Other Israel Film Festival to Run November 8-15
USA- New York, NY | Jul 29 2012 | (23:08:38 - EDT)
The 6th annual Other Israel Film Festival will take place in New York City from November 8-15, 2012 featuring New York premieres of internationally acclaimed, award-winning films by and about Arab and minority populations living in Israel. The Other Israel Film Festival is the foremost U.S. presenter of new cinematic works that bring into focus the most talked about and controversial topics concerning Israeli society today.
The Festival takes understanding beyond the finite viewing experience by offering world-class speakers and conversations in the SpeakEasy Café following each screening. The Other Israel Film Festival was founded by Carole Zabar in 2007, with the mission of giving an international voice to minority groups in Israel through cinema.
Films will screen at the JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave, and the Cinema Village, 22 E. 12th St., in New York. This year, the festival will offer nationwide access to select films and conversations on its streaming site: OtherIsraelOnDemand.org
The 6th Annual Other Israel Film Festival features an array of new works that capture the current zeitgeist of political and social debate in Israel, such as the challenges faced by the Palestinian LGBT community in Yariv Mozer’s The Invisible Men, and the hotly debated question of whether Arabs should serve in the Israeli army – an issue that may well precipitate the collapse of the current coalition government – in Naomi Levari’s Ameer’s Got His Gun.
Also in this year’s line-up are the hilarious and wildly popular sitcom Arab Labor, and the poignant tale of Palestinian families trying to break the multi-generational cycle of their profession as garbage pickers in Good Garbage. This year’s selection includes award-winning films from the international festival circuit including Sharqiya, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, was selected for the Cannes ACID festival program and recently received first prize at the Jerusalem Film Festival, and Tanathor, by returning filmmaker Tawfik Abu Wael, which premiered at The Toronto Film Festival. The full line-up of films will be announced in September, visit OtherIsrael.org for updates.
“When we first started our festival, the New York community knew very little about the Arab citizens and other minority groups in Israel,” says Carole Zabar, the Co-founder and Executive Producer of the Festival. “Today, these groups are at the forefront of the public agenda, both in Israel and the U.S. Our movies show these minorities as a vibrant part of Israeli culture and society, and they give voice to the unique circumstances of being an Arab minority in a predominantly Jewish state.”
Isaac Zablocki, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Festival adds, “What was once a fringe topic, has become the mainstream. Last summer we witnessed millions of Israeli’s demonstrating to change the status quo and crying out for an ‘Other Israel.’ We are seeing more films and more attention to this topic than ever before.”
Now in its sixth year, The Other Israel Film Festival explores the diversity of Israeli life with award-winning films and open discussions about people living on the margins of Israeli society. These groups include Israeli Arabs, Christians, Muslims, Bedouins, the Druze, migrant workers, immigrants and others, which together comprise 20% of the country’s population. The Other Israel Film Festival is proud to bring these unique stories to the big screen and help raise awareness in the American public.
The Festival will present 40 programs throughout the week including a remarkable line up of forward-thinking conversations about the ripped-from-the-headlines topics presented in the films with filmmakers, scholars and special guests in the Other Israel SpeakEasy Café. Festival programs will also include original theater pieces and art exhibits, all to be announced in September.
Past SpeakEasy guests have included Oscar® nominated actress Debra Winger, NY1 host Neil Rosen, renowned historian Professor Benny Morris and best-selling author Naomi Regan, amongst many other directors, writers, journalists and actors. The SpeakEasy Café aims to further expand audience understanding and consciousness about ideas raised in the films while providing a platform for in-depth discussions and audience interaction with filmmakers, actors and issues affecting Israeli society – and the world.
The Other Israel Film Festival Early Selections
AMEER GOT HIS GUN
By Naomi Levari
Documentary, Israel, 2011, 58 min.
Ameer Abu Ria is a Muslim Arab about to enlist in to the Israeli army. He believes that his induction is the way to equality, and a pathway to belong to the Jewish state in which he lives. Alone, Ameer sets out on a journey toward civic and self-definition, while carefully navigating the thin line between Jewish and Arab societies.
ARAB LABOR – SEASON 3
By Shay Kapun
Israel, 2012 | TV Fiction, Three episodes, 24 min.
Arab Labor, the wildly popular, irreverent and acclaimed Israeli series by author Sayid Kashua, is back with a third hilariously entertaining season. Tune in for adventures of Amjad and his family making constant efforts to fit in, after relocating from their Arab village to the heart of Jerusalem.
By Rami A. Katz (Country, year, run time)
Winner of the Other Israel Award for an Israeli Documentary Film at the Haifa Film Festival, Free Flo is the story of a mother of six in a provincial town, fighting to keep her family together with sheer courage and wisdom. Her eldest son, Avshalom, dropped out of school and has created an alternative reality for himself, in which he is a daredevil, living on the edge. He puts his energy into the sport of Parkour, a physical discipline that focuses on vaulting, rolling, running, climbing, and jumping.
FROM BLACK YOU MAKE COLOR
By Richie Sherman and Judy Maltz
Israel, USA, 72 Min.
At Tel-Aviv’s oldest beauty academy, a group of students speak Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, English, Ambaric, Bantu and Vietnamese, yet somehow find a common language. The eight characters pulled into focus by the filmmakers, share common ordeals, and bring unique and varied life stories to their new environment.
By Shosh Shlam and Ada Ushpiz
Israel, 2012, 92 min.
The Hebron Hills garbage dump serves the Israeli settlements in the area, as well as Palestinian residents of the village Yatta, who regularly scrounge the dump and live off their found “treasures.” Palestinian parents simultaneously push their children to work in the dump while holding onto the dream that they will break free from the vicious cycle by getting their high-school diplomas.
THE INVISIBLE MEN
By Yariv Mozer
Documentary, Israel, 2012, 67 min.
The Invisible Men presents the untold story of gay Palestinian’s who were persecuted in their communities and are now hiding illegally in Tel Aviv. When caught by the police, they are sent back to the Palestinian Territories. Their only chance for survival is to seek asylum outside Israel and outside Palestine, to leave their homeland forever behind.
A MAN WITHOUT A CELL PHONE
By Sameh Zoabi
Israel-France-Palestinian Authority, 2010, 80 min.
New Directors / New Films 2011
Twenty-something Palestinian-Israeli slacker Jawdat enjoys hanging out with his friends, and searching for love as he dreams about the future. His simple life is disrupted when his olive-farming father is determined to drag Jawdat and his entire community into a fight against a nearby Israeli cell phone tower.
By Ami Livne
Israel-France-Germany, 2012, 82 min.
Official Selection – Berlinale Panorama 2012
Official Selection – ACID-Cannes 2012
Kamel lives with his brother and sister-in law at the edge of the Negev desert on land that has belonged to their Bedouin family since the Ottoman Empire. State officials order for demolition of the few humble shacks where the family resides. Kamel, a veteran of the Israeli army, now serves as a security guard at the central bus station. The family’s situation seems hopeless, until Kamel comes up with a plan.
TANATHOR – LAST DAYS IN JERUSALEM
By Tawfik Abu Wael
Toronto Film Festival 2011
Nour and Iyad, a Palestinian couple living in East Jerusalem, are getting ready to move to Paris. He is a surgeon and she is a budding actress. On the way to the airport, a news report of a terrible accident forces Iyad to return to his hospital and delay their departure. Abandoned by her husband once again, Nour starts to question their future move.
About The Other Israel Film Festival
Founded in 2007, The Other Israel Film Festival uses film to foster social awareness and cultural understanding. The Festival presents dramatic and documentary films, as well as engaging panels about history, culture, and identity on the topic of minority populations in Israel with a focus on Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, who make up twenty percent of Israel’s population. Our goal is to promote awareness and appreciation of the diversity of the state of Israel, provide a dynamic and inclusive forum for exploration of, and dialog about populations in margins of Israeli society, and encourage cinematic expression and creativity dealing with these themes. Our programming is guided by our mission to showcase world-class cinema that brings to the big screen the human stories and daily lives of Arab Citizens and other minorities groups in Israel, often overlooked by mainstream Israeli society and culture.
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