LONDON – London is set to host the UK’s first-ever Israeli film festival which
kicks off on Thursday with a celebration of work celebrating the contribution
that Israeli film and television has made and the diversity of its
Seret, the London Israeli Film & Television Festival, is
the brainchild of Odelia Haroush, a former manager of the Ahava cosmetics store
in London targeted last year by anti-Israel activists; Anat Koren, editor of
Alondon, a popular magazine in Hebrew for London’s extensive Israeli community;
and Patty Hochmann, a member of the Israeli Film Academy.
she hoped the festival would provide a window to Israeli culture and life and
show how Israel’s film and television industry is flourishing.
she was motivated after experiencing weekly protests by anti- Israel activists
Koren and Hochmann, who were roommates at Tel Aviv University
some years ago, got together with Haroush last summer to put the festival
“We all realized that there is no Israeli film festival in
London, as there are in various places around the world, such as New York,
Chicago, Amsterdam and Paris.
“The Israel film and TV industry is
flourishing with many Israeli television programs are being bought by US and UK
distributors,” Haroush told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. “We wanted to show
the UK audience the culture and social diversity in everyday life in Israel
through the medium of film and television.”
There is no better example
than the successful Homeland, a US adaptation of his Israeli television series
Hatufim (Prisoners of War) (2009), which has won two Golden Globes and has been
screened in more than 40 countries.
The festival will screen 14 Israeli
films at various London cinemas showcasing the outstanding contribution of
Israeli film and television to the arts. Some of the films’ directors will
feature in question and answer sessions.
Episodes from the award-winning
sit-com Ramzor (Traffic Light), which was adapted by Fox in the US and bought by
Russian television channel RTC, and award-winning drama Pilpilim Tzehubim
(Yellow Peppers) will make up the festival’s program.
The films set to be
screened include Footnote (directed by Joseph Cedar, 2011) which was nominated
for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Academy Awards, Off White Lies
(Maya Kenig, 2011), Invisible (Michal Aviad, 2011), The Fifth Heaven (Dina Tzvi-
Riklis, 2011), I Shot My Love (Tomer Heymann, 2010), Sharqiya (Ami Livne, 2012),
2 Night (Roi Werner, 2011) and Lipstikka (Jonathan Segal, 2011).
sees an industry day which provides an opportunity to meet Israeli filmmakers
and television program creators.
The aim is to facilitate discussions
about collaboration and broaden the communication that already exists between
the British and Israeli industries.
“The day will give a opportunity to
directors and other talents that we are bringing from Israel to meet and discuss
their last and next projects with some important figures from the film and TV
industry in the UK,” Haroush said.