Thirty-third time’s the charm: The best of the Haifa Film Festival

The festival will open with the premiere of the new Blade Runner film, Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049.

September 28, 2017 12:22
3 minute read.
Director of the movie Denis Villeneuve (2ndL) and cast members Ryan Gosling (L), Ana de Armas (2ndR)

Director of the movie Denis Villeneuve (2ndL) and cast members Ryan Gosling (L), Ana de Armas (2ndR) and Harrison Ford (R) attend a photocall for the film "Blade Runner 2049" in Paris, France, September 20, 2017. . (photo credit: CHARLES PLATIAU / REUTERS)

The 33rd Haifa International Film Festival will take place from October 5 to 14 at the Haifa Cinematheque and other theaters around the city. It’s always a treat for moviegoers, as the festival’s artistic director Pnina Blayer chooses the best recent films from Israel and abroad.

The festival will open with the premiere of the new Blade Runner film, Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049. It stars Ryan Gosling as a young blade runner, who tracks down the legendary Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford). Fans of the original Ridley Scott 1982 film have been awaiting this reboot with anticipation — and some apprehension — for years.

Brian Cox, who has the title role in Churchill, a biopic of the British prime minister, will be a guest of the festival and will be present at some of the screenings. The movie, directed by Jonathan Teplitzky, looks at Winston Churchill during the D-Day invasion. Cox attended last year’s festival as well, with the film The Carer.

Two movies that feature the last performances by great actors will be shown. The late Martin Landau stars with Paul Sorvino in Howard L. Weiner’s The Last Poker Game, about two very different men who become friends in a nursing home. Weiner has had a distinguished career as a neurologist, and the movie is his feature-film directorial debut. The film will be screened in the Between Jewish and Israeli Identity section.

Harry Dean Stanton, who died earlier this month, played another one of his grizzled loners in John Carroll Lynch’s Lucky. The movie tells the story of the spiritual journey of a 90-year-old atheist.

The Carmel Competition features movies from around the world. Ildikó Enyedi’s On Body and Soul, which won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival this year, tells the story of two co-workers who have an awkward relationship by day but dream at night that they are forest animals together. Enyedi will be a guest of the festival.

Vazante, directed by Daniela Thomas, is an epic period piece set in a desolate Brazilian estate in the 1820s. Birds are Singing in Kigali, a movie about the Rwandan genocide, will be screened in the presence of its co-director, Joanna Kos-Krauze. And director Janos Szasz will attend screenings of his film The Butcher, the Whore and the One-Eyed Man.

Maryana Spivak, the actress who stars in Andrey Zvyagnitsev’s Loveless, will be present at the festival. The film, about a couple going through a divorce, won the Jury Prize at Cannes.

The Golden Anchor Competition, which is for movies from countries that border the Mediterranean, includes Emmanuel Finkiel’s Memoir of Pain, an adaptation of a Marguerite Duras novel about Resistance members in wartime Paris, and the director will attend the screening. Jonas Carpignano will present his film A Ciambra, about a Romani boy caught up in the refugee crisis in Italy.

An especially strong Haifa Classics section includes Federico Fellini’s La Strada; Mike Nichols’s The Graduate; and Luis Bunuel’s Belle de Jour.

Cinemart with David D’Arcy, a section that always features fascinating films, includes Amir Bar-Lev’s Long Strange Trip, a documentary about the Grateful Dead; Joe Berlinger’s Intent to Destroy, a documentary about the 1915 Armenian genocide; and Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me, a look at the legendary entertainer, which will be followed by a master class with the film’s director, Sam Pollard.

There will be Israeli feature film and documentary competitions, an Israeli short film program, and a special screening of Samuel Maoz’s Foxtrot. Eran Riklis’ latest film, Shelter, starring Neta Riskin as a Mossad agent, will be screened in the presence of the director.

There is also a David Lynch tribute; movies for children; Midnight Madness, which will feature Darren Aronofsky’s new film, Mother!, starring Jennifer Lawrence, and the animated movie Cinderella the Cat, which will be accompanied by Alessandro Rak, one of its co-directors; East of the West, with recent films from Eastern Europe; a program of films about ecology; and many other sections.

There will also be a Virtual Reality conference called Haifa VR City, with events all over town such as discussions and screenings.

For more info and to order tickets:

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