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Jerusalem Film Festival opens tomorrow night

by harry July 09 2008
FilmFor the kids
WALL-E, not to be confused with the Western Wall

Thursday marks the beginning of the Jerusalem Film Festival. Now in it's 25th year, the Jerusalem Film Festival selected the family friendly WALL-E to open the festival in the coveted Sultan's Pool screening. A curious selection since this is the second year in a row a Pixar flick has opened the festival, but it doesn't really matter what film opens the festival. Waterworld would seem like Citizen Kane with the backdrop of the Old City. The JFF runs from July 10th through the 19th with showings at cinemas across the city featuring international feature films, documentaries and shorts with a strong focus on Jewish and Israeli films.

The guest list is quite impressive this year with uber-producer Mike Medavoy and director Michael Winterbottom. Jerusalemite is fairly stoked that the festival will be welcoming John Malkovich, who will be taking questions after a showing of the movie he is most closely associated with these days, Being John Malkovich.

A new welcome addition to this year's festival is "Children in the Festival," featuring numerous children's films and workshops. A full schedule can be found here.

If film ain't your bag and you just want to enjoy the beautiful Jerusalem evening weather with some tunes be sure to check out the free nightly live music at the Cinemateque plaza. Performances run every night of the festival from the 11th through the 19th, starting at 21:30 and feature Jazz, Classical and rock. Click here for a full schedule.

Apropos to a film festival taking place in Jerusalem, "Jerusalem Moments - Small Moments of a Different Jerusalem" features the films of ten Israeli and Palestinian directors each offering their personal perspective of on life between the city's eastern and western sectors.

There are also many other sub-festivals and series, including Moonlight Cinema, the Conference of The Forum for the Preservation of Audio-Visual Memory in Israel, and an Exodus tribute.

The festival might not be as important as its planners tout it as being, but this year, many movies are set to screen here as a stop in-between Cannes and Toronto, a not unimpressive coup.

And there's still a downright staggering array of movies of all genres from all around the world, reaffirming the festival's place as one of the premiere brand names on Jerusalem's cultural calendar.

More coverage of the Jerusalem Film Festival, including an exclusive interview with its director, continues on Jerusalemite in the coming days.

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