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Dor Kedmi

Lapid gears for Synonyms shoot BY MELANIE GOODFELLOW

Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid is readying the shoot of his long-gestating Paris-set feature Synonyms in Paris this autumn with emerging compatriot actor Tom Mercier in the lead role. “It will film this November and December,” said lead producer Saïd Ben Saïd of Paris-based SBS Productions. Ben Saïd is at Jerusalem Film Festival as a member of the Israeli Feature Competition jury and with Philippe Garrel’s Lover For A Day, which plays in the International Competition. He took over as lead

Abu Wael plots red-light thriller

Saïd Ben Saïd at JFF

producer of Lapid’s project from Anne-Dominique Toussaint of Les Films des Tournelles in late 2016. “We’re friends. It was an amicable deal. Anne-Dominique was tied up in other projects,” said Ben Saïd,

who will also handle international sales and French distribution. The project, which originally had the working title Micro Robert after the French-language pocketsized dictionary, revolves around a young Israeli searching for selfidentity in the French capital. It is based on Lapid’s own experiences of living in Paris when he was younger. “It will be Tom Mercier’s first major role,” said Ben Saïd of the young actor, whose film credits include 2016’s The Ball Dance. Co-producers on the film include Tel Aviv-based Pie Films, which

produced Lapid’s last feature The Kindergarten Teacher, with the backing of the Rabinovich Fund. “Pie Films have brought a big chunk of the budget,” added Ben Saïd. Germany’s Komplizen Film is also on board. SBS worked with Komplizen Film as a minority coproducer on Toni Erdmann. Under this new collaboration, the companies have tapped into the FrancoGerman mini-treaty between the German Federal Film Board and France’s CNC. The French cinema arm of Franco-German broadcaster ARTE has also joined the project.

Gitai Silver

BY MELANIE GOODFELLOW

Palestinian filmmaker Tawfik Abu Wael is developing a Tel Aviv-set thriller about a young Palestinian mathematician and Israeli citizen who agrees to kill a Tel Aviv-based collaborator in order to pay for his studies abroad. The mission is complicated when the target is revealed to be a transgender sex worker who goes by the name of Lulu. Wise Hassan will be Abu Wael’s third feature after Thirst (Atash), which premiered in Cannes Critics’ Week in 2004, and Last Days In Jerusalem, which debuted at Locarno Film Festival in 2011. Abu Wael and his long-time producer Baher Agbariya at Haifabased Majdal Films presented the project at the Jerusalem Pitch Point event on Sunday (July 16). “After two hardcore arthouse films, I’m trying to make a thriller,” he told the participants, who included top industry figures such as Protagonist Pictures CEO Mike Goodridge and Tanja Meissner, sales chief at Paris-based Memento Films International. Abu Wael wants the film to dig deep into the “shadow underground world of Tel Aviv”. He added: “It’s a very simple story. A man is sent to kill a collaborator and falls in love with him. But you never know whether he is really falling in love or it’s part of his plan to kill him.”

Maya Fischer of Green Productions and director Maya Kenig presented dark comedy Milk, revolving around the theme of breastfeeding, at the Jerusalem Pitch Point on Sunday. “Breastfeeding has become such a hot issue in the last couple of years,” said producer Fisher. “I feel like everybody has an opinion.”

JFF panel balances tradition against innovation The disruption to the film industry caused by the rise of digital streaming platforms was again on the agenda here in Jerusalem during Sunday’s One Film, Many Platforms panel. Netflix’s disregard for traditional distribution models, and Amazon’s more flexible approach, was a key discussion point. Dylan Leiner, executive vice-president at New Yorkbased distributor Sony Pictures Classics (SPC), explained that while his company takes digital distribution “very seriously”, it still prioritises a theatricalled approach. “We [look to online] after the film has a profile and a reputation in the marketplace,” he said. Asked whether the deep pockets of Netflix and Amazon were making it more challenging for SPC to find films, Leiner admitted it was becoming harder, but not necessarily for those reasons. He highlighted that established filmmakers are turning their hands to other

forms of entertainment. “They’re not making as many movies,” he said. Mike Goodridge, CEO of UK sales agent Protagonist Pictures, admitted that “Netflix was challenging the entire film model” and that he had concerns around the future of theatrical distribution, but he also talked up the continued attraction of playing in cinemas to sales agents and filmmakers alike. “Theatrical is what we want for all our films,” he said. Michal Steinberg, who heads up business affairs at Entertainment One, highlighted recent successes of traditional theatrical distribution. “You think you need a new model, then Wonder Woman comes along [and you realise] the old model isn’t so bad,” she said. Meanwhile, Matthijs Wouter Knol, director of EFM, urged the film industry to innovate, and asked: “When do we start developing our own new systems?” Tom Grater

TODAY

Scaffolding

FEATURE Strong visions Israeli filmmakers are making waves on the festival circuit » Page 6

REVIEW Scaffolding An Israeli drama powered by a striking central performance » Page 10

SCREENINGS

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Keshet Films co-chief soaks up JFF vibe BY MELANIE GOODFELLOW

Actress-turned-producer Adi Ezroni is attending Jerusalem Film Festival this year in her new role as co-chief, alongside longtime collaborator Mandy Tagger-Brockey, of the recently launched Keshet Films. “We come from content primarily and that’s what interests us,” Ezroni told Screen International during the Jerusalem Pitch Point event on Sunday (July 16). “Keshet is a wonderful international home for that. This is their first foray into film and that’s exciting. We’re continuing to do what we love which is find interesting projects at various budgets.” Ezroni and Tagger-Brockey previously operated under the banner of New York-based Spring Pictures, with recent credits including Saturday Church and All Nighter. Keshet Films was launched in April by Los Angeles-based scripted studio Keshet Studios, which is a subsidiary of Keshet International, the production and distribution arm of Keshet Media Group. Keshet Films’ remit is international rather than Israeli. “There’s amazing talent here but that’s not why we were created,” said Ezroni, who is now based between Tel Aviv and New York. Maxim Dinstein

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Adi Ezroni at JFF


NEWS

DMP sounds out edgy arthouse slate BY MELANIE GOODFELLOW

Israeli media giant Dori Media Paran (DMP) will unveil rough cut footage from Amikam Kovner and Assaf Snir’s infidelity drama Echoes, co -starring Yoram Toledano and Yael Abecassis, at the Jerusalem Pitch Point worksin-progress showcase today (July 17). It is one of the first arthouse productions to come out of the Israeli media company’s move into feature film production, which began some four years ago. The project, which won third prize at the Sam Spiegel International Film Lab pitching event in 2014, is a detective tale in which a husband uncovers another side to his wife and family when he listens in on her conversations with her lover. When she dies in an accident, he becomes obsessed with uncovering the identity of the other man. Keren Michael, who heads up DMP’s feature film division, will present the project alongside DMP CEO Yoni Paran. Having previously worked as an independent producer for the likes of Avishai Sivan and Shira Geffen, Michael has been instrumental in pulling the feature film slate together. “I’ve been overseeing the process,” says Michael. “I have

Echoes

the knowledge of the film world and he [Paran] has these crazy ideas about all sorts of things. We bounce off one another.” “Echoes is the first auteur film to come to fruition on our slate,” she continues. “We’re hoping to have a final cut ready by the end of the month. We have three sales companies who have expressed interest. Our aim is to launch it at a big festival early next year.” Other upcoming features on the DMP slate include Eran Kolirin’s adaptation of Palestinian

writer Sayed Kashua’s 2006 novel Orthodox religious political party Let It Be Morning, a co-produc- Shas, which is casting ahead of a tion with Paris-based Les Films planned October shoot. The film Du Poisson which is being is Malka’s debut feature after sold internationally short film 71 Square Meters. by The Match FacOther hot projects on tory. The shoot is DMP’s slate include scheduled for early Baskin, a new feature 2018. Before that, by Bethlehem direcDMP will shoot tor Yuval Adler. Eliran Malka’s Based on the true The Non-Constory of peace formists, chartactivist Gering the rise of shon Israel’s ultraBaskin Yael Abecassis in Echoes

Heymanns click with YouTube BY TOM GRATER

Fraternal filmmaking duo Tomer and Barak Heymann — whose recent credits include well-travelled documentary features Mr Gaga and Who’s Gonna Love Me Now? — are wrapping production on a social activism-focused web series made with Google via its video platform YouTube. Titled Working On It (Ovdim Al Ze), the project was initiated by YouTube’s international initiative Creators For Change, which has commissioned filmmakers across the world to work on similarly socially focused series, and was backed by Google Israel, the Lautman Foundation and the Shaharit Institute. Comprising eight episodes of roughly six minutes apiece, each instalment pairs a famous Israeli

Barak (left) and Tomer Heymann won the Panorama Audience Award for Who’s Gonna Love Me Now? at 2016’s Berlin International Film Festival

YouTuber with a social activist representing one of the many communities in Israeli society, with a view to encourage dialogue between two polarised worlds. One episode sees one of Israel’s

4 Screen International at Jerusalem July 17-18, 2017

most high-profile YouTubers, Guy TV, a young gay man with more than 200,000 subscribers on the site, travel to an ultra-Orthodox neighbourhood to have his eyes opened to different perspectives of religion. The entire series will debut on YouTube, be broadcast on Israel’s Channel 8, and have a one-off cinema screening in Tel Aviv, all in mid-September. Separately, the Heymanns have entered post-production on two feature documentaries announced by Screen at Jerusalem Film Festival last year: Tomer’s Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life, which tells the story of the Israel-born gay porn star, and Barak’s Israel According To Dov (working title), which follows Israeli communist politician Dov Khenin.

and his role in negotiating with Hamas for the release of an abducted Israeli solider, Baskin is adapted from his 2013 book The Negotiator: Freeing Gilad Schalit From Hamas. “We’re trying to come up with ideas that we think will work locally and internationally, and Adler’s Baskin is one of these projects,” says Michael. Adler is writing the script with upcoming writer-director Assaf Machnes, whose short films Auschwitz On My Mind and Seven Minutes have made waves at home and on the international festival circuit. Michael is hoping to have a completed draft ready in time to present at the Berlinale Co-production Market next February. The slate also includes genre feature Sick Lake by Itamar Alcalay, about a young doctor from Berlin practising in a village in northern Palestine in 1936, dealing with the case of a sick teenage girl whose parents claim she is possessed by a demon. “We call it a Zionist horror,” says Michael. “It’s a big film and we got on board because we feel it can be something really interesting.” It will be the debut narrative feature for Alcalay after a number of award-winning documentary productions.

Netanyahu doc’s royal welcome Producer Liran Atzmor, whose Presenting Princess Shaw premiered at Jerusalem Film Festival (JFF) in 2015, is working on a feature documentary about Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Titled King Bibi, the film is an international co-production with a host of global broadcasters. Directed by Dan Shadur (Before The Revolution), the project was pitched at Amsterdam-based documentary festival IDFA in November 2016. Since then, alongside Israel’s Yes Docu, the film has also attached broadcasters from the Netherlands (VPRO), Denmark (DRTV), Canada (CBC Radio), Switzerland (RTS) and Finland (YLE). Annie Roney of

US-based documentary sales agent Roco films is representing sales on the project, which also has funding from the Israel New Fund for Cinema and TV. King Bibi is in rough-cut stage and will be wrapped in early 2018. Entirely comprising archive footage, the film chronicles the story of Netanyahu’s rise to power, reflected through four decades of public appearances. Atzmor is also producing the debut feature of Moshe Rosenthal, whose short film Leave Of Absence won the best director prize in the short film competition at JFF last year. Titled Independence, the gaythemed drama recently received a development grant from the Rabinovich Foundation.

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IN FOCUS ISRAELI FEATURE COMPETITION

Keeping secrets Israeli filmmaker Ofir Raul Graizer tells Laurence Boyce about the real-life inspiration behind debut feature The Cakemaker and its eight-year journey to fruition

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srael-born filmmaker Ofir Raul Graizer’s The Cakemaker is a stark and dramatic debut feature about hidden love and the human urge to create connections. Young Berlin baker Thomas begins an affair with Israeli businessman Oren, who has a wife and child he dotes on back in Israel. One day Oren stops visiting and Thomas discovers he has died in an accident. Distraught, he heads to Jerusalem where he meets Oren’s widow Anat and soon finds himself working in her kosher cafe as a pastry chef. But Anat doesn’t know his secret and Thomas must be careful that nothing is revealed. A film of intense passion and emotion, The Cakemaker was inspired by real-life events. “I knew a person who had a double life, he had a wife and children and secret lovers on the side,” says Graizer. “One day I was told by his wife that he had died. I knew I had to make a film about this because it related to questions that have always been essential for me: questions of hiding my identity, living between different worlds, secular and religious, gay and straight, and other things.” Slow-baked It’s been a lengthy process to get The Cakemaker onto the big screen. The film has appeared at numerous pitching and project markets over the past few years, including Jerusalem Film Festival’s (JFF) Pitch Point and the Berlinale Talent Campus. “It took eight years,” reveals Graizer. “The main reason was that we did not receive funding from the big funds, only a small amount from the Jerusalem Film Fund, who believed in us from the very beginning. Eventually there was a point where it was either we give up or shoot.” Graizer and his producer Itai Tamir and co-producer Mathias Schwerbrock settled on the second option, embarking on what the director describes as “a crazy guerrilla adventure”. Crucial to Graizer’s ability to tell his story was the casting of Tim Kalkhof and Sarah Adler as Thomas and Anat. In the case of his female lead, Graizer had met Adler five years earlier when he only had a treatment, and the actress stayed attached right up to the eventual shoot. “She was fully devoted to the role,” he says. For his Berlin baker,

‘This film was written as a love-hate story to Jerusalem, which is still my favourite city in Israel’

Ofir Raul Graizer

Ofir Raul Graizer

The Cakemaker

Graizer ploughed through 100 showreels and 20 auditions before finally finding Kalkhof. “I didn’t have the luxury of doing a mutual audition but I had a feeling about the two of them together,” he says. “They both arrived in Jerusalem a day before the shoot. I just put them in the kitchen of the cafe and we started shooting. And it worked.” After The Cakemaker shoot wrapped, the Rabinovich Foundation came on board for post-production funding, which allowed Graizer to complete the film. “It was lots of risks taken, lots of miracles, and a devoted crew who took part in the film because they liked the script,” he states.

6 Screen International at Jerusalem July 17-18, 2017

Following its premiere earlier this month in Karlovy Vary’s Official Competition strand, The Cakemaker is now playing at JFF and Graizer is intrigued to see how local audiences react. “This film was written as a lovehate story to Jerusalem, which is still my favourite city in Israel and one of the most amazing, crazy, fascinating, tasty, loud, aggressive, tragic and beautiful places in the world,” he declares. “I am very honoured to show the film in the festival, which I have been visiting since I was 18. I really wanted people to see it here.” One of the themes Graizer explores in the film is how religion Left: Tim Kalkhof as Thomas in The Cakemaker

and tradition impact people and their relationships. While the two often bind people together, in The Cakemaker they can also isolate them. “Tradition has so many roles in connecting people, such as placing the whole family for a dinner on Shabbat every week, singing and praying together; these things are very intimate in a good way,” he notes. “But they have a dark side: they can limit one’s individual self and appreciation of otherness. It is ‘anti’: anti-women, anti-gay, anti-freedom. [Showing] these negative aspects was essential in the film because eventually they are the path from which the characters are able to find their own private redemption.” Off the back of Karlovy Vary and Jerusalem, Graizer is hoping the film finds further success on the festival circuit. “I have worked for so long and so hard on this film, I gave so much for it, from working in terrible restaurants to editing porn to cleaning houses,” says the director. “I think it deserves to go out into the world and find a big audience.” Films Boutique is handling international sales, and following the strong reception in Karlovy Vary has already struck deals for the US (Strand Releasing), Spain (Karma) and Japan (Shin Nippon) among others. Graizer also has one eye on the future. “I have a few projects on my desktop,” he says. One of those projects is The Dream Of The Shepherd Shepherd, which he describes as “very different from The Cakemaker, very political. It’s about a man who works in Germany’s visa office and treats refugees in a degrading way. One day he starts developing an obsession towards a painting, and it leads him to become another person. It’s a strange story — very personal and painful.” Currently seeking development financing for the project, Graizer adds with a wry smile, “I hope this one takes s less than eight years.” ■

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Up in the air Actor-filmmaker Shady Srour takes a deep breath with Holy Air, his feature debut as a writer-director. Tom Grater reports

Shady Srour in Holy Air

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alestinian-Israeli actor Shady Srour rose to prominence in 2015 when he starred in Basil Khalil’s short comedy Ave Maria, which premiered at Cannes and went on to be nominated for an Oscar at the 2016 Academy Awards. He’s now made his feature debut as a writerdirector with Holy Air (in which he also stars), a comedy about an Israeli man living in Nazareth with his wife who tries to strike it rich by selling bottled air from the Holy Land to tourists. Despite studying for an acting degree at Tel Aviv University, Srour set his sights on working as a filmmaker early on in his career. The decision to write material he could act in himself came about after Srour hit a stumbling block in his fledgling acting career, when his agent at the time kept submitting him to auditions for inappropriate roles. “He was sending me to auditions as an Arab, but everybody thought I looked either Jewish, Argentinian or Russian, so I didn’t get the parts,” he says. It was around this time that Srour had the initial inspiration for Holy Air, when his wife fell pregnant with his first son, leaving the couple facing significant changes to their lives. He considered producing a docudrama about their situation, featuring his wife, but struggled to attract the required funding. Further down the line, he reimagined the film as a narrative feature, and

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‘Everybody thought I looked either Jewish, Argentinian or Russian, so I didn’t get the parts’ Shady Srour

Holy Air

found the Israeli funds more receptive to the project, eventually receiving backing from the Israel Film Fund and Gesher Film Fund. Labour of love Srour produced the film alongside Ilan Moscovitch. The budget was $150,000, which the director describes as “much less than we needed to make the film”, but with the money secured they decided to go ahead and jump into production. Shooting was scheduled to take place in a 17-day block, but was disrupted 15 days in when Srour’s wife went into labour with the couple’s third child. The pair arrived at the hospital at 4.30am, the baby was delivered and

Srour was back on set at 7.30am to “continue delivering my other baby, the film”. The completed film was selected to have its world premiere at New Yorkbased Tribeca Film Festival in April this year, in the event’s International Narrative Competition. The experience was vindicating for Srour, and very positive for the film itself. “We had four screenings, but they called us and said it was a rush, so they put on another screening. Every cinema was full,” he recalls. The buzz was clearly felt among industry attendees at the festival too, with distributor Samuel Goldwyn Films moving to strike a deal for the title’s North American rights with sales representative New Europe Film Sales.

Since then, Holy Air had its first showing in Israel just last week, a behind-closed-doors screening for members of the Israeli Film Academy. “I was really shivering when it was screening,” Srour says on his wait for their reactions, but he gleefully adds that the feedback was “fantastic”. At Jerusalem Film Festival (JFF), where the film has already screened twice, a final showing will take place on Wednesday (July 19) as part of the JFF On The Go mobile cinema screenings at the Beit HaKerem Community Council in southwest Jerusalem. Srour is determined to continue acting in his own projects, and has a number of features on the go, including one that would be set in the US and one in Europe. However, he’s keeping further details under wraps for now as he waits to see what doors are opened by the s international reception to Holy Air. ■

July 17-18, 2017 Screen International at Jerusalem 7


ISRAELI FEATURE COMPETITION IN FOCUS

The freshman Israeli director Matan Yair speaks to Tom Grater about his debut feature Scaffolding, which receives its national premiere at Jerusalem Film Festival today

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year ago, Tel Aviv-based director Matan Yair was in Jerusalem pitching his script for drama Scaffolding to a Pitch Point jury consisting of Dylan Leiner from Sony Pictures Classics, Vanessa Saal from Protagonist Pictures and Remi Burah from ARTE France Cinema. The project’s story, based on characters from the director’s life, follows an impulsive troublemaker who forges a special connection with his literature teacher before an unexpected tragedy occurs. Yair found the pitching experience empowering and beneficial. “It was important because the jury were people from all around the world,” recalls the debut feature director. “I surprised myself. I found I knew the characters deeply. I felt that I had all of the answers to their questions intuitively inside me.” Cash boost Yair and his producers Gal Greenspan and Roi Kurland at rising Israeli production house Green Productions were already in pre-production on the feature, a process that was boosted by the Pitch Point jury’s decision to grant them their top prize, the $5,200 Van Leer Award. The majority of the film’s budget, which was around $400,000 (¤350,000), came from the Israel Film Fund. The finance was completed when the Green Productions team approached Stanislaw Dziedzic from Polish company Film Produkcja to be a producer, and he in turn raised funds from the Polish Film Fund. Moshe Edery and Leon Edery also boarded as producers for United King Films. Armed with a budget that Yair describes as “modest”, the director and his producers were conscious of keeping costs down on the production. As a result, they opted to shoot in many of the same locations that had been used as inspiration for the script, including the school where Yair was working as a teacher of literature and history. “We chose places that wouldn’t be trouble for the production,” Yair notes. Scaffolding’s protagonist is played by newcomer Asher Lax, one of the director’s students, who was the original inspiration behind the screenplay. “I taught 17- to 18-year-olds from difficult backgrounds, from houses that don’t see

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Asher Lax and director Matan Yair on the set of Scaffolding

‘I had all of the answers to the characters’ questions intuitively inside me’ Matan Yair

house, which Yair says helped the actor to feel comfortable because he was in his own environment. Scaffolding

education and culture as something to raise your kid on,” recalls Yair. “I was Asher’s teacher for two years. It was really difficult to teach this guy. He was almost becoming a small-time gangster; he was violent and rude and did whatever he wanted at school.” The pair’s relationship came to a head when Yair was made the examiner for Lax’s history final exam, which was due to take place not long before he would be sent to the army to complete his national service. “I realised he wasn’t going to pass, and if he failed he could be on the street,” the filmmaker says. “It was crucial he pass, otherwise school

would give up on him and he would give up on school.” Fortunately, Yair helped Lax to pass the exam, and afterwards their relationship significantly improved. “I started to see a different side of him, a warmer side,” he says. Yair adds that Lax didn’t have ambitions to be an actor before he was cast, but was cautiously receptive to the idea when the director first mentioned it early in the scriptwriting process. After the screenplay was complete, and Lax read the dialogue, Yair says that the young man realised it was something he could do. During shooting, a further location used for the production was Lax’s actual

Cannes premiere Filming took place in October and November 2016. The team was delighted to discover that the film had been selected to have its premiere at Cannes 2017 in the Acid programme, which highlights works from emerging indie filmmakers. The director says it was the perfect platform for Scaffolding’s debut. “It was a great experience. In a way the Acid programme is quite modest; it was very good for the film,” he says. Yair will be in Jerusalem to accompany the Scaffolding screenings on July 17 and 20. He will return to teaching in September, following a year’s sabbatical taken to work on the film, and is also now in the s early stages of writing his next project. n

July 17-18, 2017 Screen International at Jerusalem 9


REVIEWS Reviews edited by Fionnuala Halligan finn.halligan@screendaily.com

Tehran Taboo Reviewed by Wendy Ide

Scaffolding Reviewed by Nikki Baughan Israeli teacher-turned-filmmaker Matan Yair mines his own experiences for Scaffolding, bringing depth and poignancy to what could have been a familiar tale. Through the experiences of conflicted teen Asher, who is caught between his own desires and those of his father, Yair says a great deal about the relationship between ambition and opportunity as well as fathers and sons. Scaffolding’s strong message and central performance from striking newcomer Asher Lax should bring it wide festival play, following its premiere in Cannes’ Acid selection. Seventeen-year-old Asher (Lax) is a troublemaker coasting his way through high school. His laidback attitude is facilitated by the fact his father, Milo (Yaacov Cohen), actively discourages Asher’s scholastic pursuits, insisting he take over the family’s scaffolding business. When Asher comes into contact with gentle literature teacher Rami (Ami Smolarchik), however, he finds both a kinship and a chance to expand his horizons. Comparisons with other hero-teacher narratives such as Dead Poets Society are obvious, but the particular challenges of being an adolescent in a place of limited options gives Scaffolding an edge that removes any trace of sentimentality. That is particularly true for challenging kids who are, even with the best educational will in the world, likely to fall through the cracks. There is no judgment here, though: Matai presents the reality of the situation in matter-of-fact terms, and Milo’s desire for Asher to take over a successful family business is never painted as a lesser path. The real issue here is that youths like Asher are funnelled into lives they do not necessarily want through lack of options. As befits such an intimate journey, the camera remains tight on Asher throughout, his face filling the screen in moments both of rage and reflection. Early introductory sequences are short and punchy, vignettes of a life lived in the moment. As Rami begins to get under his skin, however, sequences grow longer and Asher spends more time at rest, head in a book or discussing bigger issues with his friends. These remain punctuated by moments of unbridled aggression, leading to a confrontation of sorts between father and son that is deeply moving in its restraint.

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ISRAELI FEATURE COMPETITION Isr-Pol. 2017. 93mins Director/screenplay Matan Yair Production company Green Productions, Film Produkcja, United King Films International sales New Europe Film Sales, jan@neweuropefilmsales. com Producers Gal Greenspan, Roi Kurland, Stanislaw Dziedzic, Moshe Edery, Leon Edery Cinematography Bartosz Bieniek Production design Nitzan Zifrut Editor Dov Steuer Music Ishai Adar Main cast Asher Lax, Ami Smolarchik, Yaacov Cohen

This striking animated drama reveals the stratified society in Tehran where sex, drugs and corruption are concealed beneath the veil of morality and propriety. Unlike the arresting animation, the narrative often resorts to broad brushstrokes to stress its points, which usually involve Olympian levels of hypocrisy and glaring double standards. Iran-born, Germany-based Ali Soozandeh’s debut demonstrates his considerable talents as a visual stylist, but he is less confident shaping the screenplay on which this vividly sordid portrait of the city is based. Although somewhat obvious in its approach — the key characters include a hooker with a heart of gold and a wife whose husband thwarts her ambition to work — Tehran Taboo is a glimpse of Iranian culture that is largely unknown outside the country and unseen within. For Soozandeh, the use of rotoscoped characters and a combination of 3D and drawn elements for the backdrop was not just an aesthetic choice. Shooting in Tehran was not an option for a film about young Iranians’ pursuit of illicit good times. And animation helps create the schizophrenic character of the city — as essential as any of the human components of this multi-stranded story. The key character is Pari (Elmira Rafizadeh), a prostitute who turns tricks while her mute son, Elias (Bilal Yasar), waits outside. Pari moves into a flat provided by a judge at the religious court where she is seeking a divorce from her imprisoned, drug-addict husband. Her new neighbour is Sara (Zahra Amir Ebrahimi), a pregnant wife who dreams of her own career but must settle for a slow death by domesticity. Struggling musician Babak (Arash Marandi) gets high at a club and ends up in a toilet with Donya (Negar Mona Alizadeh). She then worries she is supposed to be untouched for her wedding day and demands he pay for an operation to restore her virginity. Visual devices suggest the layering of double standards — Soozandeh uses lots of glass and reflective surfaces that peel back to reveal an alternative reality — and are more successful than the slightly schematic narrative approach. But while the plot points are delivered a little too emphatically, this wily account of twenty-something Iranians negotiating an assault course of laws and prohibitions to get their kicks fizzes with energy and bad behaviour.

DEBUTS Ger-Aust. 2017. 96mins Director/screenplay/ production design Ali Soozandeh Production company Little Dream Entertainment International sales Celluloid Dreams, hengameh@celluloiddreams.com Producers Frank Geiger, Ali Samadi Ahadi, Mark Fencer, Armin Hofmann, Antonin Svoboda, Bruno Wagner Cinematography Martin Gschlacht Editors Frank Geiger, Andrea Mertens Music Ali N Askin Main cast Elmira Rafizadeh, Zahra Amir Ebrahimi, Arash Marandi, Bilal Yasar, Negar Mona Alizadeh, Payam Madjlessi

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» Scaffolding p10 » A Gentle Creature p11 » Tehran Taboo p10 » On The Beach At Night Alone p12 » The Prince Of Nothingwood p11

» God’s Own Country p12 » Summer 1993 p13 » Menashe p13

A Gentle Creature Reviewed by Lee Marshall

The Prince Of Nothingwood Reviewed by Lisa Nesselson Warm, flamboyant characters that any screenwriter would be proud to have invented are the fascinating raw material of The Prince Of Nothingwood, Sonia Kronlund’s delightfully entertaining documentary about Salim Shaheen and his merry band of filmmaking associates. Chubby force of nature Shaheen has managed to make and self-distribute no fewer than 110 movies in wartorn Afghanistan. He cannot read or write but he acts and directs by the seat of his pants and gets mobbed in the streets wherever he goes thanks to his little-guy centred tales modelled, in part, on Bollywood fare complete with singing and dancing. This is a crowdpleasing winner that is educational, touching and hilarious. Bitten by the movie bug as a kid, Shaheen, born in the mid-1960s, snuck into movie theatres to watch films from India — and got a beating from his family when he started filming on the sly. The history of filmmaking is full of bold individuals who refuse to take no for an answer, it is just that this guy, like his countrymen-andwomen, has been subjected to the Soviets, the Taliban and other violent affronts to sovereignty, tradition and joie de vivre. The documentary covers roughly a week during which Shaheen and company flew from Kabul to Bamiyan — the now relatively stable ancient outpost whose majestic Buddhas were blasted away by the Taliban — to shoot scenes for his latest production. Shaheen may be illiterate but his primarily visual education has served him well. The guy knows how to create human connections in record time: “Give yourselves a round of applause!” is one of his favourite sayings when a crowd gathers. His charisma is endlessly photogenic and snippets of his performances in his own films over the years pop up to illustrate instances of life imitating what most would hesitate to call “art” but definitely qualifies as entertainment for the masses. Making movies is a way to escape the reality of ongoing war. As for Kronlund, once she is incorporated into the adventure, the normal precautions a foreigner takes in Afghanistan fly out the window. We know the filmmaker survived the experience and yet it is easy to share her trepidation in dicey settings.

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CINEMANIA Fr-Ger. 2017. 85mins Director/screenplay Sonia Kronlund Production companies Gloria Films, Made In Germany International sales Pyramide International, avalentin@pyramidefilms. com Producers Laurent Lavolé, Melanie Andernach Cinematography Alexander Nanau, Eric Guichard Editors Sophie Brunet, George Cragg Featuring Salim Shaheen, Qurban Ali

MASTERS

Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa’s first dramatic film since In The Fog (2012), A Gentle Creature is a grim state-of-the-nation fable soaked in the bleak sardonic spirit of Gogol and Dostoyevsky, not to mention gallons of vodka. At the still centre of the story is the woman to whom the title alludes — the only thing, apart from Slavic introspection, that A Gentle Creature shares with its Dostoyevsky short-story namesake. Never named, she is played with impressive passivity by theatre actress Vasilina Makovtseva, in her first film role. This woman is like a timid animal galvanised into uncertain determination. She is first seen returning to a country home which, though dilapidated, seems at least to hint at the rural dacha ideal, still something of a nostalgic comfort blanket in Putin’s Russia. It is a security she will soon forfeit: when a parcel she sent to her husband in prison is returned with no explanation, the woman embarks on a journey in search of answers. In the course of her Calvary — and there is something of the Christian martyr in the figure of the woman — she will be stonewalled by prison staff, picked up by a pimp who works for a mafia boss and threatened by corrupt policemen. An interlude in the office of a human-rights organisation allows only a brief, illusory respite from the system’s inexorable suppression of individual freedom and dignity. Working once more with Moldovan cinematographer Oleg Mutu (whose credits include 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days and Beyond The Hills), the director is on top cinematic form here, juxtaposing a few melancholic landscape shots with cramped interiors that suggest Russian prisons are not just of the penal variety. A Gentle Creature is awash with references that only locals or committed Russophiles are likely to pick up on — such as when the woman stops to ask directions to Dzerzhinsky Street (named after ‘Iron Felix’ Dzerzhinsky, who set up the Soviet secret police) and is told the easiest way is via Hegel Street and Marx Street. It is when this symbolic substratum bursts to the surface in a sub-Fellini fantasy dream sequence towards the end that Loznitsa’s angry satire becomes strident and unsubtle. The film never regains its delicate balance between women’s drama and parable of nationhood, but it remains a fascinating failure.

Fr-Ger-Lith-Neth. 2017. 143mins Director/screenplay Sergei Loznitsa Production company Slot Machine International sales Wild Bunch, sales@ wildbunch.eu Producer Marianne Slot Executive producer Carine Leblanc Cinematography Oleg Mutu Production design Kirill Shuvalov Editor Danielius Kokanauskis Main cast Vasilina Makovtseva, Marina Kleshcheva, Lia Akhedzhakova, Valeriu Andriuta, Boris Kamorzin, Sergei Kolesov

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REVIEWS

God’s Own Country Reviewed by Fionnuala Halligan

On The Beach At Night Alone Reviewed by Jason Bechervaise Discussing life and love over copious amounts of alcohol is nothing new when it comes to the work of Hong Sangsoo, but the striking similarities between this film — about an actress who has an affair with a married film director — and the intense local speculation surrounding Hong’s own private life distinguishes it from the renowned auteur’s other work. International viewers unaware of the media attention in the Korean press will inevitably read this film, which is set in Hamburg for the first half hour, in a different light. It clearly lacks the formal layers of the director’s other work and its structure is weak. But once Hong is back on home soil, the awkward encounters and conversations become more fascinating, especially as the married director has cast the actress — Kim Min-hee — with whom he has reportedly had a real-life affair. In Hamburg, Korean actress Young-hee (Kim) is avoiding the spotlight, having had a relationship with a married man. She walks around the German city talking to a friend about her feelings for this man, and wonders whether he will visit her in Europe. The film’s second chapter is set in the town of Gangneung on the east cost of South Korea, where Young-hee comes to meet her friends, still unsure what to do about her feelings for the man, who happens to be a filmmaker. That is aside from the rampant rumours that are circulating in the media about their relationship. Unsurprisingly, On The Beach At Night Alone does not attempt to offer any answers. Love is an abstract concept that is discussed between the lovers, often in a heated manner, but Hong steers clear of resolutions. The film’s long takes and occasional zoom-ins are characteristic of the filmmaker’s work, and Kim gives another stellar performance following her roles in Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden and Hong’s own Right Now, Wrong Then. Hong’s pictures often feel like narrative puzzles but this is certainly less so in On The Beach At Night Alone, which is more linear in terms of its storytelling as it focuses on the film’s central protagonist. As such, the film is sympathetic to this character as she finds herself in isolation. Some may interpret this as a response to the scandal, which has put both the director and Kim in the public glare, even though the film was shot before news broke of their reported relationship.

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INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION S Kor. 2017. 101mins Director/screenplay/ producer Hong Sang-soo Production company Jeonwonsa Film International sales Finecut, cineinfo@finecut.co.kr Cinematography Kim Hyung-koo, Park Hong-yeol Editor Hahm Sung-won Main cast Kim Min-hee, Seo Young-hwa, Jung Jaeyoung, Moon Sung-keun, Kwon Hae-hyo, Song Seon-mi, Ahn Jae-hong

A troubled young man on a remote farm in Yorkshire, north England, is the focus of first-time filmmaker Francis Lee’s intense romance. Lee’s love for this hard land and the boy trapped in it — so fully embodied by UK actor Josh O’Connor — is moving and rich. This is a small production that is big in heart, honesty and raw talent. British films set in this arena can tend towards the dour, but the central Brokeback Mountain romance between the volatile Johnny Saxby (O’Connor) and migrant Romanian farmhand Gheorghe (Alec Secareanu) warms the raw beauty of the countryside. Frank sexual interludes from the outset will inevitably preclude wider audiences, but God’s Own Country is perfectly suited to festival play, indie awards buzz and niche cinephile-targeted distribution. Lee starts by fixing his camera on the farmhouse in dawn light, as the noise of Johnny’s post-binge vomiting introduces another long day. You get the sense of a hard life of missed opportunity as Johnny takes livestock to market, indulges in anonymous sex and gets repeatedly, blindly drunk. Gheorghe, meanwhile, is hired by the family as a farmhand and Johnny, attempting a hardbitten tone, is initially aggressive and racist towards the immigrant. This attitude changes, of course, but the film is less about Gheorghe than Johnny’s struggle to take charge of his life and break out of his isolation. Sullen and miserable, Johnny is on the edge of things, and O’Connor ably registers the shifting emotions with little in the way of dialogue. This is clearly a personal film, shot in the part of England where Lee grew up. Being a former actor may also help explain the depth of the performance he has drawn from O’Connor. God’s Own Country marks Secareanu’s screen debut, although his character is more of a blank canvas on which to prise this sweet story of young love out of the gruelling, relentless routine. Giving further ballast here is some standout technical teamwork, particularly in the sound and camera departments. Lee, assisted by DoP Joshua James Richards, brings tensile images to the screen that bristle with delicately enhanced sound and increase in light as the plot lifts. If the scenes involving sex, spit and urine do not quite convey the fundamentals of this life, moments in which a small animal is skinned bring the point across with no room for argument. Rooted in reality though it may be, God’s Own Country turns out to be a romance that soars.

PANORAMA

UK. 2017. 104mins Director/screenplay Francis Lee Production companies Shudder Films, Inflammable Films International sales Protagonist Pictures, info@protagonistpictures. com Producers Manon Ardisson, Jack Tarling Cinematography Joshua James Richards Main cast Josh O’Connor, Alec Secareanu, Gemma Jones, Ian Hart

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Menashe Reviewed by David D’Arcy

Summer 1993 Reviewed by Sarah Ward It might be with a child’s eyes that Summer 1993 relates the efforts of a six year old trying to cope with grief, but it is with maturity, empathy and heartfelt emotion that it conveys the uncertain reality that follows. Catalan director Carla Simon’s debut is both tender and determined as it relates the tale of a young orphan trying to fit in with a new family, and its affectionate but yearning sentiment should see festival success follow at a minimum. Death, life and the tumult of those placed between the two extremes are the daily concerns of Frida (Laia Artigas) — or they would be if she were any older or more experienced in anything other than being a child. Overcoming the loss of one’s parents, coming of age in heightened circumstances and finding a place to belong are somewhat standard narrative elements, particularly in a film predicated on harsh truths giving way to gradual life lessons, and yet Summer 1993 shows that even seemingly familiar stories can be seen anew. Here, the wise-beyond-her-years Frida knows she wants something other than a struggling existence in the shadow of grief, largely pretending that all is well at her new home with her uncle Esteve (David Verdaguer), aunt Marga (Bruna Cusi) and toddler cousin Anna (Paula Robles), while letting her true feelings seep out when she is alone. While her extreme youth is not a cure for an identity-redefining loss, it does help Frida tackle her situation with a practical and resilient outlook. That perception — peering at everything in sight with a clear but questioning gaze that constantly holds the viewer’s attention — gives Summer 1993 its strength. Understanding and depicting the result when the innocent are forced to face life’s difficulties helps the film become more than just a period-set rite of passage. London Film School graduate Simon, who writes, directs and draws on her own real-life experiences, only takes a misstep when it comes to the obviousness of some of her material — though not its impact. While Summer 1993 flirts so heavily with expected themes that foreseeing what happens next is a foregone conclusion, it is the texture behind the tale (and the way that Simon grounds it so effortlessly in Frida’s perspective) that leaves an imprint.

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DEBUTS Sp. 2017. 96mins Director/screenplay Carla Simon Production company Inicia Films International sales New Europe Film Sales, jan@neweuropefilmsales. com Producer Valérie Delpierre Cinematographer Santiago Racaj Production design Mireia Graell Editors Didac Palou, Ana Pfaff Music Ernest Pipo, Pau Boïgues Cast Laia Artigas, Paula Robles, Bruna Cusi, David Verdaguer, Fermi Reixach

DEBUTS

Menashe reminds you that even a God-fearing man can be a loser, although he is a proud and likeable one. This small film in Yiddish avoids mythology as it eyes and sometimes skewers a closed world in New York City, marking a bare-boned feature debut that will be a calling card for cinematographer-turned-director Joshua Z Weinstein. Menashe is about its lead character, also named Menashe and played by semi-professional actor Menashe Lustig. Based loosely on events in his own life, he is a Hasidic Jew and a grocery-store employee who seems to fail at everything. A single father, his only son lives with his wife’s family, a mark of shame. It is hard to decide who likes him less, his former wife’s brother or the owner of the grimy store where he works. Menashe still has his pride, which means he takes on tasks he cannot possibly accomplish, whether it is baking a cake or singing a song. One of those missions is to be married again, a duty for Hasidic men and women, if only for the purpose of bearing more children (which Menashe cannot support). A meeting with a prospective bride turns into belligerent speed-dating. And Menashe’s every encounter with his former brother-inlaw is a humiliation. Joshua W Weinstein, who co-wrote the script in English, has a cameraman’s sensitivity to the details of Menashe’s unruly life, with all its everyday slights. Weinstein creates a vivid atmosphere of small battles despite a budget that appears on screen to be as low as Menashe’s meagre salary. In a bittersweet film like this, you wouldn’t call that magical, but you could call it real, as if the Dardennes came to Brooklyn, only funnier. That mood succeeds thanks to understated performances by Weinstein’s cast of mostly non-professionals, drawn from the ultra-Orthodox community in New York, who seem to be working according to a life-script they know well. In a dusky palette of greys, Weinstein gives us a portrait of a schlemiel, yet he does it with a minimum of shtick. Menashe’s young son in the film, played by a secular boy from Israel (Ruben Niborski), speaks differently from the shlumpy father whom he does not resemble. But Menashe will be appreciated for what its character gets wrong at every turn, not whether its accent coach got something right.

US-Isr. 2017. 81mins Director Joshua Z Weinstein Production company Shtick Film International sales Mongrel International, info@mongrelmedia.com Producers Alex Lipschultz, Traci Carlson, Joshua Z Weinstein, Daniel Finkelman, Yoni Brook Executive producers Adam Margules, Danelle Eliav, Chris Columbus, Eleanor Columbus Screenplay Joshua Z Weinstein, Alex Lipschultz, Musa Syeed Cinematography Yoni Brook, Joshua Z Weinstein Editor Scott Cummings Music Aaron Martin, Dag Rosenqvist Main cast Menashe Lustig, Ruben Niborski, Yoel Weisshaus, Meyer Schwartz

July 17-18, 2017 Screen International at Jerusalem 13


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SCREENINGS Edited by Paul Lindsell

» Screening times and venues are correct at the time of going to press but subject to alteration.

paullindsell@gmail.com

MONDAY JULY 17 10:00 ARMY OF SHADOWS

(France, Italy) 145mins. Dir: Jean-Pierre Melville. French, German, English (English and Hebrew subtitles). In his most personal, and perhaps greatest film, Jean-Pierre Melville follows an underground, anti-Nazi group during the days of the French Resistance. Melville Retrospective Cinematheque 3

THE PARIS OPERA

(France, Switzerland) Les Films du Losange. 110mins. Dir: JeanStephane Bron. French (English and Hebrew subtitles). A fascinating documentary that takes us behind the scenes of the Palais Garnier, one of the world’s most prestigious theatres. The film was shot over one performance season, the first under Stephane Lissner’s artistic direction. Panorama Cinematheque 1

10:15

MONDAY JULY 17 14:45 A TASTE OF INK

(France) Versatile. 80mins. Dir: Morgan Simon. French (English and Hebrew subtitles). Since his mother died, a young heavy metal

musician’s relationship with his father has become increasingly confrontational. When a new woman enters his father’s life, unexpected emotions surface. Panorama Yes Planet

THE VENERABLE W

(France, Switzerland) Les Films du Losange. 100mins. Dir: Barbet Schroeder. Burmese, French (English and Hebrew subtitles). A fascinating, disturbing documentary about Ashin Wirathu, an influential Buddhist monk who’s been leading a violent racist struggle against Myanmar’s Muslim minority for decades. Spirit of Freedom Cinematheque 2

10:30 JEANNETTE, THE CHILDHOOD OF JOAN OF ARC

(France) Luxbox. 115mins. Dir: Bruno Dumont. French (English and Hebrew subtitles). The childhood of Jeanne d’Arc – the French military leader turned saint – in an unconventional and www.screendaily.com

daring musical comedy. Masters Lev Smadar

12:15 THE CAKEMAKER

(Israel, Germany) 105mins. Dir: Ofir Raul Graizer. Hebrew and German (English subtitles). A young German pastry maker travels to Jerusalem in search of the wife and son of his dead lover. Israeli Feature Competition Cinematheque 2

12:30 THE ROAD TO MANDALAY

(Taiwan, France, Germany, Myanmar) Urban Distribution International. 108mins. Dir: Midi Z. Burmese (English and Hebrew subtitles). Lianqing escapes Myanmar to seek

employment in Bangkok. As an illegal immigrant, she discovers that while her reliance on others may be necessary, it is no less dangerous. Spirit of Freedom Cinematheque 1

12:45

(English and Hebrew subtitles). Masters Cinematheque 3

14:30 GOD’S OWN COUNTRY

(UK) Protagonist Pictures. 104mins. Dir: Francis Lee. English (Hebrew subtitles). A young sheep breeder whose feelings are repressed through hard labour and excessive drinking, is emotionally recharged when a Romanian foreign worker is hired to help on the farm. Panorama Lev Smadar

BECOMING CARY GRANT

THE POT AND THE OAK

(France) 85mins. Dir: Mark Kidel. English (Hebrew subtitles). Drawing upon a hidden autobiography and rare footage, this fascinating film tells Cary Grant’s life story from his lonely childhood in Britain, through becoming a film icon, to his final days.

(Iran, Canada) 72mins. Dir: Kiarash Anvari. Farsi (English and Hebrew subtitles). The married life of an Iranian theatre persona collapses when he discovers he is sterile.

Cinemania Lev Smadar

Debuts Cinematheque 2

14:45 A TASTE OF INK See box, above

ISMAEL’S GHOSTS

(France) Wild Bunch. 114mins. Dir: Arnaud Desplechin. French

15:00 1945

(Hungary) Magyar

Filmunio. 91mins. Dir: Ferenc Torok. Hungarian (English and Hebrew subtitles). A Hungarian village in August 1945: the festive ambience of the clerk’s daughter’s wedding is tainted when two Orthodox Jews arrive carrying a mysterious trunk. Have they come to claim their lawful inheritance? International Competition Cinematheque 1

16:30 SUMMER 1993

(Spain) New Europe Film Sales. 96mins. Dir: Carla Simon. Catalan (English and Hebrew subtitles). After her parents’ death, six-year-old Frida spends the summer at her aunt and uncle’s home in rural Catalonia, where she finds it hard to cope with her loss and adapt to a new life. Debuts Yes Planet

15:15 THE ORNITHOLOGIST

(Portugal, France, Brazil) Films Boutique. 117mins. Dir: Joao Pedro Rodrigues. Portuguese, English, Mandarin, Mirandese, Latin (English and Hebrew subtitles). An ornithologist’s boat is swept away by currents. Rescued by two Chinese pilgrims, he’s driven in to the forest where mysterious encounters force him to take extreme action. Masters Cinematheque 3

16:00 TONY CONRAD FILMS

67mins. Shorts by artist Tony Conrad. Intersections Cinematheque 2

16:45 24 FRAMES

(Iran, France) Charles Gillibert. 120mins. Dir: Abbas Kiarostami. Farsi (English and Hebrew subtitles). Abbas Kiarostami, the legendary filmmaker who died last year, employs multiple cinematic devices in this compilation of 24 segments, each depicting a photograph or painting and what might have occurred before and after the image was frozen in time. Masters Lev Smadar

17:30 NAPALM

(France) Pascale

July 17-18, 2017 Screen International at Jerusalem 15

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SCREENINGS

International. 76mins. Dir: Philippe Garrel. French (English and Hebrew subtitles). Separated from her boyfriend, heartbroken Jeanne knocks on her father’s door. But her welcome is matched by a baffling discovery: her father’s new girlfriend is his student, and also Jeanne’s age. Masters Lev Smadar

ON THE BEACH AT NIGHT ALONE

(South Korea, Germany) Finecut. 101mins. Dir: Hong Sang-soo. Korean (English and Hebrew subtitles). A young artist involved in a complex relationship with a married film director visits a strange city.

MONDAY JULY 17 18:00 A13901

(Israel) 72mins. Dir: Tal Haim Yoffe. Hebrew (English subtitles). Two holocaust survivors Ramonda. 100mins. Dir: Claude Lanzmann. French, English and Korean (English and Hebrew subtitles). Documentarian Claude Lanzmann takes us to North Korea, 1958, to a random, yet life-changing encounter between a young Frenchman and a nurse at the Red Cross hospital in Pyongyang. Masters Cinematheque 1

18:00 A13901 See box, above

TONY CONRAD: COMPLETELY IN THE PRESENT

(US) 103mins. Dir: Tyler Hubby. English (Hebrew subtitles). Tony Conrad was one of the best kept secrets of the 1960s New York avantgarde scene. Filmed over 20 years, Tyler Hubby’s documentary builds an exhilarating case for why the irascible Harvardtrained mathematician, was a notable art activist and iconoclastic wizard. Intersections Cinematheque 2

live in a tiny apartment. The movie portrays the daily routine of one day in their life. Israeli Documentary Competition Cinematheque 3

18:30 THE PRINCE OF NOTHINGWOOD

(France, Germany) 85mins. Dir: Sonia Kronlund. Dari, French (English and Hebrew subtitles). A fascinating documentary about Afghanistan’s most popular filmmaker. Cinemania Yes Planet

19:15 A GENTLE CREATURE

(France, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands) Wild Bunch. 143mins. Dir: Sergei Loznitsa. Russian (English and Hebrew subtitles). Upon receiving a package addressed to her imprisoned husband, a woman travels to the distant prison. But her journey becomes an absurd odyssey into Russia’s heartless darkness. Masters Lev Smadar

20:00 GOLDEN EXITS

(US) 94mins. Dir: Alex Ross Perry. English (Hebrew subtitles). A beautiful Australian

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exchange student uncovers the hidden pain of two Brooklynite families. Panorama Cinematheque 3

20:15 LA FAMILIA

(Venezuela, Chile, Norway) Celluloid Dreams. 82mins. Dir: Gustavo Rondon Cordova. Spanish (English and Hebrew subtitles). Andres and his son live in a bad neighbourhood in Caracas. When Pedro pushes his luck, they escape to save their lives. Debuts Yes Planet

other cultures. International Competition Cinematheque 2

22:00

International Competition Cinematheque 1

22:30 TEHRAN TABOO

(US) Universal Pictures. 94mins. Dir: Sofia Coppola. English (Hebrew subtitles). During the American Civil War, a wounded Yankee soldier finds refuge in a girls’ boarding school, and stirs up whirlwind of desires.

(Germany, Austria) Celluloid Dreams. 90mins. Dir: Ali Soozandeh. Farsi (English and Hebrew subtitles). In their desperate search for freedom and happiness, four young people from Iran are forced to break the taboos of a restrictive, Islamic society.

International Competition Yes Planet

Debuts Cinematheque 3

THE BEGUILED

22:15

22:45

LOVER FOR A DAY

PARK

(France) SBS

See box, below

TUESDAY JULY 18 10:00 BEUYS

(Germany) Beta Cinema. 107mins. Dir: Andres Veiel. German (English and Hebrew subtitles). An intimate look at the visionary sculptor and performance artist Joseph Beuys. Seen through a congenial montage of archival sources he appears more relevant than ever before. Panorama Cinematheque 3

THE SILENCE OF THE SEA

(France) Gaumont. 105mins. Dir: JeanPierre Melville. French, German, English (English and Hebrew subtitles). A German officer lives with a rural family in Nazi-occupied France. The tenants listen in silence as he speaks of his feelings, music, the war and his love for France. Screened with ‘24 Hours In The Life Of A Clown’ (18 min.). Melville Retrospective Cinematheque 2

10:30 78/52

(US) Dogwoof. 91mins. Dir: Alexandre Philippe. English (Hebrew subtitles). It took Hitchcock 78 set-ups and 52 cuts to create the shower scene in ‘Psycho’. Sixty years

SCAFFOLDING

(Israel, Poland) 92mins. Dir: Matan Yair. Hebrew (English and Hebrew subtitles). Seventeen-year-old Asher is split between his charismatic teacher and his brash father, who wants him to take over his scaffolding business. Israeli Feature Competition Cinematheque 1

WESTERN

(Germany, Bulgaria, Austria) Films Boutique. 119mins. Dir: Valeska Grisebach. German, Bulgarian (English and Hebrew subtitles). German construction workers are sent to an isolated Belgian village. A fascinating portrait of masculinity, Western culture and its attitude toward

MONDAY JULY 17 22:45 PARK

(Greece, Poland) Stray Dogs. 100mins. Dir: Sofia Exarchou. Greek, English, Danish (English and Hebrew subtitles). Ten years after the heats, the Olympic

Village in Athens stands deserted and derelict, its facilities in ruins. Through the mischief of children who play there, the film traces the image of a lost generation, robbed of its future. Panorama Cinematheque 2

www.screendaily.com


French (English and Hebrew subtitles). A young surfer from Normandy is hospitalised after a terrible accident. No one can tell if he’ll survive. At the same time in Paris, a woman awaits an organ transplant. An exemplary French drama about the fragility of life. Gala Yes Planet

15:45 BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY

TUESDAY JULY 18 12:15 FELICITE

(France, Senegal, Belgium, Germany, Lebanon) Jour2fete. 123mins. Dir: Alain Gomis. Lingala (English and Hebrew subtitles). The inspirational story of

later, director Alexandre Philippe examines the scene that redefined the power of the cinematic experience. Cinemania Cinematheque 1

11:15 THE MAN WITH THE IRON HEART

(France, UK, Belgium, US) 120mins. Dir: Cedric Jimenez. English (Hebrew subtitles). A thriller based on Laurent Binet’s bestseller about the assassination attempt on Reinhard Heydrich, Nazi criminal, architect of the “Final Solution”. The film portrays his personal life alongside his military activities. Gala Lev Smadar

12:15 THE DRAGON’S DEFENSE

(Colombia) M-Appeal. 79mins. Dir: Natalia Santa. Spanish (English and Hebrew subtitles). www.screendaily.com

an independent woman determined to save her son. On her journey through Kinshasa, Felicite encounters magical worlds and crosses social boundaries. Spirit of Freedom Cinematheque 3

A heartwarming drama about three old friends from Bogota who split their time between a chess club, a casino and a coffee shop. When their routine is jeopardised, they learn that in life, just like in love, it’s never too late to ask for another chance. Panorama Cinematheque 2

FELICITE See box, above

12:30 GABRIEL AND THE MOUNTAIN

(Brazil, France) Films Boutique. 127mins. Dir: Fellipe Gamarano Barbosa. English, Portuguese, Swahili, Chichewa, French (English and Hebrew subtitles). A young Brazilian travelling the world arrives in Kenya determined to discover the Dark Continent. International Competition Cinematheque 1

13:45 AFTER THE WAR

(Italy, France, Belgium) Pyramide. 92mins. Dir: Annarita Zambrano. Italian, French (English and Hebrew subtitles). An Italian activist exiled to France 20 years ago, is accused of ordering the murder of a judge as part of leftist protests in Bologna. This unsettles his life, and the lives of his daughter and estranged family in Italy. Debuts Lev Smadar

14:15

Hebrew subtitles). In a Bulgarian village, a nurse steals ID cards from her demented patients to sell on the black market. While her relationships are no source of comfort, a new patient touches her distorted conscience. Debuts Cinematheque 3

15:15 A MAN OF INTEGRITY See box, below

HEAL THE LIVING

(France, Belgium) Films Distribution. 103mins. Dir: Katell Quillevere.

(US) Dogwoof. 86mins. Dir: Alexandra Dean. English (Hebrew subtitles). Hedy Lamarr was not only a Hollywood star, she was also a freak for innovation who developed a broadcasting system used by the Allies against the Nazis. A documentary portrait of a fascinating woman who did not receive the respect she deserved. Cinemania Lev Smadar

Clusiau. English, Afrikaans (English and Hebrew subtitles). A highly acclaimed film that straddles the US and Africa to present a complex portrait of the world of hunting. Interwoven with impressive cinematography, a challenging debate evolves: could hunting guarantee the survival of endangered species? Spirit of Freedom Cinematheque 3

17:30 A WOMAN’S LIFE

(France, Belgium) MK2. 120mins. Dir: Stephane Brize. French (English and Hebrew subtitles). In 19th century France, the life of a young aristocratic woman turns into a series of harsh realisations. A beautiful, sensitive adaptation of Maupassant’s novel. International Competition Yes Planet

17:45 CITY OF GHOSTS

16:15 THE BERNSTEIN AWARD FILMS

(Israel) 100mins. The recipients of the Bernstein Awards. Israeli Special Screenings Cinematheque 2

17:15 TROPHY

(US) 108mins. Dir: Shaul Schwarz, Christina

(US) Dogwoof. 90mins. Dir: Matthew Heineman. English (Hebrew subtitles). An award-winning documentary that follows a group of Syrian men who risk their lives to expose the atrocities inflicted by ISIS in the city Raqqa. Against the constant threat of death, they promise to fight till

THE VENERABLE W

(France, Switzerland) Les Films du Losange. 100mins. Dir: Barbet Schroeder. Burmese, French (English and Hebrew subtitles). A fascinating, disturbing documentary about Ashin Wirathu, an influential Buddhist monk who’s been leading a violent racist struggle against Myanmar’s Muslim minority for decades. Screened at Cannes 2017. Spirit of Freedom Cinematheque 2

15:00

TUESDAY JULY 18 15:15

GODLESS

A MAN OF INTEGRITY

(Bulgaria, Denmark, France) Heretic Outreach. 99mins. Dir: Ralitza Petrova. Bulgarian (English and

(Iran) Match Factory. 117mins. Dir: Mohammad Rasoulof. Farsi (English and Hebrew subtitles).

A fish farmer’s routine is disrupted by a corrupt company with strong ties to the authorities seeking to take over every aspect of life in the region. International Competition Cinematheque 1

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July 17-18, 2017 Screen International at Jerusalem 17


SCREENINGS

Jerusalem Cinematheque, 11 Hebron Road, 91083 Editorial Editor Matt Mueller, matt. mueller@screendaily.com, +44 7880 526 547 Reporters Melanie Goodfellow, melanie.goodfellow@ btinternet.com, +44 7460 470 434 Tom Grater, tom.grater@ screendaily.com, +44 7436 096 420 Reviews editor and chief film critic Fionnuala Halligan, finn. halligan@screendaily.com Features editor Charles Gant, charles. gant@screendaily.com Production editor Adam Richmond Sub editors Paul Lindsell, Richard Young

TUESDAY JULY 18 22:15 WHEN THE DAY HAD NO NAME

(Macedonia, Belgium, Slovenia) Cercamon. 84mins. Dir: Teona Strugar Mitevska. Macedonian (English and Hebrew subtitles). A group of boys from Macedonia set out on

the bitter end. Spirit of Freedom Lev Smadar

18:00 THE MUSEUM

(Israel) 74mins. Dir: Ran Tal. Hebrew, English (English and Hebrew subtitles). A film that observes, examines and ponders Israel’s most important cultural institution, the Israel Museum Israeli Documentary Competition Cinematheque 1

18:15 IN THE SHADOW OF WOMEN

(France) 73mins. Dir: Philippe Garrel. French (English and Hebrew subtitles). Film great Philippe Garrel proves that the Nouvelle Vague is still alive and kicking with a witty

a nocturnal adventure to celebrate manhood, but instead experience the bitterness of parting with youth while struggling to resist their desires. A unique film about unforgettable characters. Panorama Cinematheque 2

comedic drama about a love triangle in Paris, a witty investigation into the death of relationships and the mysterious ways of passion. Special Screenings Cinematheque 2

19:45 AMANT DOUBLE (THE DOUBLE LOVER)

(France, Belgium) 107mins. Dir: Francois Ozon. French (English and Hebrew subtitles). A fragile young woman, falls in love with her psychoanalyst. She moves in with him but soon discovers that her lover is concealing a part of his identity.

(Hebrew subtitles). After 25 years of isolation, James meets his biological family and decides to produce a film based on the TV show of his childhood. Gala Yes Planet

MANIFESTO

(Germany) Match Factory. 94mins. Dir: Julian Rosefeldt. English (Hebrew subtitles). Cate Blanchett inhabits 13 different personas in Julian Rosefeldt’s wondrous feature film, paying homage to the moving tradition and literary beauty of artistic manifestos, ultimately questioning the role of the artist in society today. Intersections Cinematheque 3

LONGING

BRIGSBY BEAR

(Israel) 100mins. Dir: Savi Gabizon. Hebrew (English subtitles). Ariel Bloch is very surprised when his ex-girlfriend from his college-days alls him. When they meet she tells him couple of things. First, when they broke up she was pregnant with his child. The second thing will change his life forever.

(US) Sony. 100mins. Dir: Dave McCary. English

Israeli Feature Competition Cinematheque 1

International Competition Lev Smadar

20:00

18 Screen International at Jerusalem July 17-18, 2017

20:30 MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND

(US) 80mins. Dir: Ana Asensio. English, Spanish (English and Hebrew subtitles). A young Spanish immigrant escaping her past arrives in New York where she gets a mysterious job offer. A magnetic film that sheds light on a dark corner of the American dream cliche. Debuts Cinematheque 2

22:00 GOLDEN EXITS

(US) 94mins. Dir: Alex Ross Perry. English (Hebrew subtitles). A beautiful Australian exchange student uncovers the hidden pain of two Brooklynite families. Starring Emily Browning, Mary-Louise Parker, and Jason Schwartzman, Alex Ross Perry presents a touching and gentle film. Panorama Yes Planet

ON THE BEACH AT NIGHT ALONE

(South Korea, Germany) Finecut. 101mins. Dir: Hong Sang-soo. Korean (English and Hebrew subtitles). A young artist involved in a complex relationship with

a married film director visits a strange city. International Competition Lev Smadar

22:15 GOD’S OWN COUNTRY

(UK) Protagonist Pictures. 104mins. Dir: Francis Lee. English (Hebrew subtitles). A young sheep breeder whose feelings are repressed through hard labor and excessive drinking, is emotionally recharged when a Romanian foreign worker is hired to help on the farm. Panorama Cinematheque 3

WHEN THE DAY HAD NO NAME See box, above

22:30 THE UNTAMED

(Mexico, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Switzerland) Match Factory. 100mins. Dir: Amat Escalante. Spanish (English and Hebrew subtitles). Veronica, a mysterious stranger, disrupts a Mexican family’s tranquil life. A powerful allegory on the feral dimensions of the psyche.

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Masters Cinematheque 1

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