Israel Film Festival Presented at UW-Madison

Cinematic visions of Tel Aviv will be the focus of the 2009 Israel Film Festival, which kicks off at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Sunday, March 1.

The UW Hillel Foundation and the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies announced the film festival, which will be held at the Chazen Museum of Art, 800 University Ave., from March 1-5. There will be two films every evening; one will be shown at 6:30 p.m. and another at 8:30 p.m.

Tickets are free and available online.

The festival will feature 10 films that highlight different modern Israeli identities and the multifaceted vibrant culture of Tel Aviv as an emblem of modern Israel.

The festival was coordinated by Miri Talmon-Bohm, Schusterman Visiting Professor in the Department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies and the Center for Jewish Studies and an expert on Israeli cinema and culture. She is currently teaching courses in Hebrew literature and Israeli film at UW-Madison.

The festival is being co-sponsored by the Legacy Heritage Fund, the Multicultural Council, the Department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies at UW-Madison, the LGBT Campus Center, AEPi and the Ettinger family fund.

Here is the schedule of screenings, with a theme listed for each night:

  • Sunday, March 1 (Women and Ethnicity): At 6:30 p.m., “Noodle,” a touching comic drama directed by Ayeley Menahami will be shown, followed at 8:30 p.m. by “Yana’s Friends,” a romantic comedy about Russian immigrants.
  • Monday, March 2 (Contemporary Life in Tel Aviv): At 6:30 p.m., “Wisdom of the Pretzel,” an adaptation of the best-selling Israeli novel will be shown, followed at 8:30 p.m. by “Jellyfish,” a story of three Tel Aviv women whose intersecting stories offer a portrait of modern Israeli life.
  • Tuesday, March 3 (Scenes in Tel Aviv): At 6:30 p.m., “Stefan Braun,” telling a story of a society furrier and the man he loved, will be shown, followed at 8:30 p.m. by “The Bubble,” an examination of young Israeli life.
  • Wednesday, March 4 (The Quest for Identity): At 6:30 p.m., “Out for Love … Be Back Shortly,” an Israeli classic which garnered 13 international awards, will be shown, followed at 8:30 p.m. by “Jerusalem Right, Tel Aviv Left,” which examines the sacred and the secular in Israeli life.
  • Thursday, March 5 (Golden Days, Nostalgic Nights): At 6:30 p.m., “The Policeman Azulai,” a lyrical comedy which won a Golden Globe Award in 1972, will be shown, followed at 8:30 p.m. by “Over the Ocean,” about a family’s decision over whether to stay in Israel or emigrate to Canada.

For more information about any of these events, contact UW Hillel at or 608-256-8361.