Written, Produced and Directed by Avi Nesher
The 2018 film portrays, with a sensitive and loving touch, characters coping with the pain of being in a dysfunctional family, and how this family handles the religious repentance of its daughter. It is a moving, human drama that mirrors the complex Israeli social reality in its darkest corners.
The Other Story will be the opening film of the Country Focus section. The film was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, in addition to being the Opening Film at the Haifa Film Festival earlier this year.
Director: Savi Gabizon
Longing is a 2017 Israeli comedy-drama film that takes place primarily in Acre, Israel. It narrates the story of a middle-aged Israeli bachelor who is forced to evaluate his life choices when he discovers an ex-girlfriend had given birth to his son 20 years before.
The film was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. At the 2017 Ophir Awards, Longing had 13 nominations and won for Best Screenplay.
- Para Aduma
Director: Tsivia Barkai Yacov
Set in an East Jerusalem neighborhood that’s a stone’s throw away from the Old City, Red Cow focuses on the relationship between 16-year-old Benny (Avigayil Koevary) and her devout dad, Yehoshua (Gal Toren). The latter leads a group of Israeli extremists who, as per the film’s title, are raising a sacred red heifer they believe will herald the dawn of a new age for Jews, allowing them to return to the Temple Mount, which they have been banned from for so long.
Red Cow is a coming-of-age film that takes place in the days leading up to the assassination of Rabin and depicts the life of Benny, orphaned from mother at birth and the only child of Joshua – a religious, right-wing extremist, in those critical junctures when she is forming her sexual, religious and political awareness.
Director: Joseph Madmony, Boaz Yehonatan Yaakov
This 2018 film is the story of Menachem, a former frontman for a rock band, who is now religious, and a father to a six-year-old. When his daughter is diagnosed with cancer, he must find a creative solution to fund the expensive treatments. He reunites his band for one last tour. The journey to save his daughter exposes old wounds and allows him to reconnect with his secular past. Menachem understands that only a new connection to his past and to his music can pave the road to his own redemption.
- Shalom Bollywood: The Untold Story of Indian Cinema
Director: Danny Ben-Moshe
Shalom Bollywood: The Untold Story of Indian Cinema is a feature length documentary celebrating the all singing, all dancing history of the world’s largest film industry. It reveals the unlikely story of the 2000 year old Indian Jewish community and its formative place in shaping the world’s largest film industry.
The film tells its tale through the lives of nice Jewish girls who became icons at the heart of Indian cinema from the turn of the 20th century to the present day. From the 1920s silent era we meet Sulochana (aka Ruby Myers), arguably the greatest ever female superstar of Indian cinema. In the 1930s there was Miss Rose (aka Rose Ezra) the Queen of the Bollywood’s racy party scene, and in the 1940s Pramila (aka Esther Abraham) who became the country’s first Miss India. Then, in the 1950s and 1960s golden era of Indian cinema, the quintessential Bollywood vamp Nadira (aka Farhat Ezekiel).
The film had its world premiere at the MAMI Mumbai Film Festival in 2017 and has been the hit of the Jewish, Indian and South East Asian film festival circuit in 2018.
The film also stars present day senior Bollywood figures, including acting legend Rishi Kapoor, who discuss the film industry in general and the impact of the Jewish stars in particular.
- The Bubble
Director: Eytan Fox
The movie follows a group of young friends in the city of Tel Aviv and is as much a love song to the city as it is an exploration of the claim that people in Tel Aviv are isolated from the rest of the country and the turmoil it’s going through. The movie looks at young people’s lives in Tel Aviv through the POVs of gays and straights, Jews and Arabs, men and women. It all begins when Noam, a young Israeli soldier, serves in the reserve forces and meets at a check point a Palestinian young man called Ashraf. Following an incident during which Noam misplaces his ID card at the check point, Ashraf shows up on the doorstep of the apartment that Noam shares with a gay man and a straight woman.
- The Unorthodox
Director: Eliran Malka
The film set in 1983 revolves around Yaakov Cohen, the owner of a Jerusalem printing press, whose daughter is expelled from school for ethnic reasons. Yaakov decides to fight back. He has no knowledge, no money, no connections and no political experience. But he does have the will and the passion to take action, and a belief that he and and other Sephardic Jews should be able to hold their heads up high. Yakov brings two friends along and together they start the first ethnic political group in Jerusalem, with an operation characteristic of the people they represent: not the suit-wearing types, but rather the people working their way up from the bottom. Their operation is informal, full of love for their fellow man, animated by a great sense of humor and a whole lot of rage.
- Waltz with Bashir
Director: Ari Folman
Waltz with Bashir is a 2008 Israeli animated war documentary film that depicts Folman in search of his lost memories of his experience as a soldier in the 1982 Lebanon War. One night at a bar, an old friend tells director Ari about a recurring nightmare in which he is chased by 26 vicious dogs. Every night, the same number of beasts. The two men conclude that there’s a connection to their Israeli Army mission in the first Lebanon War of the early eighties. Ari is surprised that he can’t remember a thing anymore about that period of his life. Intrigued by this riddle, he decides to meet and interview old friends and comrades around the world. He needs to discover the truth about that time and about himself. As Ari delves deeper and deeper into the mystery, his memory begins to creep up in surreal images.
Waltz with Bashir premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival where it entered the competition for the Palme d’Or, and since then has won and been nominated for many additional important awards while receiving wide acclaim from critics. It won a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, an NSFC Award for Best Film, a César Award for Best Foreign Film and an IDA Award for Feature Documentary, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, a BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language and an Annie Award for Best Animated Feature.
- Working Woman
Director: Michal Aviad
This Israeli film focuses on workplace harassment and features a quietly powerful lead performance by Liron Ben Shlush. Life at work becomes unbearable for Orna as her boss appreciates and promotes her, while making inappropriate advances. Her husband struggles to keep his new restaurant afloat, and Orna becomes the main breadwinner for their three children. When her world is finally shattered, she must pull herself together to fight, in her own way, for her job and a sense of self-worth.
The film was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. The film received a bow at the Toronto International Film Festival and then the Busan International Film Festival.