Screening in Sydney from 17-30 August at Paddington’s Palace Verona Cinema, the 2015 AICE Israeli Film Festival will feature a varied programme of Australian and world premieres of documentaries, feature films, shorts and even a television show, as well as Q&As with VIP guests and live music performances. The Festival will showcase all aspects of Israeli culture.

The programme offers a selection of contemporary and historic Israeli cinema, featuring thirty-five titles across six categories. “Blast From The Past” shows a selection of titles from Israel’s cinematic history, “Queer Spot” reflects on the vibrant queer culture in Israel and “Questions of Faith” probes contemporary issues of faith and interfaith. “Culture Corner” covers all things culture, from theatre to music to poetry and everything in between, while “First Course” presents the finest Israeli short films in a wide range of styles from fiction to animation and “On The Edge” returns to confront audiences with real life stories, revealing the dark side of life.

The Festival, now in its 12th year, is curated by incoming Artistic Director, Richard Moore, a film industry stalwart whose career has been intimately linked with the Australian arts scene. Moore presents some colourful points of view, giving voice to the subversive, the political, the cultured and the deeply religious.

Opening the Festival on 17 August with canapés, wine and entertainment prior to the screening, is the Australian premiere of “Matt Caspi – Confession”, direct from Israel’s documentary festival Doc Aviv, where Moore found a number of titles for this year’s programme. Moore said “I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off the Festival, it’s full of songs, intimate moments and Caspi’s deadpan humour. It’s as much a film about an Israel of the past as it is a searing personal biography of a living legend.”

On 18 August, a special Q&A, following each screening of “Almost Friends” and “Aliza”, will be held with Director Barak Heymann.

Professor Konrad Kwiet, resident historian at the Sydney Jewish Museum will introduce historical documentary “81st BLOW” on 20 August.

Other highlights include “Princess”, directed by Tali Shalom Ezer, a multi-award winner at the Jerusalem International Film Festival 2014, including Best Feature Film and Best Actor, plus the no holds barred depiction of the turbulent life of one of Israel’s greatest poets, “Yona”, based on the novel “Yona Wallach”.

The Australia Israel Cultural Exchange (AICE) provides a cultural link between Australia and Israel, fostering greater knowledge and understanding between the two countries.

Sandra Tiltman

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