In light of the recent war in Israel and Gaza, and the polarization of global opinion surrounding multiple ethnic conflicts in the Middle East, the festival seeks to provide a safe space for conversation and artistic expression around some of the most sensitive issues in contemporary global society and specifically on the theme of Arab-Jewish relations in Israel.
This year’s edition features a vibrant array of new works that capture the current zeitgeist of political and social debate in Israel. Opening Night will feature the U.S. premiere of Life Sentences, by Nurit Kedar and Yaron Shani, the Academy Award®– nominated director of Ajami.
Almost Friends by Nitzan Ofir & Barak Heymann, 2014
Arab Labor by Shay Kapun, 2013
The Dove Flyer by Nissim Dayan, 2014
East Jerusalem, West Jerusalem by Henrique Cymerman & Erez Miller 2014
Fire Lines by David Viola & Avi Goldstein, 2013
Invisibles by Mushon Salmona, 2013
Life Sentences by Nurit Kedar & Yaron Shani, 2013
On The Left by Ron Cahlili, 2013
Sweets by Joseph Pitchhadze, 2013
Transit by Hannah Espia, 2013
Villa Touma by Suha Arraf, 2014
The Village Of Peace by Ben Schuder & Niko Philipides, 2014
Write Down, I’m An Arab by Ibtisam Mara’ana Menuchin, 2014
NEW VOICES 2014 – SHORTS
Blackness by Mohammad Bakri, 2014
Earrings by Ziad Bakri, 2013
Enta Omri by Adiya Imri Orr, 2014
Mirror Image by Danielle Schwartz, 2013
The Other Israel Film Festival is the foremost U.S. presenter of new cinematic works that bring into focus the most talked about and controversial topics concerning Israeli society today. The Festival takes understanding beyond the finite viewing experience by offering world-class speakers and talks at the acclaimed SpeakEasy Café conversation series following each screening.
The Other Israel Film Festival selection committee includes Carole Zabar, festival founder and long-time supporter of Israeli documentary filmmaking; Isaac Zablocki, Director of The Israel Film Center at The JCC in Manhattan; NY-based film programming and marketing professional Ravit Turjeman, and world-renowned Palestinian-Israeli actor and filmmaker Mohammad Bakri.
The festival’s advisory committee includes Richard Peña, Professor of the Columbia University Film Department and Former Director, Film Society of Lincoln Center; Richard Lorber, President of Kino Lorber Films; and, Dan Friedman, Managing editor of Forward newspaper.
The Other Israel Film Festival explores the diversity of Israeli life with award-winning films and open discussions about people living on the margins of Israeli society. These groups include Israeli Arabs, Christians, Muslims, Bedouins, the Druze, migrant workers, immigrants and others, which together comprise more than 20% of the country’s population. The Other Israel Film Festival is proud to bring these unique stories to the big screen and help raise awareness in the American public.
The Festival will present over 40 programs throughout the week, including a remarkable line up of forward-thinking conversations about the timely topics presented in the films with filmmakers, scholars and special guests in the Other Israel SpeakEasy Café.
SpeakEasy guests and Festival supporters of past years include Tony Kushner, Debra Winger, Naomi Regan and Mandy Patinkin, who congratulated the Festival for “bringing a voice to people who are too often voiceless.” The SpeakEasy Café aims to further expand audience understanding and consciousness about ideas raised in the films while providing a platform for in-depth discussions and audience interaction with filmmakers, actors and issues affecting Israeli society – and the world.