The 30th Haifa International Film Festival, which will take place from October 9-18 at the Haifa Cinematheque, will feature 11 new Israeli feature films, as well as 12 documentaries.

The festival is both international and Israeli, and has a number of competitions for foreign films, notably the Golden Anchor Award for the best film from a country on the Mediterranean.

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Among the Israeli feature films competing will be The Farewell Party, directed by Tal Granit and Sharon Maymoun and starring Ze’ev Revach, about retirees who create a euthanasia machine, which led the nominees for the Ophir Awards, the prizes of the Israel Academy for Film and Television. It was also shown at the Venice International Film Festival, which runs until September 6, and will be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, which opens on September 4. Nir Bergman’s Yona is a biopic of the famous poet Yona Wallach.

Next to Her, by Asaf Korman, had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival last spring. These three have gotten the most advance buzz, but any of the movies may turn out to win the highly anticipated Israeli feature film competition.

Several features will be screened out of competition, among them Dani Menkin’s English-language romantic comedy Is That You?, starring Alon Aboutboul as an Israeli who loses his job and goes to the US to search for his long-lost love. Suha Arraf’s Villa Touma, which generated controversy because of her demand that it be identified as a Palestinian film although the bulk of its budget came from Israeli film funds, will be shown in the Panorama section, one of the film festival’s international programs, and not as part of the Israeli program. The movie is about Christian sisters in Ramallah in the late Sixties and was recently shown at the Venice International Film Festival. Amos Gitai’s Tsili, which was also shown at Venice, will be screened out of competition at Haifa.

For more information, and to order tickets to the Haifa International Film Festival, go to the festival website at

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