The Israel Film Center Festival, which celebrates its eighth iteration, will be a completely virtual experience this year, running June 7-14. The festival, with an exciting lineup of films and television programs from Israel, will be the second film festival presented online by the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Films will be available for 24 hours after their initial screening time (unless otherwise noted) and all will include Q+A discussions with filmmakers and talent. Tickets, which cost $8 per screening, are available now at IsraelFilmCenter.org/festival.
The festival’s opening night selection will be the New York premiere of Gur Bentwich’s comedy PEACHES AND CREAM, in which Zuri Shostack (Bentwich), a neurotic film director, experiences a breakdown on the night his new film is released. Zuri’s fears of failure, death, and losing control rise to the surface and lead to a wild night of hijinks and a series of unforgettable encounters with old and new friends. It is available from 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 6, until 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 7. The Q+A will be held Sunday, June 7, at 4 p.m.
The festival will highlight new Israeli cinema in a variety of genres. From spoof comedies like MOSSAD (starring Fauda’s Tzahi Halevi), to award-winning dramas like Yaron Shani’s CHAINED, many of the films are the most celebrated new releases.
“During this unprecedented moment, we felt it was important to continue to make films accessible to New Yorkers,” said Isaac Zablocki, Israel Film Center Festival director and founder. “The Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan is proud to continue our new approach of presenting film festivals virtually, providing much-needed access to fresh perspectives, culture, conversation, and human connection.”
The festival is made possible by the generous support of members of the community, including Carole Zabar and Ronald Guttman, as well as the Consulate General of Israel in New York, the Department of Cultural Affairs, and many community organizations.
The complete festival lineup is below:
PEACHES AND CREAM
**Opening Night Film**
Dir. Gur Bentwich | Comedy | 2019 | 92 min | Narrative
A neurotic film director has an adventurous night when his new film is released.
Screening availability: Saturday, June 6, at 8:30 p.m. – Sunday, June 7, at 8:30 p.m.
Q+A: Sunday, June 7, at 4 p.m.
Dir. Alon Gur Arye | Comedy | 2019 | 91 min | Narrative
In this spoof, a tech billionaire is kidnapped, causing a hilarious international espionage competition between the Mossad and the CIA.
Screening availability: Sunday, June 7, at 8:30 p.m. – Tuesday, June 9, at 8:30 p.m.
Q+A: Monday, June 8,at 5 p.m.
Dir. Boaz Armoni | Comedy | 2019 | 90 min | Narrative
Thirty years after a band wins the Best New Artist Award, no one remembers their hit song and they still struggle to catch their big break.
Screening availability: Monday, June 8, at 7 p.m. – Tuesday, June 9, at 7 p.m.
Q+A: Tuesday, June 9, at 5 p.m.
THE ART OF WAITING
Dir. Erez Tadmor | Dramatic Comedy | 2019 | 90 min | Narrative
A comedy about a married couple dreaming of having a child as they face the challenges of fertility treatment.
Screening availability: Tuesday, June, 9 at 7 p.m. – Wednesday, June 10, at 7 p.m.
Q+A: Wednesday, June 10, at 5 p.m.
Dir. Yaron Shani | Drama | 2019 | 112 min | Narrative
After 16 years on the police force, an officer is suspended and his world is thrown into disarray.
*Trigger warning: domestic violence*
Screening availability: Wednesday, June 10, at 7 p.m. – Thursday, June 11, at 7 p.m.
Q+A: Thursday, June 11, at 5 p.m.
THERE ARE NO LIONS IN TEL AVIV
Dir. Duki Dror | 2020 | 63 min | Documentary
The origin story of the Tel Aviv Zoo, which for a time was one of the city’s greatest attractions.
Screening availability: Thursday, June 11, at 7 p.m. – Friday, June 12, at 7 p.m.
Q+A: Friday, June 12, at 4 p.m.
DAYAN: THE FIRST FAMILY
Dir. Anat Goren |2020 | 4 episodes, 45 min | Documentary
A new TV series following five generations of the Dayan family—“The Israeli Kennedys”—who played an essential part in Israel’s history.
Screening Availability: Saturday, June 7, at 8:30 p.m. – Sunday, June 14, at 7 p.m.
Q+A: Sunday, June 14, at 4:30 p.m.
Dir. Dani Menkin | 2020 | 115 min | Documentary
The story of Aulcie Perry, a remarkable athlete who captured the spirit of a nation and ultimately triumphed despite the odds.
Screening Availability: Saturday, June 13, at 8:30 p.m. – Sunday, June 14, at 8:30 p.m.
Q+A: Sunday, June 14, at 6 p.m.