For the past decade, the film festival circuit has been kind to Israeli film and although they’re still churning out quality films, this year certainly feels like an off one. Barely or not at all visible in Berlin, Cannes and Venice, the end of the calender year might change the picture.
Last week, the Locarno film festival wrapped up with another award for veteran Israeli helmer Eran Riklis (see picture above). The helmer’s The Mission of the Human Resources Manager won the Prix du Public – the same award he won six years ago for The Syrian Bride. It’s rumored next stop is TIFF – that will be confirmed in tomorrow’s final announcement.
Another Israeli entry (see pic below) that is being mentioned for TIFF, is Avi Nesher’s latest hit Once I Was. Nesher has been invited to participate in this year’s Toronto Film Festival’s Talent Lab, mentoring young filmmakers in their first steps alongside Lee Daniels (Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire) and Deepa Mehta (Water).
While on his promotional tour, Riklis is already eyeing a newer project: a German-Israeli co-production entitled Playoff, based on the real life story of the Ralph Klein, a legendary Israeli basketball coach, who accepted a job offer in Germany in the 1980’s, even though he was a holocaust survivor. Danny Huston of various Hollywood roles is toplining the pic. And speaking of prosperous 2011, we have new features from Joseph Cedar (Beaufort), Eran Kolirin (The Band’s Visit) and Hiam Abbas directorial debut to look out for.