Israel Film Festival 2001

Sidney Lumet will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at a New York Gala by Isabella Rossellini; Laurence Kardish of the MOMA to be honored with a Visionary Award, Joel Siegel to MC.

The 17th Israel Film Festival, 2001 will be launched on Feb. 22 in New York and will run through March 8. The Festival, which showcases a substantial line-up of new feature films, documentaries, made-for-television movies, mini-series, and student shorts, is screening at the Clearview Cinemas 59th Street East Theatre and is presented by the IsraFest Foundation, Inc. and its Founder/Director, Meir Fenigstein.

The Opening Night film, Time of Favor directed by Joseph Cedar, is the official entry from Israel into this year's Academy Awards. It has already won 6 Israeli Academy Awards including Best Film, Best Actor (Aki Avni) and Best Actress (Tinkerbell). It will be seen for the first time in New York as the opening night presentation at the gala screening at the DGA Theater, 110 West 57th St (between 6th & 7th Aves.) at 7:30 pm. The event will be hosted by Joel Siegel film critic of ABC-TV. To be featured as U.S. premieres are Yellow Asphalt (Three Desert Stories) which won the prize for Best Israeli Film at the Haifa International Film Festival, 2000, directed by Danny Verete, The Investigation Must Go On starring Israel's beloved leading actor, Moshe Igvi and directed by Marek Rosenbaum and Clean Sweep directed by Sharon Amrani and Company Jasmine by Yael Katzir and Total Love by Gur Bentwich and one of Israel's most esteemed directors Amos Gitai will present his recent film, Kippur.

"The year 2001 is significant in that one of my objectives is to bring the work of young Israeli filmmakers to the attention of a wider, youth-oriented audience, worldwide," said Meir Fenigstein, Festival Founder and Executive Director. I feel very strongly that the strength of the future of our cinema lies in its accessibility to a younger generation. My goal is to strengthen that appeal."

In addition, one of America's most prominent and distinguished film directors Sidney Lumet will be the recipient of the Festival's Lifetime Achievement Award for his extraordinary body of work including such films as: The Pawnbroker, Network, The Verdict, Dog Day Afternoon, The Group, The Fugitive Kind. The Award will be presented by Isabella Rossellini who recently played a Hassidic Jew in Jeroen Krabbe's film, Left Luggage. Receiving this year's Visionary Award is Laurence Kardish, Senior Curator at The Museum of Modern Art's Department of Film and Video. Presentation will be made by Lee Grant who won an Academy Award for Shampoo.

The Honorary Chairman of the Isra Fest Foundation is Arnon Milchan. Co-chairs include: Peter Chernin, Barry Diller, Sumner Redstone, Arthur Hiller, Haim Saban, Sherry Lansing, Terry Semel, David Matalon, Ron Meyer, Ted Turner, Jack Valenti, and Joe Roth and Steven Spielberg.

The Festival is sponsored in part by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Israel Film Fund, Israel Ministry of Tourism, the New York Cultural Co-operation Commission, Jewish Agency, Yediot Achronot, The Hollywood Reporter, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros., Variety, Converse Technologies, New Regency Productions, El Al Israel Airlines, Isrotel-Tel Aviv, Future Media Productions, and the Israeli Consulate.

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