Tickets on Sale Now; Festival Runs June 1–8
The 11th Annual Israel Film Center Festival, the largest festival of Israeli films in New York City, announced today its selection of award-winning and cutting-edge premiere features that will be presented at this year’s festival at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan (MMJCCM). Showcasing powerful films in Israel’s film industry, the Israel Film Center Festival will mark its 11th anniversary from June 1 to 8 in person at the MMJCCM, with virtual screenings available through June 12. Tickets are now on sale here.
Israel Film Center is an initiative of The Carole Zabar Center for Film at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, a leading resource for Israeli film, expanding Israel’s film industry and promoting Israeli culture in America.
The 11th annual Israel Film Center Festival will open with the North American premiere of SILENT, directed by Shemi Zarhin (Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi, Aviva My Love, and The World is Funny). Set amidst a fictional election cycle in Israel, SILENT follows Avihu, a controversial TV host, who returns from suspension at the height of a prime minister election campaign. The leading candidate won’t speak to the media or give interviews, but has agreed—on his terms—to give Avihu an exclusive interview. SILENT, the festival’s Opening Night Selection will screen on Thursday, June 1 in person at the MMJCCM, and virtually June 1–12.
“These are the best new films coming out of a thriving industry and this year’s lineup just shows how far Israeli cinema has come, and it is truly one of the world’s leading industries,” says Isaac Zablocki, Israel Film Center Festival director and founder. “Many of these films tell internal stories that might not make it to the international festivals, but speak universally through their cinematic values.”
The festival’s Closing Night Selection will be the North American premiere of THE GOOD PERSON directed by Eitan Anner (A Quiet Heart, Love & Dance). Trying to avoid bankruptcy, Sharon—an ambitious, workaholic, arthouse film producer based in Tel Aviv—seizes an opportunity to collaborate with Uzi Silver, a once-revered film director, who has since become an Ultra-Orthodox rabbi. As they begin to make his comeback film—an adaptation of the epic biblical story of King Saul—artistic differences escalate into hostility. THE GOOD PERSON will screen on Thursday, June 8 in person at the MMJCCM, and virtually June 1–12.
Directors from all nine feature films will host in person post-screening Q&As. Additional festival guests include Dana Ivgy, star of THE OTHER WIDOW; Sasson Gabai, star of KARAOKE; and Noa Regev, CEO of the Israel Film Fund.
Israel Film Center Festival tickets and passes are on sale now, starting at $18, and can be purchased online here.
11th ANNUAL ISRAEL FILM CENTER FESTIVAL LINEUP:
Opening Night: SILENT
Dir. Shemi Zarhin
Israel, 2022, 130 min
North American Premiere
In Person: June 1, 7 PM; Streaming: June 1–12
Avihu, a controversial TV host, is back from suspension at the height of a prime minister election campaign. The leading candidate won’t speak to the media or give interviews, but has agreed—on his terms—to give Avihu an exclusive interview. He isn’t the only one who is silent; Avihu’s mother has mysteriously stopped talking. Caught in the whirlwind of their silence, Avihu is on a path to his own reckoning.
ELIK AND JIMMY
Dir. Gudis Schneider
Israel, 2022, 93 min
North American Premiere
In Person: June 2, 5:30 PM; Streaming: June 1–12
A witty and charming romantic comedy. Jimmy and Elik meet in the army, days before they’re discharged. A decade later, their paths cross again and they become friends. At least, until love gets in the mix.
Dir. Ofir Raul Graizer
Israel, 2022, 127 min
In Person: June 4, 2 PM; Streaming: June 1–12
Having lived in Chicago for a decade, Israeli swimming coach Eli (Michael Moshonov) goes back to Tel Aviv after the sudden death of his estranged father. While there, he visits his childhood friend’s flower shop. However, the reunion triggers a series of life-altering events.
After the success of The Cakemaker, writer/director Ofir Raul Graizer returns with an affectionate tribute to ‘60s and ‘70s cinema in a film full of emotion, color, and fragrance that pays homage to values such as friendship, love, and moral responsibility.
Dir. Jake Paltrow
USA/Israel, 2023, 105 min
In Person: June 4, 4:30 PM
Israel, 1962. After an emotional public trial, Adolf Eichmann has been tried and sentenced to death for crimes against humanity and the Jewish people. June Zero follows three characters involved in this nation-defining event: David, a 13-year-old Libyan immigrant, who works in the factory where Eichmann’s corpse was incinerated; Hayim, a Moroccan guard assigned to Eichmann’s jail cell; and Micha, a Polish survivor of Auschwitz and chief interrogator at the trial. These three seemingly disparate characters are inexorably connected in this seminal moment of Jewish history.
Dir. Idan Haguel
Israel, 2022, 82 min
In Person: June 5, 7 PM; Streaming: June 1–12
Architect Ben thinks of himself as a socially progressive, enlightened gay man. But a neighborly conflict over a newly planted tree in his up-and-coming south Tel Aviv neighborhood challenges his view of himself in this satirical drama on gentrification, xenophobia, and identity.
Dir. Moshe Rosenthal
Israel, 2022, 100 min
In Person: June 6, 5:30 PM; Streaming: June 1–12
A comedy about a married middle-class suburban couple who are drawn to their new neighbor, a charismatic bachelor who hosts karaoke evenings at his apartment. Tova and Meir fall hard for Itzik’s energetic lifestyle. They enter into a competition amongst their other neighbors and soon between themselves, trying to win Itzik’s attention.
MY NEIGHBOR ADOLF
Dir. Leon Prudovsky
Israel/Poland, 2023, 96 min
New York City Premiere
In Person: June 6, 7:30 PM
South America, 1960, just after Israel’s abduction of Adolf Eichmann. Polsky, a lonely and grumpy Holocaust survivor, lives in the Colombian countryside. When a mysterious old German man moves in next door, Polsky suspects that his new neighbor is… Adolf Hitler. But when no one believes him, Polsky is forced to engage in a relationship with the enemy in order to obtain irrefutable proof.
THE OTHER WIDOW
Dir. Ma’ayan Rypp
Israel, 2022, 83 min
New York Premiere
In Person: June 7, 7 PM; Streaming: June 1–12
Ella (Dana Ivgy, Cinema Sabaya) is a costume designer involved in a long-term relationship with Assaf, a respected but married playwright. When Assaf dies unexpectedly, she attends every day of his shiva while keeping her identity under wraps. Diving into a world once forbidden to her, Ella grows closer and closer to Assaf’s brother, parents, and especially his wife (Ania Bukstein, A Quiet Heart).
Closing Night: THE GOOD PERSON
Dir. Eitan Anner
Israel, 2022, 86 min
North American Premiere
In Person: June 8, 7 PM; Streaming: June 1–12
Sharon—an ambitious, workaholic, arthouse film producer based in Tel Aviv—finds herself on the brink of bankruptcy. She seizes an opportunity to collaborate with Uzi Silver, a once-revered film director, who has since become an Ultra-Orthodox rabbi. As they begin to make his comeback film—an adaptation of the epic biblical story of King Saul—artistic differences escalate into hostility.
ABOUT ISRAEL FILM CENTER
The Israel Film Center of the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan is the leading resource for Israeli films in America, with the goal of expanding Israel’s emerging film industry and promoting Israeli culture in America. The center, a program of The Carole Zabar Center for Film, serves as an exhibitor, promoter, educator, funder, distributor, network organizer, advisor, and festival producer, and includes a viewing library and online database of Israeli cinema and the leading Israeli film streaming site, israelfilmcenterstream.org.
ABOUT THE MARLENE MEYERSON JCC MANHATTAN
Together with its community, the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan creates opportunities for people to connect, grow, and learn within an ever-changing Jewish landscape. Located on 76th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, the JCC is a vibrant non-profit community center on the Upper West Side. It also presents a robust slate of virtual programming, serving an even wider community. The JCC serves over 30,000 people annually through 1,200 programs each season that educate, inspire, and transform participants’ minds, bodies, and spirits. Since its inception, the JCC has been committed to serving the community by offering programs, classes, and events that reach beyond neighborhood boundaries, reaching people at all stages of their lives. Learn more at mmjccm.org. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.