Australian Israeli film festival expanding

The annual Israeli Film Festival will for the first time be screened in major Australian cities beyond Sydney and Melbourne.

The festival, which is run by the Australia Israel Cultural Exchange, will this year screen the 16 features and four documentaries in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth for the first time, as well as Melbourne and Sydney. Running on different dates in the cities, it ends in Perth on September 12.

In its ninth year, the festival opened in Sydney Wednesday night with “Restoration,” the multi-award-winning film by Yossi Madmoni, which was screened in two theaters due to the large crowd.

This year’s program features prize-winning films from prestigious festivals including Sundance, Berlin, Karlovy Vary, Jerusalem and San Sebastian, as well as winners from the 2011 Ophirs, dubbed the “Israeli Oscars.”

AICE chair Albert Dadon said: “The expanded festival provides more films over more days than ever before, with an expanded program of some of the best Israeli films from the last 12 months.”

The festival’s artistic director Katriel Schory, who is the executive director of the Israeli Film Fund, added, “Israel has a wealth of stories to tell, some shaped by politics but others personal. This is a festival that overwhelmingly celebrates the stories of people’s lives.”

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