30 films to light up screens across UK for 2019 Israeli Film Festival
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30 films to light up screens across UK for 2019 Israeli Film Festival

Among the many premieres and hot tickets is the UK premiere of King Bibi, a fascinating documentary on Israel’s longest-serving prime minister

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

Redemption (photo by Boaz Yehonatan Yaakov)
Redemption (photo by Boaz Yehonatan Yaakov)

More than 30 films and 43 screenings all over the UK are set to light up audiences in the 2019 Israeli Film Festival, Seret UK.

The festival, bringing the best of contemporary Israeli film and TV, runs from April 29 to May 12, in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Brighton, and, for the first time, Cambridge. All screenings will have English sub-titles.

Among the many premieres and hot tickets is the UK premiere of King Bibi, a fascinating documentary on Israel’s longest-serving prime minister. Director Dan Shadur will be in London to take part in a Q&A session after the screening on May 4 at London’s Picturehouse Central cinema.

The opening night gala features the UK premiere of the drama Good Morning Son, directed, written by and starring Sharon Bar Ziv. A young IDF soldier suffers a traumatic brain injury when he enters a booby-trapped house in Gaza.  Within the confines of his hospital room, his family and friends are with him day and night, talking to him lovingly, touching him, through the depths of his coma, waiting for the crucial moment when he surfaces.

Among the themes this year is an in-depth look at social diversity in Israel, with a particular emphasis on the difference between secular and religious life. “Shtisel” fans will be able to hear one of the hit series’ co-writers, Yehonatan Indurski, who is the writing talent behind “Autonomies”, a new Israeli TV series an intriguing take on an alternate Israel. It presents a nation torn and divided by a wall into the secular “State of Israel”, with Tel Aviv as its capital, and the “Haredi Autonomy”in Jerusalem, run by a strictly Orthodox religious group. Certainly Indurski must be one of the few writers whose cv contains time at an Orthodox yeshiva and a stint at the Sam Spiegel film school in Israel. He’s talking in a panel on May 6.

London cinemas and venues offering screenings during the festival include JW3 in Finchley Road; Everyman cinemas in London’s Kings Cross and Central; Picturehouse Crouch End; Cine Lumiere South Kensington; Regent Street Cinema; Phoenix East Finchley and Pushkin House in Bloomsbury.

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