Israeli films prominent at fall festivals

Israeli films are prominent in film festivals this fall season. Hannah Brown, veteran film critic of The Jerusalem Post, provides a round-up: The Israeli presence is front and center at the Toronto International Film Festival, which began on September 9 …

Israeli films are prominent in film festivals this fall season. Hannah Brown, veteran film critic of The Jerusalem Post, provides a round-up:

The Israeli presence is front and center at the Toronto International Film Festival, which began on September 9 and runs through the 19th. Two films nominated for Ophir Awards from the Israel Academy for Film and Television are also competing at Toronto in the Contemporary World Cinema program – Avi Nesher’s The Matchmaker and Eran Ricklis’s The Human Resources Manager.

Both directors have had success at home, as well as abroad – Nesher for Turn Left at the End of the World and The Secrets; Ricklis for The Syrian Bride and Lemon Tree. Nesher will also be teaching in the Laboratory Workshop program at the Toronto festival.

Shlomi Eldar’s documentary Precious Life, about an attempt to help a Palestinian cancer victim receive treatment in Israel and the complex repercussions of that decision, will be shown at Toronto. Precious Life was sold to HBO and was also presented at the recent Telluride Film Festival in Colorado.

An English-language, British remake of an Israeli film, The Debt, is also debuting at Toronto.

A year ago, despite pressure to cancel, Toronto presented a week of films from Tel Aviv, marking that city’s centennial. This year again, Israeli movies have a prominent place at this festival, one of the world’s largest and most important in North America.

Last month’s Venice festival featured the Israeli film Naomi, directed by Eitan Zur. It tells the story of a professor who discovers his wife is having an affair.