After being postponed twice, the 37th edition of the Jerusalem Film Festival will take place Dec. 10-20. Due to the pandemic, the festival will be held mostly virtually, with the intent of hosting some physical screenings in compliance with the health guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and local authorities.
The fest will kick off with Eytan Fox’s “Sublet,” which had its world premiere at Tribeca, and will wrap with Emmanuel Mouret’s “Love Affair(s),” which was part of Cannes 2020’s Official Selection.
This year’s edition will showcase more than 80 films and will hold six competitive sections. The virtual screenings will be held in partnership with Festival Scope and Shift72.
“We believe there is no substitute for the actual encounters (…). However, due to this year’s unique conditions, and out of a deep commitment to our audience and filmmakers in Israel and abroad, we decided to provide a commendable program available in our viewers’ homes, and at the same time, continue hoping that the Ministry of Health guidelines will enable us to hold festival screenings in the theaters as well,” said Noa Regev, the director of the Jerusalem Film Festival, and Elad Samorzik, its artistic director.
“Sublet” marks the seventh feature film of Fox, one of Israel’s most popular filmmaker. The movie tells the story of Michael, a New York Times writer who visits Tel Aviv after suffering a tragedy. Michael gets a new lease on life thanks to the city’s energy and his relationship with a younger man who becomes his tour guide.
“Sublet” was co-written by Fox and Itay Segal, and stars John Benjamin Hickey (“The Good Wife”), and Israeli actor Niv Nissim. The film was produced by United King Films, Moshe Edery, Micky Rabinovitz, and Gal Uchovsky, with the assistance of the Rabinovich Foundation.
“‘Sublet’ is a film brimming with warmth and sensitivity that combines both human and cinematic insight,” said Regev and Samorzik.
The pair described Fox as “a beloved and esteemed filmmaker who has greatly influenced Israeli culture over the past three decades.”
“Love Affair(s)” marks the 10th feature film of Mouret, the critically acclaimed French director of “Mademoiselle de Joncquieres.”
The movie stars Daphne (Camelia Jordana), who is three months pregnant and finds herself alone in the countryside to welcome Maxime (Niels Schneider), her boyfriend François’s cousin. François had to leave in a hurry for Paris to cover for a sick colleague. For four days, while awaiting his return, Daphne and Maxime get to know each other and share intimacies that bring them closer. The film was released in France in September and was warmly received by critics.
The festival was initially scheduled to take place in mid-July and was then moved to late August.