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Most Successful Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles in its Over Three Decades History


The Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles, which continues through November 21st, has named Foxtrot, Israel’s submission for this year’s Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, as its Closing Night film.  Meir Fenigstein, founder and executive director of the Festival, will be honored on November 27th with the Mensch International Foundation Award which recognizes individuals committed to Holocaust education and devoted to helping humanity.  The evening commemorates the 70th anniversary of United Nations resolution 181, the 1947 partition of Palestine and will also present posthumous honors to Menachem Begin, David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir.

The screening of Foxtrot will take place on November 21st at 7:15 pm at the Laemmle Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre, Beverly Hills.  The Mensch International Foundation Award will take place November 27th at 7:00 pm at Sinai Temple, Los Angeles.

This year, the Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles, which continues through November 21st, has had its most successful run with the most sold-out screenings, visiting filmmakers and post screening panel discussions in its 31-year history.  The Festival will have screened 23 feature films, five documentaries, five television shows and six short films.  This included one World Premiere, 17 U.S. Premieres, 10 West Coast Premieres and seven Los Angeles Premieres.  Over 30 Israeli filmmakers attended, including actors, directors, producers and writers.  Among the highlights were Emmy and Golden Globe winner Jeffrey Tambor receiving the 2017 IFF Achievement in Television Award, and multiple award-winning (including the 2017 Israeli Academy Ophir Award for Best Actor), Israeli movie star Lior Ashkenazi honored with the 2017 IFF Cinematic Achievement Award; the Opening Night 1,000 person strong sold-out gala presentation of Ben Gurion, Epilogue, winner of the Ophir Award (Israel’s equivalent of the Academy Award) for Best Documentary; the world premieres of the second season of the award-winning Israeli television shows Fauda (two back to back sold out showings for over 800 guests) and Mossad 101, and sold-out showings of The Cakemaker, Festival Spotlight Screenings of An Israeli Love Story, Maktub, A Quiet Heart, among many others,

In Foxtrot, written and directed by Samuel Moaz, Michael (Lior Ashkenazi) and Dafna (Sarah Adler) are devastated when army officials show up at their home to announce the death of their son Jonathan (Yonaton Shiray).  While his sedated wife rests, Michael spirals into a whirlwind of anger only to experience one of life’s unfathomable twists, which rival the surreal military experiences of his son. Sony Pictures Classics will distribute the film in the U.S.

Past recipients of the Mensch International Foundation Award includes President H.W. Bush, Branko Lustig (producer of Schindler’s List) and Arpad Gonez (former president of Hungary).

“This year’s Festival has surpassed all expectations with record-setting sold-out screenings and number of visiting Israeli filmmakers.  The Los Angeles community continues to embrace the best of Israeli cinema and television,” noted Fenigstein.  “I’m also very humbled by being recognized with the Mensch International Foundation Award.  It is a proud honor.”

The Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles, which runs November 5th – 21st, takes place at the Ahrya Fine Arts by Laemmle (Beverly Hills), Laemmle Royal Theater (West L.A.) and the Laemmle Town Center 5 (Encino).  For further information or to purchase tickets, contact IsraFest Foundation:  310.247.1800 or  Tickets will also are available to purchase on the website     

For 31 years, the Israel Film Festival has presented over 950 feature films, documentaries, television dramas and short films to close to a million film goers and brought hundreds of Israeli filmmakers to the U.S. to share their art.  The Israel Film Festival is produced by IsraFest Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization created in 1982.  Among the Sponsors of the 31st Israel Film Festival are long-time partners Millennium Media, Adelson Family Foundation, The Hollywood Reporter, Rabinovich Film Project, Israel Film Fund, Variety, Eclipse, Maurice Marciano Family Foundation, Max Webb Foundation, David and Judy Shore Foundation, CAA, Screen International, New Regency, Bank Leumi USA, Four Seasons Hotel, The Orlando Hotel, SLS Hotel, Pacific Holdings, Yvel and the Israel Consulate in Los Angeles, to name a few. 



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