Jerusalem Film Festival: opening screening postponed by a week
by Anaïs Bouchon
- The rest of the festival will take place as planned, with over 200 films due to screen
The world premiere of Israeli feature film Dancing Arabs, directed by Eran Riklis, was due to open the Jerusalem Film Festival on the night of 10 July with a screening at Sultan's Pool (an open-air amphitheatre which holds up to 6,000 people). The Israeli-French-German co-production, written by Arab journalist and humourist Sayed Kashua, tells the story of a young Arab sent to a prestigious boarding school in Jerusalem. The safety of spectators attending the open-air screening could not, however, be guaranteed due to the recent hostilities between Israel and Palestine, and the opening ceremony has been postponed to Thursday 17 July.
The rest of the 31st Jerusalem Film Festival will, however, take place as planned. With over 200 films on the programme, from over 50 different countries, the festival enjoys a truly international reputation. Screenings will primarily be held at the Jerusalem Cinematheque - the city's leading arthouse cinema and a symbol of openness, coexistence and pluralism - and the festival lasts until 20 July. The festival encompasses four main competitions (feature films, documentaries, short films and debut films) as well as accompanying events including master classes, a film critics' forum presided over by Variety's Scott Foundas, and the Jerusalem Pitch Point, which will allow 11 Israeli directors to present their projects to industry professionals from around the world.
During the festival, the public will be able to watch a wide range of films, including the latest opus in Ronit and Schlomi Elkabetz's trilogy Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem [+see also:
film profile], which was acclaimed as part of the Directors' Fortnight competition at Cannes in May, and Nadav Lapid's The Kindergarten Teacher [+see also:
film profile], which will also be shown in competition. Various films will be screened as part of the international Panorama programme, including The Wonders [+see also:
interview: Alice Rohrwacher
interview: Tiziana Soudani
film profile] by Italian director Alice Rohrwacher, which won the Grand Prix at Cannes this year.
The festival also boasts the attendance of leading international guests, including the American directors Spike Jonze and David Mamet, and Korean director Park Chan-wook. Austrian director Ulrich Seidl will be in Jerusalem, accompanied by actress Maria Hofstätter, to present two of his films, and members of the jury include German actress Martina Gedeck, Cinémathèque Française director Serge Toubiana, Greek film director Alexandros Avranas and Turkish producer Zeynep Ozbatur Atakan. Experimental Belgian film director Chantal Akerman will also be at the festival to present her photograph exhibition, De la Mèr(e) au Désert.
The festival will close with a screening of Hayao Miyazaki's final animated film, The Wind Rises.
(Translated from French)