It was not the red carpet, camera flashing gala they envisaged, but the launch of Seret International at JW3 was still a star-studded event on Tuesday night.
Heart throb Tzachi Halevi,who plays Naor in Fauda appeared in a slim fitting black shirt and actress Nelly Tagar had ditched the heels in favour of something more comfy.
“That’s the beauty of a zoom gala,” said Raymond Simonson, JW3’s Chief Executive who hosted the launch with martini glass in hand.
Taking the Israeli film festival online was a big decision for organisers – Odelia Haroush, Anat Koren and Patty Hochmann, but as Covid 19 took hold, rather than deprive audiences of the many award-winning films they acquired.
They are showing them at www.seret-international.org.
Halevi who is as popular as Game of Thrones Jon Snow in South America, according to Nelly, stars in two of Seret’s films, spy caper Mossad written by David Zucker of Airplane and The Naked Gun 2 1/2 fame and All In which begins with a secret invite to a poker game that takes some old friends on a road trip.
Nelly Tagar who made her name in the Israeli series Sisters is the star of Erez Tadmor’s The Art of Waiting, which is his autobiographical tale about the struggles of a fertility challenged couple. “I cried when I read the script,” said Nelly who had then just given birth to her son.
In a Q&A which covered everything from the subtle differences between Israeli and international comedy and Halevi’s disbelief at being paid to make movies.
“I’m 43, hiding behind rocks and waving a gun”; there was a general sense that Seret International with The Jewish News as its media partner is going to be a hit.
“And everyone will get the best seat in the house,” said Raymond. A VIP multi pass to see all films is £49.99, a five film pass is £29.99 .