Lia Van Leer, an Israeli cinema pioneer and Israel Prize laureate, died Saturday in Jerusalem aged 90.
Van Leer came to Israel from Romania when she was 16, and stayed with the death of her parents at the outbreak of World War II. She studied at Hebrew University and met her husband, Dutch filmmaker and engineer Wim Van Leer, in Tel Aviv.
She and her husband founded the country’s first cinematheque in their Haifa living room in 1955. She went on to establish the Jerusalem Cinematheque, the Israel Film Archive and the Jerusalem Film Festival.
She was awarded the Israel Prize in 2004 for her life’s achievements, and the President’s Medal in 2014.
Van Leer died at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Hospital. Details concerning her funeral were not immediately published.