By MIRIAM SHAVIVWologin winner to be screenedNine Star Hotel will begin being screened in cinematheques around the country on February 6 through March 6. Winner of the 2006 Wologin Award for Israeli Cinema at the Jerusalem Film Festival, Nine Star Hotel is a 78 minute documentary about a group of young Palestinians working illegally in Israel and building the city of Modi'in. They hide in the hilltops surrounding the city, and live in the shadow of police chases, arrests, and stakeouts.
Director Ido Har followed Ahmed and Muhammad, one a merry collector of found objects, the other a philosophical criticizer of the Palestinian character ("We think backward. We never think forward"). The film was screened at the official IDFA film festival in Amsterdam, one of the most important documentary festivals around the world. Since 2005 there have been over 200,000 arrests of illegal workers in Israel, mostly those working on building sites, living in hiding and deplorable conditions, exploited by their employers, and hunted by security forces.
The film will be shown at the cinematheques in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Rosh Pina, Haifa, and Sderot.
Batsheva Dance collects laurels The New York Times has named Ohad Naharin's "Shalosh" (Three) as one of the five best choreographies of 2006. Naharin shares the honor with such as William Forsythe and Christopher Wheeldon who works with the Royal Ballet in London. NYT dance critic Roslyn Sulcas saw "Shalosh" at the Montpellier Festival last summer and wrote about the "imaginative choreography that was performed by 17 superb dancers."
The Los Angeles Times meanwhile cited "Gaga" (Touch), Naharin's evolving dance language, as one of the seminal events of contemporary dance and culture.
Over 800 publishing houses from over 40 countries will converge on the International Conference Center (Binyanei HaUma) in Jerusalem from Sunday Feb. 18 to Friday Feb. 23. Some of the largest publishers in the world, including HarperCollins, Penguin, and Random House, will be in attendence. The fair takes place once every two years. Norway and Austria will be attending for the first time, and Poland is planning on having an especially large booth. The fair will be bringing in three leading Polish authors. Polish author Leszek Kolakowski is being honored with this year's Jerusalem Prize.
Among the many authors scheduled to join the fair are Adolfo Garcia Ortega of Spain, Erri de Lucca of Italy, Martin Gilbert of the UK, Ariella Kommehi of Holland, Markas Zingeris of Lithuania, and Per Petterseon of Norway.
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