Ever since its establishment in 1984, the Jerusalem Film Festival has become a leading institution in Israel among filmmakers and cinema fans. Last year, the Festival was held online in accordance with health restrictions. This year, while we still cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, I am proud we are getting back to our routines as much as possible, while following all the health guidelines. Two-hundred films from 50 countries will be screened, alongside a variety of events and sessions.
This year, the Festival is traveling beyond the boundaries of the screening halls and reaching the streets, boulevards, and alleys of beautiful Jerusalem, offering participants a magical cinematic experience beneath the open sky, and the residents of the city’s peripheral neighborhoods classic moonlit cinema.
If there was a time in which the cinema and television scene in Jerusalem was a challenge, it has now become an anchor for the economy and tourism industry. Local films, television and internet series, animation, and a computerized content industry continue to grow and develop, opening the market to international production companies whose senior representatives come several times a year, every year, to experience the latest developments in Jerusalem.
The film festival, in addition to the film industry developing in the city, benefit from increased international support that welcomes Jerusalem’s unique DNA that provides an authentic and unparalleled fingerprint.
Thus, alongside a salute to international cinema, the prominent and popular films that were already screened and awarded prizes at leading festivals around the world in Berlin, Venice, Cannes, and Sundance, and in addition to guest appearances by the cinema-elite, the filmmakers themselves, a special spotlight focuses on the unique local aspect that encourages diverse Israeli creations. And in the midst of all of this, ongoing professional training for workers from communities that are not usually identified with the industry: the ultra-Orthodox and Arab population, which are both an inseparable part of Jerusalem’s tapestry.
The Jerusalem Film Festival is celebrating its 38th year, offering sessions, events, and performances throughout the capital, almost around the clock. This year, we are especially excited as we all understand that there is no replacement for the tangible, physical encounters that take place in front of the movie screen. That is the essence of the magic.
Looking forward to seeing you.
Enjoy the show,