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The screening of the Israeli classic, Hill 24 Doesn't Answer, the opening attraction of the 7th Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival on Saturday night at 8 p.m. at the Jerusalem Cinematheque, should be very festive, since several members of the cast and crew will be on hand to celebrate the film's 50th anniversary.
American actor Michael Wager, who also appeared in Exodus, will be present, as will Michael Shillo, who also appeared in the original Thomas Crown Affair, and the Mickey Marcus biography starring Kirk Douglas, Cast A Giant Shadow. Israeli singer Shoshana Damari, who has a small part in the film, will also attend, along with Jack Padwa, one of the film's producers.
Although the opening screening, which will also feature a live musical performance by Berry Sacharoff and the Yona Ensemble, may be the festival's biggest event, other guests are expected. Salvador Litvak, the director of When Do We Eat? the story of a disastrous Passover seder, starring Ben Feldman, Michael Lerner, Mili Avital and Lesley Ann Warren, will attend the screening of his film. Pasquale Scimeca, director of a very different film, The Passion of Joshua, the Jew, the story of a boy born to Jewish parents in Spain, but raised as Christian around the time of the Spanish Inquisition, will be at the festival. Documentary director Eric Greenberg Anjou will be on hand for the screening of A Cantor's Tale, a portrait of New York cantor Jack Mendelson and a look at the musical roots of the cantorial tradition.
As in previous years, almost all the Israeli filmmakers will be on hand for the screenings of their films, as will the subjects of some of the Israeli documentaries, including actress Orna Porat, whose life is explored in the film, My Way, and singer Yasmin Levy, the focus of Ladino - 500 Years Young.
Each film is shown just once during the festival, which runs from December 24-30, and they tend to sell out fast. Call 02-565-4333 or go to www.jer-cin.org.il for more information.