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Israel Film festival wraps

The Israel Film Festival has inaugurated an annual scholarship fund that will donate money raised from its yearly Gala Awards Dinner to support scholarships for Israeli film students to study cinema in six major film schools in Israel. This year’s just concluded Festival, which showcased new films and an unprecedented Retrospective in celebration of Israel’s 60th anniversary along with a sold-out Gala Awards Dinner, was its most successful in its 23 year history. Over 16,000 moviegoers attended the Festival from June 11th – 26th in Los Angeles, announced Meir Fenigstein, the Festival’s Founder and Executive Director of the IsraFest Foundation, Inc.

“We are thrilled at the opportunity to provide much needed funding to educate tomorrow’s most talented Israeli filmmakers and bring Israeli culture to a mass audience,” noted Fenigstein. “As this year’s Festival record setting attendance shows, there is a great audience looking for rich and exciting Israeli cinema.”
The $15,000 scholarship fund raised from this year’s Gala Awards Dinner will be divided among exceptional students from six film schools in Israel. The money can be used by the chosen student in one of two ways: in their third year to help pay for fourth year tuition or toward the production of their final film with the commitment that it will be shown at next year’s 24th Israel Film Festival. The schools are The Sam Spiegel Film & T.V. School Jerusalem (JFSF), S'apir Academic College Shderot, Hamidrasha Beit-Berl College, The Ma'ale School of Television Film and the Arts Jerusalem, Tel Hai Communication Center for Cinema and Tel Aviv University Film Department.
This year’s Gala Awards Dinner, underwritten by Cheryl and Haim Saban of the Saban Family Foundation and Danny Dimbort and Avi Lerner of Nu Image/Millennium Films, honored Jeffrey Berg, Kirk Douglas, Menahem Golan, Carl Reiner and Rob Reiner.
Highlights from this year’s 23rd Israel Film Festival included the Los Angeles Premieres of The Secrets, directed by Avi Nesher and starring Fanny Ardant, Ania Bukstein and Michal Shtamler, and Noodle, directed by Ayelet Menahemi and starring Mili Avital. The Co-Chairs of the 2008 Israel Film Festival are Amy Pascal, Co-Chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group, and Arnon Milchan, Owner/Founder, Regency Enterprises.
This year’s Festival, which showcased over 60 films at three separate Laemmle Theatres (Sunset 5, Royal, Fallbrook 7), marked its most extensive advertising and promotional campaign in its history, especially notable by the many electronic billboards and street banners on display throughout the city. Targeted ad buys were placed in television, print, radio and online coupled with a specially produced Festival insert placed in select newspapers and distributed at selected businesses.
The 23rd Israel Film Festival is presented by IsraFest Foundation, Inc., in association with the Consulate General of Israel Los Angeles and sponsored by many corporate, foundation and individuals including The Saban Family Foundation, Nu Image/Millennium Films, The Lincy Foundation, Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc., Time Warner Cable, Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson, EL AL Israel Airlines, Israel Film Fund, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, Guess Foundation, 94.7 The Wave, Modern VideoFilm, Panavision, Security Couriers, The Ant Farm, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, New Regency Productions, Maurice Marciano Family Foundation, Rabinovich Fund Cinema Project, Mika Drimer, The Schecter Foundation, Caesarea Development Corp., Strictly the Finest, Tal Technologies, We Are in America, AMS Pacific Limousine and many others.

The 23rd Israel Film Festival will continue its run in New York, October 30 - November 13, and move to Miami, December 10 - 18, 2008.

For additional information visit


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