It’s been two long years since we last gathered for the Israeli Film Festival and it was good to be getting back together celebrating the newest Israeli films with founder/ executive director (actor and musician, too) Meir Fenigstein. Not only has he done 35 events in the Los Angeles area but 25 festivals in New York, 5 in Chicago, 12 in Miami, and One in Boston. This festival is unique in that it will be both in person and online until May 26,2022.
The glorious night celebrating the 35th Israeli Film Festival in Los Angeles began with the sponsor luncheon on April 29 at the Four Seasons Hotel, which honored actor, producer, director Henry Winkler with the 2022 IFF Career Achievement Award and real estate investor David Wiener with the 2022 IFF Humanitarian Award.
On the evening of May 5th, which also celebrated the 74th Israeli Independence Day, we gathered at the Saban Theatre on Wilshire and were privileged to see producer Ehud Bleiberg’s Image of Victory. Bleiberg’s film, The Band’s Visit, had been previously honored at prior film festivals.
Image of Victory, written and directed by Avi Nesher, tells the engaging, emotional true story of the destruction of Nitzanim, a southern kibbutz, during the War of Independence whose valiant volunteers challenged the Egyptian army when the king, desperate for any small victory, ordered the kibbutz to be destroyed. Mira, a young mother at the colony, is forced to make an impossible choice when she realizes the true cost of war.
Another honored this night was writer/director Hagai Levi, for his work in television and given the 2022 IFF Achievement in Television Award.
Simon’s Catering, who provided the food, offered a lavish variety of both vegan and meat treats as well as an extravagant dessert tray after the movie. And among the many who worked on the committee were chairman Arnon Milchan, Michelle Sobrino-Stearns, and Stacey Farish while on the honorary committee were Daphna Ziman, Irwin Winkler, Rob Reiner, Dustin Hoffman, Goldie Hawn, Richard Dreyfuss, Michael Douglas, Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, Gila Almagor, Robert DeNiro, Peter Guber, Lainie Kazan, Mike Medavoy, Avi Lerner, David Matalon, Bette Midler, Hon. Hillel Newman, Jane Rosenthal, Mark Teitelbaum, Douglas Warner, Nina Tassler, Lynne Segall, Katriel Schory, Amir J. Malin, Maestro Zubin Mehta, Danny Dimbort, Arthur Cohn, Rick Feldman, Meyer Gottlieb, Avi Arad, Beny Alagem and Stanley Black.
Some of the many sponsors included Deadline, Variety, Insync Plus, David Weiner and family, Molly & Israel Weinberg, Hanna & Bernie Rubinstein, Lendistry, Adelson Family Foundation, Diane and Guilford Glazer Foundation, Lati Grobman Films, Ruth & Ban Marandy, Izek & Aline Shomof, Robert & Beverly Cohen, Maurice Marciano Family Foundation, Millennium Media, Consulate General of Israel, Valley Bank, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Israel Cinema Project, Regency, Ori and Mirit Eisen, Israel Film Fund, Advanced Security Concepts, Yvel, Jewish Community Foundation, Carmel, Ministry of Culture and Sport, Screen Il, Lamar Advertising Company, Drissi Advertising, Meir & Raya Yariv, Temple of the Arts – Saban Theatre, Sandel Family Foundation, Sandstone Properties, Fine Arts Theatre, Galaxy Holding, Lee & Rachel Greenberg, Israel Bonds, KDL Architects, Aric & Aviva Kadosh, Quality Sign & Marquee, AMI Real Estate, Inc., Anu Museum of the Jewish People, Lily Artenstein & Reuven Dar, Classic Window Shades Co, David &Judy Shore Foundation, Inc, Dr. Jerry & Jean Friedman, Eventive, Jewish National Fund, Holocaust Museum LA, UCLA Y & S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, Wizo, Wilshire Crest Hotel, Four Seasons Hotel, Sofitel Hotel, B & W Limo, Hagafen Wines Factors Famous Deli, AC -Marriot Hotels, Dan Hotels, Hebrew News, Times of Israel, Jewish Life, Jewish Journal, JLiving, KAZZ 88.1, JLTV, K Mozart, Israel Week, Keshet International, Orly, Gimel Tech, Top Tech, Engineered Magnetics Inc., Janine Winkler Lowy and Family, Jerry &Dina Agam, OL Development, Kamatera, CineMoi, CNW, Lumiere Cinema, Laemmle Theatre, Advantage Video System, Chasen & Company Public Relations, Clear Post Production LLC, Avivtax Inc., Debra Jakubotiz, The Steve Tisch Foundation, Ruth Brandt, Sam Delug, Toby Hollenberg, Premier, Vasco Assets, Maya Steel, New Mandate Films. Donors included The Feldman Family Trust, IP.Book, Propagate Content, Teitelbaum Artists Group, The Franklin Family Foundation, A+ Insurance, A- Twister Excavation, Bialy/Thomas Casting, Bleiberg Entertainment, Creative Artists Agency, Tony Choueke, Ronald Guttman, IC Link, Ruth Milberg, Shanit & Sam Schwartz, Wilchfort Charitable Fund, and Matthew Winnick.
There are a wide variety of films- narrative – both drama, family stories, historicals, and comedy – as well as documentaries – enough to entertain you for weeks to come. So check the schedule out on the Israel Film Festival site.
The mission of this 501c3 IsaFest Foundation is to spotlight Israel’s thriving film and television industry and to enrich the American vision of Israeli life and culture. All screening tickets with a variety of packages are available for sale on the Festival website. Festival screenings show at the Lumiere Cinema’s Music Hall Theater (Beverly Hills) and the Laemmle Town Center 5 (Encino). Connect with the 35th Israel Film Festival on Facebook (The Israel Film Festival), Instagram @IsraelFilmFestival, and Twitter @IsraelFilmFest for festival news and highlights, and join the conversation with #IsraelFilmFestival.