Israel Fest Set for 20th Anniversary Event
by S.T. VanAirsdale
The Israel Film Festival is well-known for a number of reasons. For example, it annually boasts the largest assortment of Israeli films in the country, and is a film festival that travels to four U.S. cities. But this year's festival, opening Oct. 14 in New York, is especially newsworthy as it celebrates its 20th year entertaining American audiences.
Opening night will feature tributes to both Israeli and American filmmakers, including director Avi Nesher, Showtime CEO Matthew Blank and Producers Circle founder Martin Richards. Nesher's latest film, the blockbuster "Turn Left at the End of the World," will have its U.S. premiere on the festival's opening night.
"We are very proud of this year's honorees and our diverse selection of the best Israeli films," said the festival's executive director, Meir Fenigstein, in a statement. "We are also extremely excited to rech this landmark anniversary celebrating 20 years of Israeli cinema in such a culturaly rich city as New York."
The comedy-drama" Turn Left at the End of the World" tells the story of Indian and Moroccan immigrant families adapting to cultural and political challenges in 1960s Israel. Nesher's first Israeli film in almost 20 years eclipsed virtually all of the country's box-ofice records within months of its release earlier this year.
More than 30 other new films will be featured as well, including Dan Setton's Emmy Award-winning documentary, "In the Name of God," and Eran Riklis' closing-night drama, "The Syrian Bride."
Among other events, the festival's Outreach Program will host presentations at Jewish cultural centers around New York, including the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Manhattan Jewish Community Center. Following its fortnight in New York, the festival will move on to Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami.
[ For more information and a full schedule, please visit: http://www.israelfilmfestival.com. ]