Well, this is called ‘acting.’ But did you feel like an ambassador of the Israeli gay community? Even though you’re not one of them?
“Of course. I talked a lot about Tel Aviv and how modern it is, and how it has become a gay tourist destination. Israel is a very liberal country. I think it’s very important to say it all the time: how liberal Israel is. I also told them about the beautiful beaches in Tel Aviv and how many hot shirtless guys they can find there,” he laughs.
Even though this is the first time Oz is playing a gay character, he says that he jumped on the role when it was first offered to him, especially because he was aware of the success of the movie ‘Yossi & Jagger,’ to which ‘Yossi’ is considered a sequel, around the world. “I think that was one of the main advantages of making this movie,” Zehavi says. “When I got into this project I kind of knew that it was going to be talked about all over the world. To tell you the truth, it was one of the reasons I wanted to do this movie, as a part of my development as an actor globally , and now in the US . Also, I wanted to work with Eytan Fox. He brought out of me something that I haven’t done before. It’s very different than the roles I had usually done in Israel.”
by Dudi Caspi
The Silver Hugo in the international documentaries category went to “Numbered” by Dana Doron & Uriel Sinai, which captures the stories of Holocaust survivors and their relationships with the tattooed serial numbers they got in Auschwitz. The 19 minutes short “Return”, which follows a man attempting to rebuild his life following a psychotic meltdown, by director Shay Levi, won the Gold Hugo for Best Short Film.
Israeli director Nadav Kurtz won the Silver Hugo for Best Short Documentary for his US film “Paradise”, which was filmed in Chicago, and documents three Mexican immigrants who risk their lives washing windows on some of the tallest skyscrapers in the city, while observing life from up above.
Among other notable nationalities represented in the winners list are Hungary, Canada and Sweden. The joint French and German production “Holy Motors”, which co-stars Eva Mendes and Australian pop star Kylie Minogue, came out on top with three wins, including the Gold Hugo for Best Film.
Israeli cinema continues to flourish with a wide variety of films on a vast array of topics being produced. There is no better place to see these cinematic offerings than the Toronto Israel Film Festival. It all started, in Montreal, eight years ago with a modest programme. It was then, at the closing night of the first Festival, when people gathered around pleading with me: “Promise us you will be here again next year.” It was then that I entered into an unwritten contract with my audience. For my part: I, for as long as I possibly can, will continue to organize this Festival, a top class festival, in my humble opinion. Your part of the contract: you continue to come to see the best in Israeli film. Since this pact took place eight years ago, I have put my heart into the Festival and, each year, seek out the best Israeli films. And you? Each year you fill the theatres, discuss the films and talk about the speakers. You truly provide us with the incentive to take the Festival to new heights each and every year. It is, very much, your commitment guaranteeing our return each year. Tell your friends, your colleagues, your neighbours, about us. Tweet and blog about us. Write about us on your facebook page.
Besides wanting to promote lesbian filmmakers, Anat Nir co-founded the ‘Lethal Lesbian Festival’ in 2008 with Dana Ziv and Lior Alphent because they put together quite a few Israeli lesbian projects that never found a way to a real mass audience. “At the beginning we didn’t think we were launching a yearly event,” says Anat. “It started because we had a few movies made by our friends and decided to present the works in a long ‘movie night’ event. In time we realized that this event can be a great stage for these creations, and can kick-start a wider recognition of lesbian Israeli filmmakers.”
Under the cloud of a family tragedy, a special relationship is forged between Miriam and her grandson, Ben, as they join forces to save the shop and its nearly one million negatives that document Israel’s defining moments in establishing itself as a new country. Despite the generation gap and many conflicts, Ben and Miriam embark on a heart-wrenching journey, comprising many humorous and touching moments – a journey that requires love, courage, and compassion. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Ben Peter
Presented by SizeDoesntMatter, Koffler Centre of the Arts , Sternthal Books
Sponsored by: Ryerson University
Additional Sponsors: Hillel of greater Toronto
Join us for a post-screening soiree with special guest at the Victory Café where a selection of photos of Rudi Weissenstein will be on display.
Local filmmakers gathered in Haifa on Friday afternoon for the Ophir Awards ceremony of the Israeli Academy of Film and Television.
The event’s big winner was “Fill the Void”, which was named Best Picture of 2012 and will represent Israel in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the American Academy Awards on February 24, 2013.
The film, which will hit the screens in Israel after the High Holiday, also won awards for Best Director and Best Screenplay (Rama Burshtein), Best Cinematography (Assaf Sudri), Best Actress (Hadas Yaron), Best Supporting Actress (Irit Sheleg) and Best Makeup (Eti Ben Nun).
“Fill the Void” is a romantic drama directed by Rama Burshtein, which deals with love and compassion within the ultra-Orthodox family.
The film, which was nominated to 13 Ophir awards, was screened as part of the official competition at the Venice Film Festival, and its star Hadas Yaron won the Best Actress Award at the prestigious event.