Several Israel-themed films heading to Sundance

Documentary on Dr. Ruth also set to premiere at festival next year.

November 29, 2018 16:54
1 minute read.
Advocate, a joint Israeli, Canadian and Swiss production, will have its world premiere in the World

Advocate, a joint Israeli, Canadian and Swiss production, will have its world premiere in the World Cinema documentary competition. (photo credit: SUNDANCE INSTITUTE)


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Several films touching on Israel are slated to premiere at The Sundance Film Festival next year, which is scheduled to open January 23 in Park City, Utah.

The feature film lineup for the much-anticipated event was revealed by the Sundance Institute this week.

Advocate, a joint Israeli, Canadian and Swiss production, will have its world premiere in the World Cinema documentary competition. The film, which is competing against 11 other documentaries, spotlights Leah Tsemel, an Israeli lawyer who has dedicated her life to representing Palestinian defendants in court. She has taken on both peaceful protesters and terrorists as her clients. The film is directed by Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaiche.

Advocate will come up against an Irish-funded film called Gaza, directed by Garry Keane and Andrew McConnell. The movie is described as going “beyond the reach of television news reports to reveal a world rich with eloquent and resilient characters.”
In the special “kids” section of the festival, a Brazilian film titled Abe will also have its world premiere. The movie, starring Noah Schnapp (Stranger Things) in the titular role, focuses on a 12-year-old kid from Brooklyn who is known as Avram to the Israeli side of his family and Ibrahim to the Palestinian side. Abe escapes from a summer cooking camp and decides – aided by a Brazilian chef – to unite his family over a shared meal. Mark Margolis of Breaking Bad and Seu Jorge (City of God) also star.

And premiering out of competition at the festival is a documentary about the legendary sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer. The film, directed by Ryan White and titled Ask Dr. Ruth, is slated to present a portrait of the Holocaust survivor and Hagana veteran and her pioneering career path.

Sundance said it selected 112 feature films out of 14,259 submissions. The lineup of short films and TV series is set to be unveiled in the coming days.

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