Film festival 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Several film festivals, in Israel and around the world, are offering some
programs worth a look. The 6th International Children’s Film Festival starts on
October 27 at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque and runs through October 30. More than
60 films will be screened during the festival, including Israeli films, films
from abroad, short films and films by children.
The program states the
festival’s theme as “In every place and in every language in the world, each
child’s story is worthy of a film.”
The guest of honor will be Mijke de
Jong, the Dutch director of the film Bluebird, which won the Crystal Bear Award
at the Berlin Film Festival and the Grand Prix at the Montreal International
Children’s Film Festival. It tells the story of an adolescent girl who is
bullied at school and how she learns to fight back.
Among the Israeli
films being shown are the popular Noodle, about a Tel Aviv woman who helps the
child of a worker from China find his mother; Saint Clara, the first film by Ari
Folman (who went on to direct Waltz with Bashir) and Ori Sivan, about a
clairvoyant high school student; and Lynn Roth’s The Little Traitor, a film
based on Amos Oz’s novel about a Jewish boy in pre-state Jerusalem who befriends
a British soldier played by Alfred Molina.
The international films come
from all over the world and include Bonkers, a film from The Netherlands about a
nine-year-old girl whose already complicated life gets even crazier when her
mother gives her an elephant; Before the World Ends, a Brazilian film about a
boy who gets a chance to start over again in a remote rural village with a
father he has never known; Echoes of the Rainbow, a film from Hong Kong about a
poor family; and the American film based on the recent children’s bestseller
Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
There will be some classic films shown, including
the 1938 Hollywood version of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and a program of
documentaries for children. The festival will also feature a number of workshops
and special events, including workshops on special effects and movie
It’s the official centennial of the kibbutz movement, and
cinematheques around the country are showing a festival of documentaries and
feature films about kibbutzim throughout the month.
Among the best of
them are Ran Tal’s Children of the Sun, a look at children’s experiences growing
up on kibbutzim.
The Los Angeles Israel Film Festival is celebrating its
25th anniversary this year with awards for some of its longtime supporters,
among them a lifetime achievement award for actor Richard Dreyfuss, as well as
awards for Ryan Kavanaugh, the founder and CEO of Relativity Media; Jon Landau,
the COO of Lightstorm Entertainment; and Avi Lerner, the co-chairman and CEO of
Nu Image/Millennium Films.
The festival, which runs until November 4,
features more than 40 recent Israeli films. Its opening attraction, The
Matchmaker (previously called Once I Was), directed by Avi Nesher, won the Ophir
Awards for Best Actor (Adir Miller) and Best Actress (Maya Dagan). The closing
film, Eran Riklis’s The Human Resources Manager, won the Ophir for Best Picture.
In between, the most successful Israeli films of the last two years will be
shown, including Lebanon (winner of the top prize at the Venice International
Film Festival last year), Five Hours from Paris, A Matter of Size and This Is
Sodom, the top-grossing Israeli film in the last 25 years.
are Israeli film festivals in many other cities, the Los Angeles one tends to
draw a particularly star-studded crowd. It also gives Israeli directors an
opportunity to show their work to key Hollywood professionals, who can help them
with distribution and the financing of future films. In the past, a great deal
of co-production money invested in the Israeli film industry has come from
Europe, but perhaps when this year’s impressive lineup debuts in Los Angeles,
American producers will begin supporting the growing film industry here. Don’t
be surprised if some Israeli-American co-productions are announced when the