August 25, 2016

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF 2016) will host the debuts of top Israeli directors Joseph Cedar and Avi Nesher’s latest films, as well as movies by filmmakers Emil Ben Shimon, Maya Zinshtein and Or Sinai.

Cedar’s highly anticipated feature, Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, gets its international premiere at TIFF 2016. Richard Gere headlines the cast that includes Israeli actor Lior Ashkenazi alongside Hollywood’s Michael Sheen, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Steve Buscemi, Hank Azaria and Isaach De Bankolé.

Cedar’s film is about a veteran “fixer” in New York City’s Jewish community who gets in over his head when he tries to impress a visiting Israeli politician.

Nesher’s Past Life will also make its world premiere at the Toronto festival. The film follows two Israeli sisters as they delve into the dark mystery of their father’s former life in Poland during the Holocaust.

Ben Shimon’s The Women’s Balcony (Ismach Hatani), his first full-length feature, is an entertaining tale about women deciding to fight a new rabbi’s patriarchal power. The film includes some of Israel’s top women comics. It will be screened under the Contemporary World Cinema category.

Zinshtein’s documentary, Forever Pure, spotlights the Jerusalem Beitar soccer club, one of the most controversial sports teams in Israel. In 2012, then team owner Arkadi Gaydamak – a Russian billionaire – signed two Muslim players from Chechnya to the squad. The fans – especially a group of them known as La Familia, and known for their extreme views and racism – became opponents of their own team. The documentary film makes its international debut at TIFF.

Also on the Toronto lineup is the Israeli short film, Anna.  Filmmaker Sinai’s 24-minute student film won the Cinéfondation award at Cannes in March. The film tells the story of a hard-working divorced woman seeking lust or love.


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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director

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