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Jerusalem Film Festival

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Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2009

The Jerusalem Film Festival (Hebrew: פסטיבל הקולנוע ירושלים‎) is an international film festival held annually in Jerusalem.[1] The festival was the brainchild of Lia van Leer, who inaugurated it on May 17, 1984.[2] Feature films and documentaries from all over the world are screened, and awards are presented in many categories.[3]


Gila Almagor and Claude Lanzmann at Jerusalem film festival, 2010

After serving as a judge at the Cannes film festival, Lia van Leer decided to organize a similar event in Israel.[2] Jeanne Moreau, Lillian Gish, Warren Beatty and John Schlesinger arrived in Israel to attend the debut.[2]

In 1989, van Leer persuaded American philanthropist Jack Wolgin to set up a competition bearing his name for the best Israeli films. The Wolgin Prize has become the country's most prestigious feature film award.[2]

In 2008, van Leer, 84, stepped down as director of the festival and turned the job over to a new CEO, Ilan de Vries.[2]


Competitions at the festival include the Wolgin Award for Israeli Cinema, the Anat Pirchi Drama Award, the Spirit of Freedom Awards, the Forum for the Preservation of Audio-Visual Memory in Israel Award for the Creative use of Archival Footage and the FIPRESCII competition for first time filmmakers.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Avshalom Halutz (28 November 2013). "Jewish film festival in Jerusalem". Haaretz. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Nirit Anderman (14 July 2008). "Cinematheques' queen mother". Haaretz. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  3. ^ About us Official website
  4. ^ 2009 Jerusalem Film Festival[permanent dead link]

External links

  • Official site

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