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Any film festival that brings together homages to Francis Bacon and Merce Cunningham, hosts a descendant of Felix Mendelssohn and presents a master class by self-confessed art geek Ben Lewis deserves to be called eclectic - or EPOS, the first International Art Film Festival, which will take place October 29-31 at the Tel Aviv Cinemateque.
Festival directors Micky Laron and Gidi Avivi are presenting over 40 local and international documentary and feature films on music, dance, literature and poetry; art and theater. In addition, the festival will host special guests and present events, including an evening dedicated to Pina Bausch and Merce Cunningham, the great choreographers who passed away this year, and commemorations of the 200th anniversary of Mendelssohn's birth and the 100th anniversary of the British painter Bacon's birth.
Among the guests will be director Rene Letzgus, who will present his 2008 film Love Sorceress on October 30 about jazz legend Nina Simone's 1976 concert in Paris that has gone down in history as an example of performance art.
Controversial American art critic and filmmaker Lewis, who prides himself on having been booted out of the famed Sotheby's auction house, will offer a master class entitled: 'Art Safari: The Tantrums, Tears and Traumas of making Art Documentaries,' in which he will explain the inner workings of making cult documentary films on the subject of contemporary art, focusing on his own feature The Great Contemporary Art Bubble.
DIRECTOR SHEILA Hayman will present her feature film on her famed relative in 2009's Mendelssohn, the Nazis and Me, about the unfair restrictions of labels and the unifying power of music. A devout Christian, and also a Jew, the composer and his legacy became a source of acute embarrassment for the Nazis when they were faced with trying to write Germany's favorite musical creator out of history.
In collaboration with the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, on October 31 the festival will present an homage to Bacon's 100th birthday, featuring a lecture by Tal Lanir, 'Fragment of a Crucifixion - The Art of Francis Bacon,' and a screening of the film Francis Bacon, which follows a day in the life of the painter. The event will take place at the museum.
The tribute to Bausch and Cunningham will take place at the Suzanne Dellal Center on October 30 and includes excerpts from dance movies, panel discussions on their contribution to culture, art and the dance world, and the screening of Ladies and Gentlemen over 65 - a documentation of a work by Bausch with people older than 65.
Among the film highlights of the festival are Oliver Sacks: Tales of Music and the Brain, directed by Louise Lockwood, Israeli art documentary One Eye Wide Open, directed by Aner Preminger, and Steven Sebring's 2008 film Patti Smith: Dream of Life, which chronicles 10 years in the life of rock's punk mistress, including footage from her visit to Israel in 1999.
Time will also be set aside at the festival on October 29 to focus on films made by students at films schools and art colleges around the country.
For a full schedule of films and events and to order tickets, go to http://www.filmart.co.il/?lat=en