BENICIO DEL TORO (far right) and Tim Robbins (center) star in Fernando León de Aranoa’s ‘A Perfect Day’ which opens this year’s Arava Film Festival. .
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The fourth Arava Film Festival, an open-air film event, will take place today through November 21 in the Negev, next to Tsukim, in the Ashush Natural Reserve, midway between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea. Every night, three feature films will be shown on a large screen with state-of-the-art projection equipment.
The films shown represent the best of contemporary cinema from around the world, and several of the actors, directors and producers who made them will be attending the festival. Seven of these films will participate in a competition, voted on by the festival audiences, the winner of which will receive15,000 euros.
The program will also include two medium- length films produced and shot in the Arava desert in the course of the past year.
The festival, sponsored by the Central Arava Regional Council, is run in cooperation with the Haifa International Film Festival.
The opening-night film is A Perfect Day, directed by Fernando León de Aranoa, who made the acclaimed drama Mondays in the Sun. It tells the story of a group of aid workers who try to resolve a conflict in a war zone. Bosnian actor Fedja Stukan will attend the screening, and the movie also stars Olga Kurylenko (who starred in the Israeli movie The Assassin Next Door), Benicio Del Toro and Tim Robbins.
José Luis Rugeles’ Alias Maria tells the story of a teenage female soldier in the Colombian jungle who realizes she is pregnant.
The Second Mother, directed by Anna Muylaert, is about a Brazilian housekeeper, whose estranged daughter returns home and disrupts the carefully ordered life of the upper class family her mother works for.
The movie won the audience award at the Panorama Section of the Berlin Film Festival, and its lead actresses shared the Best Actress prize at Sundance. The movie will be screened in the presence of the director.
Virgin Mountain is a movie from Iceland about a reclusive 43-year-old who still lives with his mother, and who begins to come out of his shell when he takes line-dancing lessons. Director Dagur Kári will attend the screening of the film, which won awards for Best Narrative Feature, Best Actor and Best Screenplay at the Tribeca Film Festival.
The High Sun tells three love stories, set in three consecutive decades, in two Balkan villages that have a long history of ethnic conflict. Directed by Dalibor Matanic, this movie won the Jury Prize of the Un Certain Regard competition in Cannes. Actress Tihana Lazovic will attend the screening.
Philippe Garrel’s In the Shadow of Women is about a documentary filmmaker who works with his longtime lover, and how their lives change when he starts having an affair with an intern.
Set in a remote Icelandic farming village, Rams, which won the Un Certain Regard competition at Cannes, tells the story of two brothers who haven’t spoken in years, but come together to save their sheep.
Director Grímur Hákonarson will attend the screening.
Arnaud Desplechin’s My Golden Days is about a man who looks back on his life, reviewing the ups and downs, and thinking hard about the love of his life. The director will attend the screening.
Pablo Berger’s Blancanieves is a silent black-and-white film that transposes the Snow White story to Spain.
It’s only fitting that Baba Joon, the Israeli film that won the Ophir Award for Best Picture this year and which was filmed in the Negev, will be shown in the festival.
Director Yuval Delshad will attend the screening.
There will be a number of special events, among them a performance by Diwan Saz, an ensemble that celebrates the musical traditions of Central Asia, Turkey and the Middle-East and features Christian, Jewish and Muslim musicians.For more information and to order tickets, go to the festival website at www.aravaff.co.il.