You may have seen Lawrence of Arabia, but have you ever watched it in the desert?Now you can at the seventh annual Arava International Film Festival, which will be held this year from November 14-23 and will feature a screening of the famous David Lean epic, as well as many other films, outdoors under the starry skies of the Ashosh nature reserve, next to Tzukim. In addition to this year’s Lawrence of Arabia revival, which is being screened as part of a tribute to the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School, the festival will feature the best of contemporary cinema from around the world and will be attended by leading filmmakers from Japan, Afghanistan, Macedonia, Turkey, Brazil, Iceland, Romania, England and Italy who will present their films to the audience. In addition, there will be films for teens and children – including Albert Lamorisse’s classic The Red Balloon – as well as short films that were produced and shot during the last year in the Arava.Hirokazu Koreeda’s latest film, The Truth, which opened the Venice International Film Festival, will be shown. Koreeda’s first film set outside his native Japan, it stars Catherine Deneuve as self-absorbed but talented actress, and Juliette Binoche as the daughter who has grown up in her shadow. The festival will also feature the Israeli premiere of Roman Polanski’s latest film, An Officer and a Spy, a dramatization of the Dreyfus Affair, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival and stars Louis Garrel and Oscar-winner Jean Dujardin. Romanian director Corneliu Porumboiu will attend the festival to present his suspenseful, offbeat neo-noir drama, The Whistlers. The movie tells the story of a group of criminals who have decided to learn a new language made up of whistling sounds in order to pull off a heist. Other guests include actress Jessica Cressy who stars in Pietro Marcello’s Martin Eden, an Italian version of the Jack London novel, and Japanese actor/director Joe Odagiri, who will present his latest film as director, They Say Nothing Stays the Same, as well as some of his previous films. The festival will feature several tributes: to the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School in its 30th anniversary year, which is fitting because Spiegel was the producer of Lawrence of Arabia; to Czech director Milos Forman, who passed away last year – his classic film, Loves of a Blonde, will be introduced by Karlovy Vary festival director, Karel Och; and to Israeli director Gur Bentwich, who will present several of his older films, as well as his latest film, Peaches and Cream, which won several Ophir Awards. The festival is managed by producers Eyal and Tinker Shiray and the head of the Central Arava Regional Council, Dr. Eyal Blum.The event is supported by the Central Arava Regional Council, the Cinema Council of the Culture and Sport Ministry, Mifal Hapayis, the Negev and Galilee Development Office, and the Ministry of Regional Cooperation. Dan and Edna Fainaru are the artistic directors. For more information, see here.