Film fest opens window to Lisbon
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Film fest opens window to Lisbon

Portugal Film Week, now in its 10th year, is screening Lisbon-set movies at cinematheques across the country

Debra writes for the JTA, and is a former features writer for The Times of Israel.

The city of Lisbon. (photo credit: Courtesy Lisbon Ministry of Tourism)
The city of Lisbon. (photo credit: Courtesy Lisbon Ministry of Tourism)

Cinematheques across Israel this week have been feeling the magic of Lisbon, thanks to the 10th Annual Portuguese Film Week, which celebrated a week of screenings and star sightings on Wednesday evening at the Portuguese Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Each year, in conjunction with the Portuguese Embassy, several gems of Portuguese cinema are screened for Israeli audiences at the Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem cinematheques. This year, in which the films being shown were all shot in Lisbon, is a tribute to Portugal’s capital, where limestone buildings and twisting alleys straddle a cluster of hillsides on the bank of the Tagus River.

The festival kicked off officially at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque on Sunday, September 7, screening “Mysteries of Lisbon or What the Tourist Should See,” by Jose Fonseca e Costa, who was on hand to present the movie. The film, a documentary, features narration by Jewish American actor Peter Coyote.

Openings in Jerusalem and Haifa followed the next two nights, and screenings of Lisbon-set films will continue throughout the month of September.

On Wednesday night at the Portuguese Embassy, guests included Portuguese film produer Jose Pedro Torres; Leon Edery, one of the owners of the Cinema City theater complexes; Rafi Gamzu, head of the Cultural and Scientific Relations Division at the Foreign Ministry; and Roby Herskowicz, Brussels Airlines country manager for Israel.

Most films being shown will be screened in Portuguese with Hebrew subtitles. Some also have English subtitles.

Portugal Film Week #10 is a joint production of Israel’s cinematheques and the Embassy of Portugal, and is being sponsored by “Instituto Camões,” the Portuguese Cultural Institute, and the “Instituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual,” the Portuguese Film Institute.

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