Haifa fest to honor Sophie Marceau

Actress' directorial debut 'Trivial' to screen

TEL AVIV — French actress and director Sophie Marceau will be the guest of honor at the Haifa Film Festival, which will unspool Sept. 27-Oct. 4.

She will attend the festival with partner, actor Christopher Lambert, to screen “Trivial” (“La Disparue de Deauville”) — her latest film as a director — in which they both star.

For the first time in the 23 year history of the festival, the opening film will be an Israeli movie. Amos Gitai’s “Disengagement” stars Juliette Binoche in the story of an Israeli family’s struggles during the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza.

“Disengagement” will not be among the six Israeli films that will compete at the official competition. Among them will be “The Little Traitor,” directed by American helmer Lynn Roth, and starring Alfred Molina. The movie is based on the novel “Panther in the Basement” by the world-renowned author, Amos Oz. Pic tells the story of the complicated relationship between a young Jewish boy and a British officer in Palestine in 1947.

Another anticipated movie is Ali Nasser’s “Waiting for Saladin.” Nasser is one of the few Arab-Israeli film makers who has managed to keep working regularly within the Israeli film industry, despite some of the difficulties that Arab helmers face within the system. His last movie, “In The Ninth Month,” was shown five years ago at the Jerusalem Film Festival.

As it does every year, the festival will dedicate a special day to the Palestinian film industry. Among the nine films that will be shown are “Women’s Testimonies of the Nakba,” a 10 minute documentary by Raneen Geries, which documents Palestinian women who talk about the homes they were forced to leave behind following the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. “Nazek,” directed by Ramez Kazmouz, which tells the story of the first Arab senior officer in Israel, will also unspool.

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