Arab themes dominate 32nd Annual Israeli Film Festival in Los Angeles

Arab themes dominate 32nd Annual Israeli Film Festival in Los Angeles
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Arab themes dominate 32nd Annual Israeli Film Festival in Los Angeles

Films include “Foreign Land,” “In Her Footsteps,” “The Oslo Diaries,” “Avanti Popolo,” “Tzeva Adom: Color Red”

The 32nd Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles, California, the largest showcase of Israeli films in the United States and taking place November 6th – 20th, will premiere films focused on Arab themes.

32nd Israeli Film Festival banner 2018. Courtesy of the Israeli Film Festival

32nd Israeli Film Festival banner 2018. Courtesy of the Israeli Film Festival

The films include:

AVANTI POPOLO| אוונטי פופולו
Director: Rafi Bukai
Tribute to Late Director Rafi Bukai
Set in the immediate aftermath of the Six-Day War, the film makes a plea for understanding between two Egyptian soldiers and an Israeli patrol who they encounter on their way to the Suez Canal. Rafi Bukai’s 1986 masterpiece is brought back to life in a newly restored digital copy. |1986, 84 Min
Locarno International Film Festival, Winner of Golden Leopard’s Eye, 1986  

  • Screens as a tribute to its late director Rafi Bukai on November 20th at 5:00 pm at the Laemmle Town Center, Encino

FOREIGN LAND | ארץ זרה
Dir: Shlomi Eldar
Los Angeles Premiere
Gassan Abbas and Shlomi Eldar were both at a crossroads. Abbas was once an Israeli sitcom star, while Eldar was an Arab Affairs correspondent for the national news. Things changed: Abbas, a Palestinian, is no longer getting roles, while Eldar’s reportage is ushered to the margins of the daily news. Where does life take these men now? | 2017, 74 Min
2018 Israeli Academy Ophir Award Winner – Best Documentary
2017 Haifa International Film Festival Winner – Best Documentary

Special Guest – Producer: Ehud Bleiberg

  • Screens Sunday, November 18th at 1:00 pm at the Laemmle Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre, Beverly Hills

Dir: Rana Abu-Fraiha
West Coast Premiere
A Bedouin family faces the crucial decision of their mother- raising them in a Jewish community. Her death is approaching. She makes an extraordinary decision, to be buried in the town’s Jewish cemetery. Her wish takes the whole family on an emotional and dramatic journey. | 2017, 70 Min
2017 Jerusalem International Film Festival Winner – Best Director

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  • Screens Monday, November 19th at 5:00 pm at the Laemmle Town Center, Encino

THE OSLO DIARIES | יומני אוסלו
Dir: Mor Loushy, Daniel Sivan
L.A. Premiere
1992. Israeli-Palestinian relations are at all all-time low. To stop the bloodshed, a small group of Israelis & Palestinians meet in Oslo – secretly and against the law. The meetings that changed the Middle East forever were never officially sanctioned and were chronicled only by the negotiators’ diaries. | 2018, 97 Min
2018 Sundance Film Festival – Official Selection
2018 Jerusalem International Film Festival Winner – Best Screenplay Documentary Film

Special Guest – Director: Mor Loushy, Daniel Sivan

  • Screens November 11th at 3:00 pm at the Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre, Beverly Hills and
  • November 18th at 1:00 pm at the Laemmle Town Center, Encino

Dir: Michael Horwitz
Ronit is an IDF soldier involved in a clash with two Arab children on one of the most hotly contested borders in the world. After one of the children films the tense meeting on a smartphone, a third party uploads the video footage to the Internet in an edited fashion which blurs fact and fiction. Both sides seek to learn the truth while the tense situation on the Gaza border escalates affecting both families. | 2017, 20 min
2018 Israeli Academy Ophir Award Winner – Best Short Feature
Special Guest – Director: Michael Horwitz, Actress: Shani Atias

  • Screens November 12th at 5:00 pm at the Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre, Beverly Hills and
  • November 14th at 5:00 pm at the Laemmle Town Center, Encino

Festival screenings will show at the Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre in Beverly Hills and the Laemmle Town Center 5 Theatre in Encino. For further information or to purchase tickets for all Festival events, contact the IsraFest Foundation: 310.247.1800 or email Tickets will also be available to purchase on the website as of October 22nd: Festival 6-pack: $75 (available only at Laemmle Theaters) good for 6 Regular Screenings (must be exchanged for tickets at box office). General Admission: $15; Seniors, Students and Children: $13; Matinee Shows: Monday through Thursday – $10.

Connect with the 32nd Israel Film Festival on Facebook (The Israel Film Festival), Instagram @IsraelFilmFestival, and Twitter @IsraelFilmFest for festival news and highlights, and join the conversation with #IsraelFilmFestival.

For 32 years, the Festival has presented more than 1,000 feature films, documentaries, television dramas and short films to close to one million filmgoers and brought hundreds of Israeli filmmakers to the U.S. to share their art. The Israel Film Festival is produced by IsraFest Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization created in 1982. Among the Sponsors of the 32nd Israel Film Festival are Adelson Family Foundation, Annenberg Foundation, Bank Leumi USA, Campbell Grobman Films, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Crescent Hotel, David Wiener, Diane & Guilford Glazer Foundation, Disney, Eclipse Advertising, Four Seasons Hotel, Hanna & Bernie Rubinstein, Insync Plus, Israel Consulate in Los Angeles, Israel Film Fund, Israeli Ministry of Tourism, Izek & Aline Shomof, Maurice Marciano Family Foundation, Millennium Media, Molly & Israel Weinberg, Netflix, Rabinovich Foundation, Screen International, Stanley & Joyce Black Family Foundation, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, The Hollywood Reporter, The Jewish Community Foundation, The Orlando Hotel, Variety and others.

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Managing Writer at The Arab Daily News
RAY HANANIA — Columnist

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, Middle East Monitor in London, the, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appeare in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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