The 16th annual Israeli Film Festival of Philadelphia runs weekly screenings from February 25 – April 1 at a variety of venues throughout the city. Last year I praised the festival for their strong programming, variety of venues, and inclusion of post-screening dessert receptions; 2012 thankfully promises more of the same. Cinedelphia will have full reviews of each of the films as their screenings draw closer, but in the meantime here’s this year’s lineup:
SAT February 25, 2012
International House, 8:00 PM
Intimate Grammar (2010)
Dir. Nir Bergman, Israel, 110 min, 35mm
A boy growing up in Jerusalem in the 1960’s struggles to figure out the world around him. Winner of the Best Feature Film, 2010 Jerusalem Film Festival; Winner of the Sakura Grand Prix, Tokyo International Film Festival 2010.
Additional screening on Sunday, February 26, 3:00 PM, International house.
SUN February 26, 2012
International House, 7:00 PM
Dir. Alon Zingman, Israel, 91 min, 35mm
Unfolding over one long day, this story of intertwining lives begins with a welcome home gone terribly wrong between a father and a daughter, a duty-free airport clerk tracking down her birth mother, and an Argentine emigre sweet-talking a doctor into circumcising her nine year old son.
SAT March 3, 2012
Franklin Institute, 8:00 PM
Dolphin Boy (2011)
Dir. Dani Menkin and Yonatan Nir, Israel, 72 min, digital
Documentary follows a teenage boy from an Israeli Arab village who suffers from severe post-traumatic shock following a brutal beating. Dolphin therapy is suggested as the last option for treating his catatonia.
Guest speaker: Dani Menkin, Director
SUN March 11, 2012
Barrack Hebrew Academy, 7:00 PM
Dir. Ronit Kertsner, Israel, 72 min, digital
Twelve years after he was ordained as a Polish Catholic priest, Romald Waszkinnel discovers that he was born to Jewish parents and his name was Jacob Weksler. This documentary traces Father Romald’s move to Israel where he is torn between two identities.
SAT March 17, 2012
Drexel University, 8:30 PM
Dir. Yossi Madmony, Israel, 105 min, digital
When Yaakov Fidelman’s business partner of many years dies, he realizes that his antique restoration shop is on the verge of bankruptcy. Fidelman’s son, who doesn’t get along with his father, wants to close the shop for good. A ray of hope arrives in the form of apprentice Anton, who discovers an old Steinway piano in the back of the shop. Winner of Best Screenplay at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival; Winner of Best FIlm at the 2011 Jerusalem Film Festival. This film was the highlight of last year’s Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival and, from what I heard, was criminally underattended. Highly recommended.
SAT March 24, 2012
Gratz College, 8:45 PM
My Australia (2010)
Dir. Ami Drozd, Israel/Poland, 96 min, digital
In 1960’s Poland, Tadek, a ten-year-old hooligan, longs to see the dry and open land of Australia. Beating up Jewish children and destroying private property with his fourteen-year-old brother, is his current pastime. To keep themout of harm’s way, their mother announces they are uprooting to Australia. Tadek is overjoyed, until en route, his mother confesses that they are Jewish and moving to Israel. Winner of the Audience Award, 2011 Jerusalem Film Festival.
SUN March 25, 2012
Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 7:00 PM
My Lovely Sister (2011)
Dir. Marco Carmel, Israel, 91 min, 35mm
This modern day tale of Moroccan Jewish superstitions follows a love triangle between Rahma, her rude husband Robert, and the ghost of her beautiful sister, Marie, who died from the pain of banishment.
Guest speaker: Reymonde Amsalem, Winner of Best Supporting Actress, Israel Film Academy, 2011
SAT March 31, 2012
Drexel University, 8:45 PM
Melting Away (2011)
Dir. Doron Eran, Israel/Canada, 86 min, digital
This provocative drama follows a family drawn into crisis after Asaf’s parents discover that he cross-dresses and kick him out of their home. When the father is dying, Asaf’s mother hires a detective to track him down.
Guest speakers: Doran Eran, Director & Billi Ben Moshe, Producer
SUN April 1, 2012
Ritz East, 7:00 PM
The Flood (2010)
Dir. Guy Nativ, Israel, 101 min, 35mm
Everyone in 13-year-old Yoni’s family is hiding secrets. His mother is having an affair, his father lost his job, and his autistic brother has been hidden for years in an institution. One the eve of Yoni’s bar mitzvah, his entire family is forced to come to terms with their past in this beautiful film about the power of love and redemption.