The 2023 Israeli film festival in Lisbon featured six unique Israeli movies with the aim of bringing the two countries closer together.
The “Dias do Cinema Israelita” took place at the beginning of March with the support of the Israeli Embassy in Portugal and New Lineo Cinemas, the owner of the Cinema City chain.
“This is the 14th edition of the Israeli Film Festival,” tweeted Ambassador Dor Shapira. “For us it is an excellent way to show the Israeli culture here in Portugal.”
The festival screened a different movie each day for six days.The organizers selected these films based on their excellent reviews in Israel and around the world, with the goal of presenting different perspectives on the Israeli society, culture, and daily life.
The opening evening was attended by over 250 guests, including the ambassador, the President of Cinema City Eyal Edery, and the Councilor for Culture of the Lisbon City Council Diogo Moura.
Among the movies screened was Cinema Sabaya, a work celebrating the women of Israel, their diversity, and the power of their friendships and secret lives.
“Cinema Sabaya” directed by Orit Fouks Rotem, tells the story of a group of women, Jewish and Muslim, participating in a movie workshop in their small town in northern Israel.
Actress Dana Ivgy plays Rona, a filmmaker from Tel Aviv who runs the workshop. As each student shares footage from her home life with the others, their beliefs and preconceptions are challenged and barriers are broken down. The group comes together as mothers, daughters, wives, and women living in a world designed to keep them apart, forming an empowering and lasting bond as they learn more about each other and themselves.
The organizers of the Israeli Film Festival in Lisbon also selected “Paris Boutique” directed by Marco Carmel, a romantic comedy about Jerusalem.
The movie tells the story of two women named Louise, a Jewish lawyer from Paris and a Jerusalem cab driver. Together, they discover a secret connection between an ultra-Orthodox woman and a Christian man who communicate through notes hidden in the Western Wall.
Another romantic comedy, "Matchmaking" also drew a lot of interest from festival attendees.
Directed by Erez Tadmor, the film portrays the life of a young Orthodox Jew in search of a woman to marry and provides an inside look at the challenges faced by individuals within the Orthodox Jewish community when it comes to finding a suitable partner.
The other movies screened included "Silent" by Shemi Zarhin, "Greener Pastures" by Assaf Abiri and Matan Guggenheim, and "My Neighbor Adolf" by Leon Prudovsky.
The Dias do Cinema Israelita festival is an important cultural event in Lisbon, allowing Portuguese audiences to discover and appreciate Israeli cinema. The festival provides a platform for Israeli filmmakers to showcase their work and promote cultural exchange between Israel and Portugal. The event serves as a testament to the importance of film as a tool for promoting understanding and connection between different cultures.