Life on a string

The Holon International Puppet Theater and Film Festival aims to expose audiences to the mechanics of puppeteering.

Puppets 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Puppets 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
With marionette groups stringing along their puppets to impersonate characters, workshops being held for children to design fairies, an exhibit starring Czech Republic puppets, and international movies featuring an unheard-of puppet world, this year’s Holon International Puppet Theater and Film Festival, which runs through July 25, will be showcasing a plethora of creations.
“Our festival is unique – it’s a festival of the whole puppetry experience,” IIan Savir, the artistic director of the event, told The Jerusalem Post this week. “You can watch a show... and you’re exposed to the artistic subject that the creator wants you to be exposed to. But if you are more interested, if you want to take more time to observe... you can go to the museum, which is open free of charge. It’s not just come-buy-a-ticket-andgo- home – there are outdoor performances as well. It’s up to every person to decide how much time he wants to spend with us during the festival, and how much time they want to devote to investigating.”
According to its website, the festival’s goal is “to expose the public to the many facets and nuances of puppet theater as a qualitative, accessible and communicative art form for any audience, of all age groups; to raise public consciousness of the complexity of artistic work in this field, both on stage and on the screen; to promote top-quality Israeli art by supporting original productions; to broaden the horizons of Israeli artists by facilitating interaction with artists from abroad in shows, workshops and encounters.”
The festival will include three international puppet shows, said Yifat Weiss, the public relations spokesperson for the festival.
Making its way from France is the children’s show Peter and the Wolf and the Three Pigs, created by Mark Rossi and Christophe Bastien, with Adele Stijn and Cecil Laurier participating. The story unravels with the boy Peter who has escaped from his grandfather and meets a bird, a duck, and a cat to help hunters catch the bad wolf. This leads into the famous story about the three pigs who each build their house with different material while the malevolent wolf plots evil ways to destroy the houses. This second half of the story is told without any dialogue.
Another international puppet act hails from Scotland, telling the story of Cinderella, as created by Shona Reppe. Critics praised reviewed the show as “A female puppet theater production with many brilliant inventions and most mischievous wit” (Herald).
Arriving from Prague comes Karromato, which performs their marionette show titled “Empire’s Feast.” It’s a musical based on parts of Mozart’s life, with a message questioning the dilemma of having to choose between creative freedom and the reality of having to make money.
Beyond the puppet performances there will also be 80 activities for children and adults combining opera, dance, and videos.
There will also be workshops held where children can design their own puppets, shadows, and fairies.
There will be two exhibits, one of which, from the Czech Republic, is titled “Puppet Theatre Naïve.” It features a collection of puppets from different shows from the last fifty years. The second, called “Minister of the eagle,” has different shadow puppets, some used for television shows.
In addition, four international films will be shown. Making its way from PILI Multimedia in Taiwan comes Enchanted Rock Legend, and from the US, Don Quixote, Faust, and Raped Dolls.
Tickets for the festival can be purchased at (03) 502-1552