Jerusalem Film Festival

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Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2009

The Jerusalem Film Festival (Hebrew: פסטיבל הקולנוע ירושלים‎) is an international film festival held annually in Jerusalem. The festival was the brainchild of Lia van Leer, who inaugurated it on May 17, 1984.[1] Feature films and documentaries from all over the world are screened, and awards are presented in many categories.[2]


Gila Almagor and Claude Lanzmann at Jerusalem film festival, 2010

After serving as a judge at the Cannes film festival, Lia van Leer decided to organize a similar event in Israel.[3] Jeanne Moreau, Lillian Gish Warren Beatty and John Schlesinger arrived in Israel to attend the debut.[3]

In 1989, van Leer persuaded American philanthropist Jack Wolgin to set up a competition bearing his name for the best Israeli films. The Wolgin Prize has become the country's most prestigious feature film award.[3]

In 2008, van Leer, 84, stepped down as director of the festival and turned the job over to a new CEO, Ilan de Vries.[3]


Competitions at the festival include the Wolgin Award for Israeli Cinema, the Anat Pirchi Drama Award, the Spirit of Freedom Awards, the Forum for the Preservation of Audio-Visual Memory in Israel Award for the Creative use of Archival Footage and the FIPRESCII competition for first time filmmakers.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Cinemathques' queen mother, Haaretz
  2. ^ About us Official website
  3. ^ a b c d Cinematheques' queen mother - Haaretz - Israel News
  4. ^ 2009 Jerusalem Film Festival

External links[edit]