Theater: The International Film Festival in the Arava (https://www.aravaff.co.il/en), recently published the full program. The festival celebrates a decade and will take place between 3-13.11, with events open to the public, unlike last year where it was partially held at Drive-In. But that’s not all. Filmmakers from around the world will arrive this year along with their new films. The presence of some of the most prominent contemporary filmmakers will add great festivity to the festival, which takes place outdoors, in the heart of the Esush nature reserve, next to the settlement of Tzukim.
Among the very important guests who will come to the festival – Michel Franco, the Mexican director and producer who created ‘Sunset’ (Sundown). The film, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival, stars Tim Ruth and Charlotte Ginzburg, about tourists vacationing in Mexico where nothing is what it seems. Another film produced by La Caja will also be screened.
‘Cell No. 6′, by Finnish director Yoho Koosman, conquered the Cannes Film Festival last summer and won the Grand Prix of the Judges’ Team. Koosmann will also arrive as a guest of the festival. Another guest who will be presenting his new film is French director Laurent Canta, whose protagonist of his new film ‘Arthur Rambo’, recently screened at the Toronto Film Festival, is a young and acclaimed writer of North African descent, whose past is harassing him. The program will also include his most famous film ‘Between the Walls’, winner of the Golden Palm Award at the Cannes Film Festival.
Icelandic director Valdimar Johansson will screen his film ‘Lamb’, a film that is a legendary doubter, which was also unveiled for the first time at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it won an award for its originality, and has since become a festival hit all over the world. The film tells the story of a couple who live in solitude and long for a child, until they find a magical creature on their land. In addition, Jacques Audier’s new film ‘Paris, the 13th arrondissement’, which also took part in the official competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2021. The film looks at the intimate life crises of 20-plus-year-olds in the French capital today.
Straight from the prestigious Telluride Festival and the New York Festival, comes the film ‘C’mon C’mon’ by director Mike Mills starring Joaquin Phoenix. This is a story about a radio broadcaster who is asked to keep his young nephew. The two embark on a joint journey that will change their lives forever. A similar theme is brought up by British director Harry Watliff’s True Things, starring Ruth Wilson and Tom Barak.
The second weekend of the festival will host Radu Montian, a Romanian director whose film ‘Intregalde’ screened at the last Cannes Film Festival ironically follows the encounter between a trio of townspeople who claim to be compassionate and benevolent welfare workers, with destitute villagers, and what happens at the encounter. Which reveals a slightly more complex reality.
The festival celebrates its tenth birthday with ‘Decalogu’ – the series that brought about three decades ago the unique dramatic interpretation of the late Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski to the Ten Commandments, from the perspective of today. The ten episodes of this series, considered by many to be the pinnacle of television creation, will be incorporated as the second thread throughout the ten days of the festival. In honor of the tribute will come to the festival the screenwriter and creator of the series, Krzysztof Piasewicz (who co-wrote with Kieslowski the screenplays for his great films ‘The Double Life of Veronica’ and the ‘Three Colors’ series) and the director of the company that produced the series, Irena Shalkowska.
The festival’s opening film, ‘The Official Competition’, directed by Gaston Dupart and Mariano Cohen and starring Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas, is a witty satire that was only recently screened at the Venice Film Festival. The film offers an ironic and sharp look at the film industry, and the glamor, pretensions and exaggerated ego dimensions that operate it. The edition of the decade will be signed by a ceremonial screening in the presence of the winner of the new Ophir Award winner ‘Let There Be Morning’ by Eran Kolirin, based on the book by Said Kashua.
The Southern Film Festival, which celebrates 20 years (https://www.sapir.ac.il/cinema/csf) will be held at the Sderot Cinematheque and will present films from the periphery of Israel and around the world, dedicated to developing countries and cultures whose story has not yet been heard. The festival will take place between 17-21.10. The festival will open with ‘Black Notebooks’, Shlomi Alkabetz’s documentary about his sister and co-creator Ronit Alkabetz. The film examines their family story and deals with the creative processes. The film premiered at Cannes and won the Diamond Award for Best Documentary at the Jerusalem Film Festival.
The Southern Film Festival, founded by the School of Sound and Screen Arts at Sapir Academic College, and in collaboration with the Sderot Municipality, Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council and Cellcom, will include a series of film events – from adult film screenings, international films at premieres, to wide-ranging industry events.
The closing film of the festival will be ‘The Swimmer’ by Adam Calderon, shot in the western Negev and tells about the world of professional swimming, love and discrimination against athletes from the LGBT community. A tribute to Ari Folman’s films, which will take place at the festival, Also ‘Waltz with Bashir’, ‘St. Clara’ and his lesser-known film ‘The Material from Which Love Is Made’, an animated film that tells eight Israeli love stories.
There will also be a program dedicated to the films of Chris Landert, the Oscar-winning director who created wonderful animated films. Landert has created innovative technology for 3D movies and will hold an online meeting on animation.
The Jerusalem Cinematheque will hold a Turkish film festival starting on October 17, which will last until October 28. The festival will also take place at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque starting at 18.10, and will focus on the best of contemporary Turkish cinema, including full-length films, documentaries and lectures by Turkish researchers. The opening event will also be accompanied by the musical show ‘Long Air: The Magical Sounds of Anatolia’ with Gilad Weiss Kopuz and Guitar Pertles, Ofir Weiflich Guitar and Kopuz, Ariel Cassis Cannon and keyboards.
The opening film ‘Our Champion’ directed by Ahmet Catixis, a book about a professional horse rider, whose affair with the horse is second only to the love that develops between him and Begum, the caretaker of the horse who is also the owner’s daughter. Several films deal with social issues including ‘Hassan’s Road’ directed by Samih Kaplanolo, about a farmer who fights against a company that seeks to place power poles in the middle of its fruit orchard. ‘The Eyes of Istanbul’, directed by Binur Crawley and Fatih Kaimak, focuses on the work of Armenian photographer Ara Goller. Using photographs taken over seven decades, the film paints a portrait of Istanbul and the diverse population living in the city.
The 15th Spiritual Film Festival Spirit, (https://www.spiritfestival.co.il/english), will be held at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque on 21-31 this month. 19 films were selected for the festival program, including documentaries, feature films and short films that deal with the body-mind, theories that connect man and the environment, the study of consciousness, alternative medicine, and sustainable life. The festival program includes, as every year, expert lectures that precede the viewing of films, meetings with international filmmakers, some of which will be held in the cinematheque halls and some virtually.
The opening film of the festival ‘Conscious – Revelations of Consciousness’, follows six researchers in a world-wide journey in which they try to discover the true meaning of consciousness. The film, directed by Prok Sanding and Eric Black, begins as a science film, but continues as a journey into consciousness, sensual and cinematic meditation.
Among the notable films in the program ‘Mission: Happiness – Finding Joy in Difficult Times’, Luis Physius’ film is a deep and cheerful exploration of the unusual friendship between Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Based on the international bestseller, The Book of Happiness. The documentary invites viewers to an intimate conversation between two men whose resistance to injustice has greatly influenced modern history. The film was recently screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in the USA.
The documentary ‘The Seeds of Andana Shiva’ tells the extraordinary life story of Gandhian climate activist, Dr. Andana Shiva, how she fought huge corporations of the industrial agriculture world, rose through the ranks of the sustainable food movement and inspired an international struggle for change.
Another fascinating film ‘Artificial Immortality’ deals with breakthroughs in the field of artificial intelligence. For the self-help guru, Deepak Chopra, this is an opportunity to free the mind from the physical shackles. For others, it is a Pandora’s box with ethical implications. Director Anne Sheen explores the general and personal implications of a post-biological world through collaborations with programmers and robot engineers.
The film ‘The Last Forest’ is about the war of activist and shaman activist Dawi Kopnawa Yanomi, who has spent the past 25 years leading a powerful international campaign for the land rights of the Yanomii in the Amazon. Director Louise Bolognese and Kopnawa Yanomami are working on this topic together as writers of this breathtaking documentary.