Tonight a sold out crowd watching Israeli film REDEMPTION gave a wonderful kick off to the 7th annual Israel Film Center Festival. Yesterday we highlighted our interview with the movie’s Co-Director Joseph “Yossi” Madmoni, and here is our chat with his Co-Director and long time cinematographer and friend Boaz Yehonatan Yaacov.
The festival’s Opening Night selection will be Joseph Madmony and Boaz Yehonatan Yacov’s thought-provoking film REDEMPTION (“Geula”). The story of a devout Chassid who must return to his rockstar lifestyle in order to pay for his daughter’s medical bills explores the issue of how to balance one’s religious devotion with art, family, and friendship, all while making peace with the past. The film won both the Ecumenical Jury Prize and Best Actor award (for star Moshe Folkenflik) at the 2018 Karlovy Vary Film Festival, and the Audience Award at the 2018 Jerusalem Film Festival.
Here is our chat with Co-Director and Cinematographer – Boaz Yehonatan Yaacov.
Sadly the first half of our interview had technical difficulty. Boaz explained to me that he approached Yossi with this idea a few years prior. The two cultivated a story of a man having to confront his emotional struggles of pain by embracing the work that had brought him happiness in his life. The dive for this religious man into the world of music was only the device that allowed him to find the truth in his life. Yossi let us in the secret that Boaz’ actual apartment was used for the film and that not much was changed inside. Boaz mentioned to me that he allows audiences to see his world and this film holds a unique place for himself. As he so poetically put it, as a cinematographer would, he compared the film to being a photobook of his own life. But for him this story is not about Redemption but discover. In real life Boaz was married just prior to shooting of the film and now the loving couple has a young son. Boaz now has stepped into the Director’s chair for the first time because of this passion project he set out with his longtime collaborator and friend Yossi. I was utterly moved to hear just how amazing a connection to his film Boaz has and his way to articulate how the movie hopefully touches folks to the point of wanting to be better human beings. I am glad to now share with you the second half of our chat where I think Boaz beautiful explanation on the film are fully showcased. In this second part we also got to chat about the fact that Boaz also has his cinematic work showcased by tonight’s screening of Red Cow, in which he was also DP. The two films’ also share the wonderful acting of Avigail Kovari. She is Sarah in Redemption and in Red Cow she is the lead Benni. Enjoy my interview with Boaz Yehonatan Yaacov.
New York’s leading Israeli film festival is celebrating its 7th edition this June with a powerful lineup of diverse, award-winning, and cutting-edge films and television programs from Israel. The Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan (located at 334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street) will present feature films and two television series, including New York premieres, at the 7th Annual Israel Film Center Festival. Showcasing the best new films from Israel’s booming film industry and Q&As with acclaimed Israeli filmmakers after select screenings, the festival will run from June 3-12. Visit israelfilmcenter.org/festival for more information and to purchase tickets.
Check back through out the week for more interviews with filmmakers from the festival’s selections.