ISRAEL FILM CENTER FESTIVAL Kicks Off Its 7 th Year With An Exciting Lineup Highlighting Diversity and Orthodox Jewish Life Festival Runs June 3 – 12

New York’s leading Israeli film festival is celebrating its 7 th

edition this June with a powerful lineup of diverse, award-winning, and cutting-edge films and

television programs from Israel. The Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan (located at 334

Amsterdam Avenue at 76 th Street) will present feature films and two television series, including

New York premieres, at the 7 th Annual Israel Film Center Festival . Showcasing the best new

films from Israel’s booming film industry and Q&As with acclaimed Israeli filmmakers after select screenings, the festival will run from June 3-12. Visit for more

information and to purchase tickets.

The festival’s Opening Night selection will be Joseph Madmony and Boaz Yehonatan

Yacov’s thought-provoking film REDEMPTION (“Geula”). The story of a devout Chassid who

must return to his rockstar lifestyle in order to pay for his daughter’s medical bills explores the

issue of how to balance one’s religious devotion with art, family, and friendship, all while making

peace with the past. The film won both the Ecumenical Jury Prize and Best Actor award (for star

Moshe Folkenflik) at the 2018 Karlovy Vary Film Festival, and the Audience Award at the 2018

Jerusalem Film Festival. “ Redemption” screens Monday, June 3 at 7 p.m. , followed by a Q&A

with director Boaz Yehonatan Yacov.

The festival’s Closing Night film will be the NY premiere of Sameh Zoabi’ s witty and

warm-hearted TEL AVIV ON FIRE. Making its world premiere at the 2018 Venice Film Festival,

where it won the Orizzonti Award for Best Actor (for Kais Nashif), the film’s North American

premiere took place at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, and it won the Best Film

award at the 2018 Haifa International Film Festival. “ Tel Aviv On Fire” will screen Wednesday,

June 12 at 7 p.m., followed by a Q&A with co-writer Dan Kleinman.

Other highlights from this year’s lineup include:

Ethiopian-Israeli filmmaker Aalam-Warqe Davidian ’s beautiful and haunting debut feature FIG

TREE (Winner, Eurimages Audentia Award for Best Female Director at the 2018 Toronto

International Film Festival & Ophir Award nominee for Best Picture), the New York premiere of

Yona Rozenkier ’s semi-autobiographical feature debut and intense family drama THE DIVE

(Winner, Best Israeli Feature Film, Best Actor and Best Israeli Debut Film at the 2018 Jerusalem

Film Festival) and veteran Israeli director Avi Nesher ’s latest film THE OTHER STORY (Official

Selection, 2018 Toronto International Film Festival), one of this year’s most successful Israeli


The festival will honor Nesher, a leading voice in Israeli cinema for over four decades,with a

retrospective on Friday, June 7 , screening two films from his extensive filmography. TURN

LEFT AT THE END OF THE WORLD (2004) was the all time biggest box office success in

Israel and helped revolutionize new Israeli cinema as a profitable industry, and the newly

restored RAGE AND GLORY (1984) which follows a cell of the Stern Gang that begins to fall

apart during an attempt to assassinate a senior British officer in pre-state Israel.

As in previous years, the festival will shine a spotlight on Israeli television, which has become an

international phenomenon and one of Israel’s leading exports.Included will be the New York

premiere of the first two episodes of STOCKHOLM and the first two episodes of

AUTONOMIES. Both will be part of the JCC’s annual free, all-night Tikkun Leil Shavuot event

beginning Saturday, June 8 at 10 p.m. and ending Sunday, June 9 at 4 a.m.

“Beyond the clear trending of Orthodox-themed films, one can also see the diversity of life in

Israel through our selections. Our film themes highlight Arabs, youth at risk, Ethiopians, military,

the young, the elderly—a full spectrum of life,” said Isaac Zablocki, Israel Film Center Festival

director and founder .

The complete program lineup for the 7 th ANNUAL ISRAEL FILM CENTER FESTIVAL is



*Opening Night Film, Monday, June 3, 7 p.m.

Dir. Joseph Madmony & Boaz Yehonatan Yacov, Drama, 104 min.

A devout Chassid must return to his rockstar lifestyle in order to pay for his daughter’s medical

bills in this rousing and affecting story of faith, love, and making peace with the past.

-Winner, Best Actor & the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the 2018 Karlovy Vary Film Festival

-Winner, Audience Award at the 2018 Jerusalem Film Festival.


*NY Premiere, Tuesday, June 4, 6:15 p.m.

Dir. Tsivia Barkai Yacov, 91 min.

Benny’s hair is as red as the fur of her devout father’s treasured calf—which he believes will

bring salvation. As she comes of age, she embarks on a personal journey that will shape her

religious, political, and sexual consciousness.

-Winner, Best Israeli Feature Film & Best Actress (Avigayil Kovary) at the Jerusalem Film

Festival 2018

-Nominated for 4 Ophir Awards (Israel’s Academy Awards)

-Official Selection at the Berlin Film Festival 2018


Tuesday, June 4, 8:30 p.m.

Dir. Eliran Malka, 99 min.

In the early 1980s, after his daughter is kicked out of school because of her ethnic background,

a Sephardic man with absolutely no knowledge of politics decides to fight back and form a

revolutionary political party that will change Israeli politics forever.


*NY Premiere, Wednesday, June 5, 6:15 p.m.

Dir. David Kreiner, 84 min.

Yigal, a middle-aged divorcé and unemployed film director from Tel Aviv, accepts a position

teaching filmmaking in Sderot. Though his students are slow to warm to him, Yigal gains their

trust by coaxing them to film their own stories of love and loss.


Wednesday, June 5, 8:15 p.m.

Dir. Aalam-Warqe Davidian, 93 min.

A Jewish teenager in Ethiopia must navigate a surreal routine dictated by the civil war which,

along with her family’s plans to immigrate to Israel, conflict with her rebellious youthful spirit.

Together with her Christian boyfriend, she weaves an alternate plan. But in times of war, plans

tend to go awry.

-Winner, Eurimages Audentia Award for Best Female Director at the 2018 Toronto International

Film Festival

-Winner, Best Cinematography at the 2018 Ophir Awards (Israel’s Academy Awards) where it

was nominated for five awards, including Best Film & Best Screenplay


Thursday, June 6, 6:15 p.m.

Dir. Avi Nesher, 112 min.

Family disputes and conspiracies take center stage in this lively drama. Sasson Gabai plays a

renowned psychologist who falls out with his granddaughter when she enters a Haredi

community and plans to marry a musician known for his wild ways.

-Premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival


*NY Premiere, Thursday, June 6, 7:30 p.m.

Dir. Yona Rozenkier, 90 min

Set within a ramshackle kibbutz community on the northern border separating Israel from

Lebanon, the film follows a trio of brothers who reunite to bury their father’s body before the

youngest heads off to battle.

-Best Israeli Feature Film prize & Best Debut Film at the 2018 Jerusalem Film Festival


For over four decades, Nesher has been one of the leading voices in Israeli cinema. Both

pioneering and impactful, Nesher’s films are not only some of Israel’s biggest hits, but they

opened the door for Israeli films to succeed in international markets as well. His latest, “The

Other Story” was one of this year’s most successful Israeli films. On Friday, June 7, we will

honor Nesher by showing two films from his extensive filmography:

“Turn Left at the End of the World”: Friday, June 7, 4 p.m.

“Rage and Glory”: Friday, June 7, 6 p.m.


* NY Premiere, Closing Night Film, Wednesday, June 12, 7 p.m.

Dir. Sameh Zoabi, 97 min.

Salam, an inexperienced young Palestinian writer, gets a job on a popular soap opera after a

chance meeting with an Israeli soldier. His creative career is on the rise until the soldier and the

show’s financial backers disagree about how the show should end and Salam is caught in the


-Winner, Orizzonti Award for Best Actor at the 2018 Venice Film Festival

-Best Israeli Film award at the Haifa International Film Festival


Saturday, June 8, 10 p.m. – Sunday, June 9, 4 a.m.

Autonomies (Episodes 1 + 2)

Dir. Yehonatan Indursky + Ori Elon

The series is set in an alternative reality in which Israel is split into two territories—a secular

state with its capital in Tel Aviv and an ultra-Orthodox autonomous zone with Jerusalem as its


Stockholm (Episodes 1 + 2)

*NY Premiere

Dir. Daniel Syrkin

When Avishai is found dead in his bed, his friends decide to hide his death for five days to allow

him to win the Nobel Prize.

About the Israel Film Center

The Israel Film Center of the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan is the leading resource for Israeli films in

America, with the goal of expanding Israel’s emerging film industry and promoting Israeli culture in

America. The center, a program of the Carole Zabar Center for Film, serves as an exhibitor, promoter,

educator, funder, distributor, producer, network organizer, advisor, and festival producer, and includes a

viewing library and online database of Israeli cinema and the leading Israeli film streaming site.

About the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

Together with its community, the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan creates opportunities for people to

connect, grow, and learn within an ever-changing Jewish landscape. Located on 76th Street and

Amsterdam Avenue, the JCC is a vibrant non-profit community center on the Upper West Side. The

cornerstone of progressive programming in Manhattan, the JCC serves over 55,000 people annually

through 1,200 programs each season that educate, inspire, and transform participants’ minds, bodies,

and spirits. Since its inception, the JCC has been committed to serving the community by offering

programs, classes, and events that reach beyond neighborhood boundaries, reaching people at all stages

of their lives. Learn more at .

For Press Inquiries Contact

Festival Publicist, Israel Film Center Festival:

Isil Bagdadi-Sergio / CAVU PR

Email: Tel: 917-375-7615

Director of Public Relations, JCC Manhattan:

Allison Rosen

Email: Tel: 646.505.4493


New York Jewish Guide

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