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Movies in reel life

Jerusalem Film Festival scheduled for August, in person

Annual event is back on track after last year’s online version

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

President Reuven Rivlin speaking at the opening of the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 25, 2019. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin speaking at the opening of the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 25, 2019. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

The 38th annual Jerusalem Film Festival is back on this year in person, from August 24 to September 4, screening 200 films from 50 countries.

This year, the festival will open, as usual, with a screening in the open air of Jerusalem’s Sultan Pool arena, with an audience of 5,000, said Noa Regev, director of the Jerusalem Cinematheque and the festival.

Last year’s festival took place only in December and online, and opened with Israeli filmmaker Eytan Fox’s newest film, “Sublet,” which first premiered at New York’s Tribeca Festival.

“We believe there’s no substitute for real, in-person gatherings with audiences, filmmakers and the film on the big screen,” said Regev. “We’re very excited to have the festival again in person.”

The festival is taking place later than usual this year, in August rather than July, reflecting delays in many of the international film competitions due to the global pandemic, said a Cinemateque spokesperson.

The Jerusalem event always screens award-winning films from the Berlin, Cannes, Venice and Sundance festivals, as well as other film events from around the globe. Cannes is only taking place in July this year, and two Israeli film directors have movies being screened in Cannes competitions: Nadav Lapid’s “Ahed’s Knee” and Eliran Kolirin’s “Let It Be Morning.”

The Jerusalem Film Festival will also include the usual roster of competitions, judged by a panel of international film experts.

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