The 34th Toronto International Film Festival has announced the full lineup of its inaugural City to City programme – which will showcase Tel Aviv. The programme’s intent is to explore “the evolving urban experience by immersing audiences in the best films from and about a selected city.” The ten films that comprise this year’s inaugural programme present the complex currents running through Tel Aviv, which celebrates its 100th birthday this year.
The City To City programme, which descriptions provided by the festival.
Niv Klainer, Israel/France International Premiere
A Tel Aviv father tries to keep his schizophrenic son out of an institution, but when he takes in a Thai migrant worker, she disrupts the uneasy balance in their home.
Efraim Kishon, Israel/USA/West Germany
One of the best-loved Israeli comedies of its era, Big Dig is a dizzying 1969 farce in which an inspired madman brings Tel Aviv to a halt with a jackhammer.
Uri Zohar, Israel
From one of Israel’s most influential filmmakers, this classic depicts a Tel Aviv counterculture that is progressive and blessed with many delights, but also self-critical and perhaps a little exhausted by the push and pull of secularism and orthodoxy. Zohar himself stars as Benny Furman, a womanizing basketball coach forced to decide what he really wants in life.
Eytan Fox, Israel
A defining work of recent Tel Aviv cinema, this multi-character story shows the city’s free-thinking liberals confronted with harsh political tensions.
A History of Israeli Cinema – Part 1
Raphael Nadjari, Israel/France North American Premiere This invigorating exploration of Israeli cinema draws upon numerous clips and engrossing interviews with filmmakers and historians. Part 1 covers the years 1932 to 1978, chronicling the Zionist struggle to create a state and shape its identity.
A History of Israeli Cinema – Part 2
Raphael Nadjari, Israel/France North American Premiere
In the second of this two-part documentary, filmmakers and scholars explore the development of Israel’s film culture from 1978 to the present.
Keren Yedaya, Israel/France/Germany North American Premiere
In this contemporary Romeo and Juliet story from Tel Aviv’s fabled sister city, a young Jewish woman and her Arab childhood sweetheart grow up side-by-side but are pulled apart by fate and passing years.
Danny Lerner, Israel/France/USA World Premiere
James Bond heroine Olga Kurylenko stars in this taut drama about a Russian illegal immigrant in Tel Aviv forced into violence even as she befriends a woman who needs her help.
Life According to Agfa
Assi Dayan, Israel Gila Almagor stars as the owner of a bar which sees its regulars suffer highs and lows as they come to reflect a microcosm of Tel Aviv.
Yoav Paz and Doron Paz, Israel World Premiere
This is a sharp, stylish debut feature about a young man hunkering down in his Tel Aviv apartment with a steady diet of TV and internet for companionship.