London is hosting the UK’s first-ever Israeli film festival that begins today. The festival will screen 14 Israeli films at various London cinemas showcasing the contribution of Israeli film and television. Some of the films’ directors will feature in question and answer sessions.
Episodes from the award-winning Israeli television shows will also be screened, including the sit-com Ramzor (Traffic Light), which was adapted by Fox in the US and bought by Russian television channel RTC, and award-winning drama Pilpilim Tzehubim (Yellow Peppers). The films set to be screened include Footnote (directed by Joseph Cedar, 2011) which was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Academy Awards.
According to the organisers of the festival, the aim is to facilitate discussions about collaboration and broaden the communication that already exists between the British and Israeli industries. One of the festival organisers, Odelia Haroush, said she hoped the festival would provide a window to Israeli culture and life and show how Israel’s film and television industry is booming. “We all realised that there is no Israeli film festival in London, as there are in various places around the world, such as New York, Chicago, Amsterdam and Paris,” she said.
“The Israel film and TV industry is flourishing with many Israeli television programs being bought by US and UK distributors,” Haroush told The Jerusalem Post yesterday. “We wanted to show the UK audience the culture and social diversity in everyday life in Israel through the medium of film and television.”
Israeli television garnered considerable interest in the UK in recent months following the success of Homeland, a US adaptation of the Israeli television series Hatufim (Prisoners of War) (2009). The Israeli series has been screened on Sky.