Women filmmakers have a more central place around the world today than they did a decade ago, and the 10th International Women’s Film Festival in Israel will celebrate their accomplishments.
This year’s festival opens on October 21 in Rehovot and runs until October 27. It then features a series of special programs that will run from October 27-29 at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque. The festival will present 90 films by and about women, made in Israel and all over the world.
There will be special programs focusing on the work of two of the world’s most celebrated women filmmakers, one Israeli and one French: Michal Bat-Adam and Claire Denis.
Competitions will be held for both Israeli and international films.
The festival will include a largescale exhibition devoted to the pioneering women filmmakers in Israel. There will also be a festive screening of Elida Gera’s Before Tomorrow, the first Israeli film directed by a woman, which was made in 1969. The film has been restored for the festival.
There will also be screenings of films by 10 distinguished women filmmakers from the past decade, including such wonderful movies as Claudia Llosa’s The Milk of Sorrow and Andrea Arnold’s Red Road.
One of the highlights of the international film competition is Alice Winocour’s Augustine, which received great critical acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival. The factbased drama tells the story of Jean Martin Charcot, considered the father of modern neurology (he had a strong influence on Sigmund Freud), and his relationship with a young female patient.
Performance artist Shannon Plumb’s directorial debut, Towheads, is a semiautobiographical look at a young mother, married to a theater director, and her struggle to forge her own identity.
Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross’s In Bloom is a coming-ofage drama about young women in Tbilisi, Georgia, in the 1990s.
Ana Guavara and Leticia Jorge’s So Much Water is another comingof- age story about a girl who gets stranded at a resort with her father. It won rave reviews when it was shown at the Berlin Film Festival.
Eva Pervolovici’s Marussia is an extremely topical film about a mother and daughter from Russia who immigrate to Paris and then find themselves homeless.
This has been a particularly strong year so far for female directors in Israel, and their work will be shown at the festival.
Vidi Bilu’s Fragile, her longawaited follow-up to Close to Home, tells the story of a restless Jerusalem housewife (Reymond Amsallem) in the 1960s and how her changing view of her role inspires her daughter and causes trouble in her marriage.
Hana Azoulay’s Hasfari’s Orange People, the actress’ directorial debut, tells the story of three generations of a family of Moroccan women and how tradition and mysticism can empower as well as oppress.
Tali Sharon stars as a 33-yearold aspiring filmmaker who finds herself living with her parents again in Maya Dreifuss’s She’s Coming Home, which also stars Alon Aboutboul as a married high school principal she has an affair with.
Israeli documentaries in the festival include Michal Aviad’s The Women Pioneers, a look at the women who helped found Kibbutz Ein Harod. Ganit Ilouz’s Dove’s Cry is a film about a Palestinian woman who is a teacher at an Israeli elementary school. Judy Maltz and Richie Sherman’s From the Black You Make Color is a look at eight women from the margins of Israeli society who go to study at a beauty school in Tel Aviv.
There will also be a number of workshops and special programs that are open to the public.
For tickets and more details about the films and special programs, go to the festival website at www.iwff.net