Halfway through, the Haifa Film Festival celebrates success
by Daniel Litani
- The 30th Haifa International Film Festival has so far proven to be a vibrant event that has exceeded all expectations
The Haifa International Film Festival, which kicked off last Friday in Haifa, Israel, and will draw to a close on Saturday 18 October, has so far proven to be a very popular event, which has exceeded all expectations. At the moment, most of the screenings are sold out, and the film industry events at the festival have attracted many professionals from the Israeli and international film scenes.
The buzz in the international screening section is currently surrounding Andrey Zvyagintsev's Leviathan [+see also:
film profile]: the two screenings were completely sold out, and Zvyagintsev is a guest of honour at the 30th Haifa International Film Festival. At a press conference that was held this week at the event, Zvyagintsev said that he does not have a problem with the fact that the film had been selected by the Russian government to represent the country for the nomination for the Best Foreign-language Film Oscar.
Another international guest is Iranian director Sepideh Farsi, who came to present her latest film, Red Rose [+see also:
film profile] - a movie that examines the political situation in Iran through the relationship between two people: a young woman named Sara, and Ali, a middle-aged man.
One of the more pleasant surprises in the Israeli film competition is Sophie Artus' Valley, which was greeted by a very enthusiastic welcome by both the audience and the critics. It is Artus' first feature film and revolves around two boys and a girl at a school in one of Israel's remotest places. Josh, Linoy and David are three sensitive 17-year-olds who are forced to deal with violence both at home and at school.
The top prize at the International Pitching Conference went to Gan De Langa and Gal Greenspan's Yaga Is a Witch. Other prizes went to Amikam Kobner and Assaf Snir's Echoes, and to Broken Hearts Club by Guilhad Emilio Schenker and Marek Rozenbaum.