IS SU E 1 THURSDAY, JULY 10 2014 AT JERUSALEM FILM FESTIVAL www.ScreenDaily.com Spike Jonze Editorial +44 7889 414 856 Riklis’s Dancing Arabs premiere pushed back BY WENDY MITCHELL Jonze, Park, Seidl to hit Jerusalem Directors Spike Jonze, Park Chan Wook, Ulrich Seidl and Chantal Akerman and actress Martina Gedeck are among the highprofile international guests due to attend the festival this year. As of press time, no guests had cancelled their visits as tensions rise in Israel. Jonze, who won an Academy Award for best original screenplay for his sci-fi romance Her, will give a masterclass following a screening of his Oscar-nominated fantasy comedy Being John Malkovich. It is the first time Jonze, whose father was descended from a German Jewish family, has visited Israel. Korea’s Park will also give a masterclass and participate in a panel on his country’s cinema. His thriller Oldboy and the recent English-language serial-killer tale Stoker will screen here. Austrian film-maker Seidl will take to the stage with his longtime collaborator, actress Maria Hofstatter, who has appeared in a number of works. Dog Days and Import/Export will screen in his presence. US director and writer David Mamet is attending with his daughter for a joint reading from his recent novel The Handle And The Hold, revolving around two Jewish men smuggling weapons into Palestine on the eve of the 1948 war. The festival said in a statement: “Despite the security situation, more than 100 distinguished international guests are on their way to Jerusalem… The festival’s international guests have expressed their support of the non-cancellation of the festival.” Melanie Goodfellow Advertising +44 7540 100 254 The festival has postponed the opening night world premiere of Eran Riklis’s Dancing Arabs by a week. The film had been scheduled to screen in the open-air Sultan’s Pool venue tonight but this screening has now been postponed by a week to July 17 (same time, same venue). Festival organisers confirmed the decision yesterday, as tensions escalated across Israel. Festival director Noa Regev said: “Due to instructions from the Jerusalem Municipality, Jerusalem Film Festival’s opening event at Sultan’s Pool, including the screening of Dancing Arabs, has been postponed.” The film was due to open theatrically today in Israel but the dis- Dancing Arabs tributor, United King, and film-maker Riklis decided last week to push back the release until July 24 due to the current unrest. “We decided to hold back a bit with the release — just to be sensitive about and respectful of the recent sad events,” Riklis told Screen. The film is about an Arab teenage boy from Tira who is sent to a Jewish boarding school in Jerusalem. Riklis says the recent turmoil shows “the ongoing story and reality of the conflict here”. “It is always present, always intense and tense, always complicated and complex, violent and targets many innocent people — and yet I insist on remaining optimistic about the future of the region and its people. And that is why I made a film which I feel is honest, loving and respectful to all the people it deals with and tries to communicate hope to the audience while not avoiding the reality of the situation.” Sayed Kashua adapted the script from his own bestselling novel of the same name. United King Films also served as co-producer. » Interview with Riklis on page 4. New team kicks off festival despite rising tensions BY ANDREAS WISEMAN The 31st Jerusalem Film Festival gets underway with a new management team determined to present a world-class event despite the escalating troubles in Israel. Aside from postponing the openingnight open-air premiere of Dancing Arabs (see story above), the team is hoping for business as usual as much as possible. Festival management confirmed yesterday the Sultan’s Pool event postponement is the only change planned. Festival director Noa Regev said: “The escalation in the security situation over the past few days saddens us all, and we hope for days of calm. The festival will proceed as planned, in accordance with the instructions of Homeland Command and the police. The staff of the Cinematheque hopes to see the venues full with the thousands of film lovers who attend every year.” More than 200 films from around 50 countries will screen at the enlarged event, which will host industry heavyweights including Spike Jonze, Park Chan Wook, Ulrich Seidl and David Mamet as Noa Regev well as showcasing a host of fresh and established local talent. New CEO Regev and artistic director Elad Samorzik are at the helm for the first year and are driving changes; Regev takes over from former Sundance executive Alesia Weston who departed the post after one year. “We’ve added some sections in a bid to bring younger audiences to the festival,” explained Regev, the former head of Tel Aviv Student Film Festival who also serves as director of Jerusalem Cinematheque. Former Haifa programmer Samorzik added: “We have a Midnight Screenings section with horror, zombie, action films and comedies; Cinemania is a new section for cinephiles about film-makers; we have a new competition strand for children; the debut section has become competitive; we have new outdoor screening venues in the Old City with Arabic subtitles; and we have introduced new competitive section Fringidaire for Israeli independent cinema.” Despite the spirit of renewal, Regev is also keen to stress continuity with the festival’s history as a forum for intelligent debate and a platform for classic film-making. “We’re not making a revolution here. It helps that we have some young staff with a lot of passion, energy and new perspectives on cinema and how a festival should play out, but we also have a team that has great appreciation for the history and heritage of cinema and of this festival.” Continuity is also ensured in the shape of revered festival founder Lia van Leer who continues to be a strong influence. “Lia is very much involved,” explains Regev. “She visits the Cinematheque every day and cares deeply about every decision made.” TODAY Nadav Lapid NEWS Lapid heads to France Israeli film-maker Nadav Lapid and French production house Les Films des Tournelles team on Micro Robert » Page 3 INTERVIEW Eran Riklis The renowned film-maker on his latest film, Dancing Arabs » Page 4 REVIEW How I Live Now Kevin Macdonald’s winning tale of family, war and love » Page 10 SCREENINGS » Page 14 Titles set for Cinema City, Old City BY WENDY MITCHELL This year’s edition of the festival is adding a new venue, Cinema City, which will expand the festival’s footprint in the city. “We’re trying to spread it around the city, there had been criticism that it’s too much at the Cinematheque,” said festival producer Eran Polishuk. “It’s quite cool that more communities can benefit. And the screens are great quality.” There will be shuttles running to Cinema City (10 Yitzhak Rabin Blvd) from the Cinematheque. The 19-screen complex opened at the end of February at a cost of $71m. The complex also includes restaurants, shops, Bible City and a museum of Jewish cinema. In addition, the festival is hosting free outdoor screenings in the Old City, with films shown in English and subtitled in both Arabic and Hebrew, running Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Polishuk added: “That’s like a mini three-day festival.” Those screenings, at Mauristan Square and Habonim Garden, will feature blockbusters such as Inception, Man Of Steel, Ratatouille, The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring, The Matrix and Pacific Rim. Plus, on the walls near the Jaffa Gate, the Israeli Film Archive will present scenes of historical Jerusalem and other archive treasures from 8pm-11pm.