Menahem Golan

Cinema Pioneer Award

Menahem Golan is often called the founding father of Israeli cinema. With his cousin Yoram Globus, Golan ran Cannon Films and produced a string of fan-fave pics featuring such stars as Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Sean Connery.

The helmer-producer wrapped his first pic in 1962 and has accumulated more than 200 feature film credits since. Among them is 1977’s “Operation Thunderbolt,” based on the true story of Israel’s raid to rescue Jewish hostages at Entebbe airport in Uganda. Pic nabbed an Oscar nom for best foreign film.

Golan was also responsible for bringing the production of several American pics to Israel, including 1986’s antiterrorist pic “Delta Force,” starring Chuck Norris.

“All my life I’ve been in cinema,” says Golan, 79. “I’m very proud to get such an award, but I want to go on, I want to keep making movies.”

Golan’s next project is “Badenheim 39,” a prewar Holocaust pic about Jews reluctant to believe in the possibility of destruction. He hopes to find a topliner while in Los Angeles for the fest.

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