From riveting, political documentaries to hot-blooded romance, from rollicking comedies to sensitive dramas the AICE Israeli Film Festival presents the best of contemporary Israeli cinema to Australian audiences. Produced by Palace Cinemas and the Australia Israel Cultural Exchange, the Festival is the only Australia-wide showcase for Israeli film. Now in its 11th year, it continues to grow and diversify in 2014 with the inclusion of exceptional short films perfectly paired with some of the outstanding documentaries on offer.
Diverse, complex, inspirational, and turbulent, the films screening at the AICE Israeli Film Festival present a kaleidoscope of Israeli society, exploring the myriad of stories from one of the most diverse and multi-racial countries in the world. Albert Dadon, Chairman of the Australia Israel Cultural Exchange said, “We have been spoiled for choice this year with Israel producing world-class films which are completely unique, and entirely stunning on so many levels.”
The exciting selection of films in this year’s program reflects the growing strength of Israeli cinema, which has bloomed over the past decade. Israel’s cinematic prowess is being increasingly recognised internationally with seven Israeli films featured at the Cannes this year including, Camera d’Or winner Shira Geffen’s Self Made which opens this year’s Festival. The 2014 AICE Israeli Film Festival showcases many of the best Israeli films from the last twelve months, including prizewinners from a number of prestigious festivals including Cannes, Sundance and Jerusalem, as well as winners from Docaviv, Haifa, Tel Aviv SIFF and the Ophirs (Israeli ‘Oscars’).
Highlights of the 2014 AICE Israeli Film Festival include opening night film Self Made, Camera d’Or winner Shira Geffen’s story of two women – one Israeli, the other Palestinian – who find themselves living life on the other side after a mix-up at the border; closing night film The Green Prince, a captivating, terse documentary about a spy and a handler who forge an unexpected friendship, directed by Nadav Schirman; Kidon, a breezy throwback to the caper comedies of the 1960s and 1970s with a star-studded cast, and riotous plot; Album 61, a documentary about a boy trained by his father his entire life for the World Chess Championship – a juicy battle, rife with passion, power and money; Sweets, the allegorical struggle for the candy market between an Israeli corporation and an Arab entrepreneur, nominated for seven Israeli Academy Awards; and The Kindergarten Teacher, an ambitious, aesthetically potent Israeli drama at once bizarre, beautiful and deeply unsettling, following a woman obsessed with her 5-year-old student and his gift for poetry by Israeli writer-director Nadav Lapid.
Enriching the festival in 2014, short feature films which would have otherwise never been viewed on Australian cinema screens will be aligned with engrossing documentaries. The Visit will be paired with documentary Shadow in Baghdad to explore the relationship between father and daughter, while Wherever You Go and In Between explore religion in marriage. Comedic documentary Handa Handa 4 and short Everywhere But Here also depict the complications of marriage, while the hilarious short Welcome and Our Condolences is combined with Album 61 to portray a snapshot of the experiences of Russian-Jews.
The Australia Israel Cultural Exchange (AICE) provides a cultural link between Australia and Israel, fostering greater knowledge and understanding between the two countries.
Sydney – Palace Verona, Palace Norton Street: Thu 21 Aug – Thurs 4 Sep
Melbourne – Palace Como, Palace Brighton Bay, Kino Cinemas: 20 Aug – 4 Sep
Canberra – Palace Electric: Tue 19 Aug – Sun 31 Aug
Brisbane – Palace Centro: Wed 20 Aug – Wed 27 Aug
Perth – Cinema Paradiso: Thu 28 Aug – Sun 7 Sep
Adelaide – Palace Nova Eastend Cinema: Wed 27 Aug – Thurs 4 Sep
Byron Bay – Palace Byron Bay: Thu 21 Aug – Wed 27 Aug