Since the invention of moving pictures, foreign directors have been drawn to make films in Israel, both documentaries and feature films.The Tel Aviv Cinematheque is putting these movies front and center with its festival, Out Looking In: Israel in the Eyes of Foreign Directors, which runs from January 6-31. Numerous lectures are included in the series, as well as 11 films. Dr. Ariel Schweitzer, a professor and film critic for Les Cahiers du Cinema, curated the festival. Movies made here go all the way back to 1896 with the Lumière brothers’ Films in Palestine, which were shot by Alexandre Promio and feature clips of the Old City and a train leaving Jerusalem. The Life of the Jews in Palestine: 1913 by Noah Sokolovsky is a look at the pioneers of the first and second aliyah.Documentaries at the festival include Chris Marker’s Description of a Struggle, a 1960 film by the master director, on which Jerusalem Cinematheque founder Lia van Leer and her husband, Wim, had a producing credit. Promised Lands is a 1974 film by Susan Sontag, shot during the Yom Kippur War. Claude Lanzmann’s Israel, Why examines many aspects of life here, including the impact of Holocaust survivors on Israeli society. Chantal Akerman’s Down There is a look at her Jewish identity made while the French director was on a visit to Tel Aviv. Pier Paolo Pasolino’s Sopralluoghi in Palestina per il Vangelo secondo Matteo (Location Hunting in Palestine) is about how the director scouted locations for The Gospel According to St. Matthew.Of course, the festival features the highest profile Hollywood film ever made in Israel: Otto Preminger’s Exodus. This 1960 film – which not surprisingly won an Oscar for its classic score – stars Paul Newman as the Zionist hero Ari Ben Canaan, who smuggles immigrants into Palestine during British Mandate rule and has a romance with an American nurse, played by Eva Marie Saint, during the War of Independence. It’s an adaptation of Leon Uris’s novel with a screenplay by Dalton Trumbo, one of the screenwriters who was blacklisted in the McCarthy era. The tagline for the film reads: “The drama and the passion of one of the epic events of the twentieth century!”They don’t make movies like this anymore, but in mid-20th century, several other Hollywood films were set here. Two of these, which are included in this festival, are The Juggler and Cast a Giant Shadow, both starring Kirk Douglas. The 1953 Juggler is about a former concentration camp inmate who immigrates to Israel in 1949 and can’t adjust due to psychological problems. Cast a Giant Shadow, a 1966 film, tells the fact-based story of Col. David ‘‘Mickey” Marcus, a US World War II veteran who became a leader in the Israeli military during the War of Independence and was killed in Abu Ghosh. Angie Dickinson plays his wife back home and Senta Berger is a sexy Jewish fighter.For more information, go to cinema.co.il.