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16th Israeli Film Festival 2008

What Featuring 4 recent award-winning films from Israel.
When 4 September 2008 (Thursday) - 10 September 2008 (Wednesday)
Where The Picturehouse
5th Floor The Cathay
2 Handy Road, Singapore 229233
(Near Dhoby Ghaut MRT station)

For screenings at The Picturehouse: Tickets are at $10 each and will be available for online bookings from 13th August at and also at The Picturehouse Box Office located at Level 5 of The Cathay, 2 Handy Road, Singapore 229233.

Concession tickets at $9 are available for Singapore Film Society members only, upon presentation of valid membership card at The Picturehouse Box Office. Only one concession ticket is valid per membership card, per screening.


Introduction by Israel Ambassador

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the 16th Israeli Film Festival in Singapore.

The arts and culture scene in Israel is an expression of the diverse and colorful Israeli society - a mosaic of languages, tradition and ethnicities gathered in Israel from around the world. This has brought about the eminence of Hebrew speaking literature, theater and fine arts.

The Israel cinema industry is an excellent example of Israeli cultural creativity; it is one of the fastest growing in the world, not just in the number of new titles produced but also, more importantly in quality and international recognition.

2008 marks a particularly festive film festival as it is part of Israel’s 60th anniversary. To celebrate, the Israel Film Festival’s motto- “Award winning films only” brings to Singapore the best harvest of internationally acclaimed Israeli productions. Together, this year’s festival films hold 14 International awards including recognition from Cannes, Berlin and Montreal festivals.

This year’s selection of films explores Israelis’ interaction with other cultures and nations - the Chinese culture in “Noodle”, Egyptian culture in “The Band’s Visit” and American culture in “Free Zone”- creating many unexpected, funny and moving moments on film.

The Israeli film festival 2008 is your opportunity to take a peek into the vibrant Israeli society and experience a unique perspective through quality cinema.

I wish you an enjoyable and interesting cinematic journey.

Ilan Ben-Dov



Screening schedule

Sessions start punctually at the stated times (there will be no trailers, unlike normal screenings).

Thur 4 Sept 2008

7.15pm :: Free Zone (PG, 90 mins)

Fri 5 Sept 2008

7.15pm :: Noodle (NC16, 100 mins) - SPECIAL SCREENING: The Picturehouse Explores

Sat 6 Sept 2008

7.15pm :: The Band’s Visit (NC16, 90 mins)

Sun 7 Sept 2008

7.15pm :: Campfire (NC16, 96 mins)

Mon 8 Sept 2008

7.15pm :: Noodle (NC16, 100 mins)

Tue 9 Sept 2008

7.15pm :: The Band’s Visit (NC16, 90 mins)

Wed 10 Sept 2008

7.15pm :: Noodle (NC16, 100 mins)

Please note that age restrictions apply for some of the following ratings:

TBA: To be advised
or General
PG: Parental Guidance required
NC16: No Children below 16 years old
M18: Mature 18 -- restricted to persons 18 years old and above
R21: Restricted to persons 21 years old and above


The Picturehouse Explores : Noodle with Director Ayelet Menahemi.

Official movie screening is followed by discussion with the Director.
9pm at the Picturehouse Lounge, Level 5, The Cathay.
To reserve your attendance email




The Films



Director: Ayelet Menahemi
Year: 2007
Duration: 100 mins
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Language: Hebrew & Mandarin with English Subtitles
Rating: NC16 - Some Disturbing Scenes
Cast: Annat Waxman, Mili Avital, Bao Qi Chen

NoodleAt thirty-seven, Miri is a twice-widowed, El Al flight attendant. Her well-regulated existence is suddenly turned upside down by an abandoned Chinese boy whose migrant-worker mother has been summarily deported from Israel. The film is a touching comic-drama in which two human beings -- as different from each other as Tel Aviv is from Beijing -- accompany each other on a remarkable journey, one that takes them both back to a meaningful life.

Festivals And Awards

  • Montreal World Film Festival (2007), Special Grand Prize of the Jury (Director - Ayelet Menahami)

Ayelet Menahemi:

Born in Tel Aviv in 1963, Ayelet Menahami graduated from Cinematic Arts in 1985 and since then she has been working as a director and editor in the Israel film industry. She reached popularity in 1986 with her award winning drama “Crows” which was followed by two feature films, “The Skippers 3” (1991) and “Tel Aviv Stories” (1992).


The Band's Visit

Director: Eran Kolrin
Year: 2008
Duration: 90 mins
Genre: Drama/Comedy
Language: Hebrew with English Subtitles
Rating: NC16 - Scene of intimacy
Cast: Sasson Gabai, Rohit El Kabetz, Khalifa Natour, Saleh Bakri

The Band's VisitThe Band’s Visit tells the story of a police band from Egypt and their journey to a gig in Israel. However upon arrival to Israel they experience some miscommunication which leads them to the wrong city in the desert. In desperation two of the musicians accept an invitation from a sexy café owner to bunk at her residence, another musician has a night out with the local wall-flower at a roller disco which turns into a comedy of errors meanwhile the remainder of the band room with a local family only to experience some conflict and tensions between the two cultures.

Festivals And Awards

  • Cannes Film Festival (2007): Winner of Cannes Official Selection (Prix Coup de Coeur); Winner of International Critics Prize (Fripesci, Un Certain Regard); Winner of 26th Youth Prize - French Ministry of Youth (Prix de la Jeunesse)
  • 20th Tokyo International Film Festival: Winner of Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix
  • European Film Academy – European Film Awards: Winner of European Discovery of the Year; Winner Best Actor, Sasson Gabal

Eran Kolrin:

Born in 1973, Eran Kolrin’s first work for cinema was the screenplay for the film “Zur Hadassim”. In 2004 Eran Kolrin wrote and directed “The Long Journey” a film made for television. The Bands Visit is Eran’s first feature film.



Director: Joseph Cedar
Year: 2004
Duration: 96 mins
Genre: Drama
Language: Hebrew with English Subtitles
Rating: NC16 - Some Disturbing Content
Cast: Michaela Eshet, Hani Furstenberg, Moshe Igvy, Maya Maron, Assi Dayan, Oshri Cohen.

CampfireFrom the director of Time of Favor (winner of six Israeli Academy Awards, including Best Picture, 2000), comes Campfire, a story of one woman’s personal journey, but also a portrait of a movement that has forever affected millions of lives in the Middle East. The year is 1981. Rachel Gerlik, a 42 year-old widowed mother of two beautiful teenage daughters, wants to join the founding group of a new religious settlement in the West Bank. The problem is that the settlement’s acceptance committee won’t approve her unless she remarries and demonstrates that she and her daughters can meet the group’s religious and ideological standards. When Tami, her youngest daughter, is accused of seducing some boys from her youth movement, Rachel is forced to weigh her allegiances. Only Yossi, a 50 year-old bachelor and the new man in Rachel’s life, can show Rachel that living as an outcast is not as bad as it seems.

Festivals And Awards

  • Academy Awards (2005): Israel’s Selection for Best Foreign Film
  • Chicago International Film Festival (2004): Winner of Foreign Journalists’ Prize for Best Film
  • Berlin Film Festival (2004): Winner of Don Quixote Awards
  • Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema (2005): Winner of Audience Award

Joseph Cedar:

Joseph Cedar was born in New York in 1968, and immigrated to Israel with his family at the age of six. Cedar has a Yeshiva background, studied philosophy and theater history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and is an NYU Film School graduate. Campfire is Cedar’s second feature film and has won several international awards including receiving and academy award nomination.



Free Zone

Director: Amos Gitai
Year: 2005
Duration: 90 mins
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Language: Hebrew with English Subtitles
Rating: PG
Cast: Natalie Portman, Hana Lazlo, Hiam Abbass

Free Zone Rebecca, a young American lady who has been living in Jerusalem for a while, suddenly breaks off her engagement with Julio, her Israeli fiancé. In a state of emotional shock she gets into a taxi and asks the diver to take her anywhere she likes but away from the place where she broke up. Although reluctant, Hanna, the driver lets her accompany her to Jordan's Free Zone where she is to meet "The American", her husband Moshe's Palestinian business partner. Once there, they realize "The American" is not there but a Palestinian woman named Leila offers them, after much bickering with Hanna, to take them to the oasis where "The American" lives.... The films stars Natalie Portman and Cannes Best Actress winner, Hana Laszlo.

Festivals And Awards

  • Cannes Film Festival 2005: Winner Best Actress, Hana Laszlo; Nominated for Golden Palm award

Amos Gitai:

Born in 1950 in Haifa, Israel, Amos Gitai is an Israeli film director who started out studying architecture. He shot his first film while he was serving in the 1973 Yom Kippur War during a helicopter rescue. The war had a great impact on his life and he began his career directing documentaries which showcased his increasingly leftist politics with films such as Field Diary and Kippur. He reached critical acclaim in France with his series of fiction films, Golem and Berlin/Jerusalem. He went on to produce increasingly successful films such as Kadosh (1998), Kedma (2001), Alila (2002) , Promised Land (2004) and Free Zone in 2005.



WIN! $100 voucher prize or 2 packages of AHAVA Dead Sea cosmetics, at the 16th Israel Film Festival 2008



Simply catch any of the 4 award winning films featured in this years festival at The Picturehouse from the 3 Sep – 10 Sep 2008.

1)Noodle 2)The Bands Visit 3)Free Zone 4)Campfire


In 300 to 500 words tell us what you think of the film. We want you to be your own critic. Your review should include details of your opinion of the film regarding the plot, characterization, setting, direction and cinematography.


Email your entries with your Name, NRIC, Address and Contact number to Parveen at All entries should include the Title of the film. Please indicate “Israel Film Festival Film Critics Contest’ as the subject of your mail.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: 22nd September 2008. The winning entries will be published in the Embassy of Israel Newsletter, Think Israel.


$100 CD and DVD purchase coupons.


Lovely hampers of AHAVA Dead Sea cosmetics products.

General Rules and Terms & Conditions:

1. The above contest is open to everyone residing in Singapore, with the exception of Embassy of Israel Staff and their immediate families.

2. Participants are allowed to submit multiple entries.

3. Entries must be original submissions by participants. Incomplete, late and/or plagiarized submissions will be disqualified and prizes, if awarded, will be forfeited with immediate effect.

4. Participants will be notified by email regarding the outcome of the contest.

5. The Embassy of Israel, at its sole discretion, to which entries are the winners.

6. The Embassy of Israel reserves the right to make amendments to your submission(s) for publication on platform(s) chosen at their sole discretion.

7. The Embassy of Israel reserves the right to amend the above rules, terms and conditions at any time.