An #Outsider Newsflash (9/21/2015): On the #Haifa Film Festival

It was gratifying to see this newsflash we received from Israel today which we hope to report on over the ensuing weeks:

 MFA Newsletter

Haifa Film Festival to host Iranian director Makhmalbaf, Acco Fringe Festival goes international
The event will host more than 80 filmmakers and film-industry professionals. Claude Lanzmann will be the festival's guest of honor and receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf will head the feature film jury. 
This year the Acco Festival goes international, hosting fringe theatre shows from all over the world and a large delegation of performing artists from China .

Yabalek! to be performed at the Acco Festival
Copyright: Courtesy Israel Ministry of Tourism 

The 31st Haifa International Film Festival will take place from September 26 to October 5 at the Haifa Cinematheque and other theaters around the city. This year, the event will host more than 80 distinguished filmmakers and film-industry professionals from around the world, and is expected to attract some 300,000 visitors, who will be able to choose from 280 screenings of new films from all over the world, including over 70 Israeli films.

Legendary documentary director Claude Lanzmann, best known for his Holocaust documentary Shoah, will be the festival's guest of honor and will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. The award for Lanzmann, who is celebrating his 90th birthday this year, will also commemorate 70 years since the end of World War II and the liberation of the concentration camps.

A new digitally restored version of Shoah will be screened, along with several of Lanzmann's other films, among them SobiborLe Rapport Karski and The Last of the Unjust. Lanzmann will give a master class that will be open to the public, and will meet with documentary film students at the pitching event.

Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf will be head of the jury for the Israeli Feature Film Competition. His latest film, the political satire The President, will be screened. In 2012, Makhmalbaf made the documentary The Gardener, about the Bahai Gardens in Haifa, and it will be shown as part of a retrospective of his films, among them A Moment of Innocence (1996) and The Cyclist (1987).

Among the guest directors: Peter Greenaway, the British director known for the filmsNightwatching8 1/2 Women and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, will screen his latest film, Eisenstein at Guanajuato, at the festival. Italian actor/director/screenwriter Sergio Castelitto will present the latest film that he directed,No One Is Saved Alone. Also from Italy, director Luca Guadagnino will attend screenings of his latest movie, A Bigger Splash, which stars Tilda Swinton and Dakota Fanning. Sharunas Bartas, one of the most acclaimed Lithuanian directors, will present his latest film, Peace to Us in Our Dreams.

About the Festival

The Haifa International Film Festival was established in 1983 and was the first of its kind in Israel. In the spirit of the city of Haifa, home to one of Israel's most diverse populations, the festival promotes the values of pluralism, co-existence and peace. Over the last three decades, the Haifa Film Festival has gained global reknown, showcasing the latest award-winning films.

The Acco Festival of Alternative Theatre, now marking 36 years since its founding, is a lodestone for culture-lovers from all over the country, with a tradition of innovation in mounting new, original works of theatre. It is one of the most important cultural events in Israel and particularly in Acco. Hundreds of thousands of people who attend the street shows highlight the artistic mosaic which has turned the Acco Festival into one of the most special and unique festivals in Israel. The festival will take place during the Sukkot holiday, from September 28 to October 1, 2015.

Awarded recognition by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage preservation site, Acco is a city where Jews, Arabs, and Christians live together in harmony, with mutual respect for each others' cultures. The festival takes place in a unique city where visitors can enjoy its alleyways, antiquities, marketplaces, scents, the new and the old, creating for the visitor the greatest, magical human theatrical show in Israeli culture.

This year the Acco Festival goes international, hosting fringe theatre shows from all over the world and a large delegation of performing artists from China. Alongside the competition performances, the festival presents a wide and rich variety of open-air and street performances from Israel and abroad.

A special production for the Acco Festival this year is “The Gypsies are Coming…” This is a rich and authentic Gypsy celebration, a family of wanderers with a special circus of their own. For the duration of the Festival the Old City’s Moat Garden will be transformed into a Gypsy encampment.

Artistic Director Gil Alon: "This year the theatre will meet with additional arts and engage in dialogue with them. Theatre that incorporates opera, live music, video, dance, and movement. Theatre with an urge for adventurousness." 
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