After two years of Covid restrictions, the Israeli Embassy in Portugal, together with Cinema City celebrated the Israeli Film Festival in Cinema City Lisbon this spring. The 13th annual festival, which lasted a week, featured six Israeli films. The festival was acclaimed as one of the most successful Israeli film festivals yet.
The event opened with a screening of “One More Story,” Guri Alfi’s new romantic comedy about a young journalist on a mission to find true love for her best friend and for herself. She convinces her friend to go on dates every evening for a month with a different woman each time, until he finds the right one. Who will find true love first?
Three hundred people attended the showing, including director, comedian and actor Guri Alfi, the Portuguese Secretary of State, diplomats, influencers, and celebrities. Speakers included Israeli Ambassador to Portugal Dor Shapira, the owners of Cinema City and the Portuguese Deputy Minister of Culture.
Further success came in the form of a screening of the film “Sublet,” a 2020 Israeli-American drama written by Fox and Itay Segal starring John Benjamin Hickey and Niv Nissim. The film tells the story of Michael, a travel writer for The New York Times, visiting Tel Aviv for work. Michael is a former bestselling author, having written a book about New York City during the peak of the AIDS crisis, in which he lost a good friend to the disease. Instead of staying at a hotel, Michael meets Tomer, a younger film student in need of some extra money, who sublets his apartment in a popular neighborhood. The two gay men face a generational gap that puts their personal and clashing life philosophies into perspective.
‘Sublet’ was the Embassy’s first collaboration with the LGBT community and the evening was attended by the president of the LGBT community, director Eytan Fox, and influential members of the LGBT community. After the screening, a Q&A session was held with Eytan Fox.
Both films attracted a great deal of local and social media attention. As part of the promotion of the Festival, Guri Alfi gave a workshop at Lusófona University for the film department, which sparked interest among the students, many of whom attended the Festival.