194 Queen West, Toronto

Mystery, Secrets and Eden: A mosaic of Israeli Film at TIFF


Israel’s Innovative Filmmakers Touch Down on Canadian Soil

"Mystery, Secrets and Eden: A mosaic of Israeli Film at TIFF"

TORONTO – The Consulate General of Israel in Toronto and Size Doesn’t Matter will be co-hosting a panel discussion, "Mystery, Secrets and Eden: A mosaic of Israeli Film at TIFF", to honour the three Israeli films in this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. It will feature an opportunity to hear from the people behind the screen – directors, programmers and funders of Israeli cinema. Moderated by Jane Schoettle, TIFF International Programmer, the Q&A event will feature Directors Yuval Adler (Bethlehem) and Yossi Madmony (A Place in Heaven), Writer Ali Waked (Bethlehem) as well as Katriel Schory, head of the Israel Film Fund.

If you’re not able to attend in person you can join in from across the country, or even world, on Twitter by following hashtag #ReelIsrael. Size Doesn’t Matter will be livetweeting from @SDoesntMatter, with highlights from @Jane_TIFF, @TIFF_net, our hosts @RexHotelToronto and other industry celebs still to be announced. From now until the 9th, tweet your #ReelIsrael questions and the panel will be sure to answer them.

Event Details:

Location: The Rex Hotel Jazz and Blues Bar - 194 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1Z1, Canada

Time:  4-5 PM

FREE, open to public

Hashtag: #ReelIsrael

More details about the event can be found at www.sizedoesntmatter.com/reelisrael.

Three Israeli films are featured in the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival—Bethlehem, The Wonders and A Place in Heaven. All three films this year are having their North American premieres after much acclaim—Bethlehem is nominated for 12 Ophir awards— and even emerging Israeli filmmakers have found a spot at TIFF with Rafael Balulu’s short film My Name is Solomon Hagos in the top five finalists for the 2013 RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition.

The three feature films officially make it 42 Israeli films that have screened at TIFF since 2000. This huge Israeli presence on Canadian soil reflects the growth of the Israeli film industry over the last 13 years. About 12 to 16 new Israeli feature films are released annually, generating both domestic box office appeal and international critical success, including best foreign language film Oscar nominations for Footnote in 2011 and Waltz with Bashir in 2008. Many Israeli films have won prizes in Cannes, Berlin, Venice and Toronto, while the film The Debt staring Helen Mirren and the TV series Homeland and In Treatment are all Hollywood remakes of Israeli productions.

Canada and Israel’s relationship through film goes back to the co-production treaty signed by both countries in 1985 but has grown immensely over the past decade. In 2009 TIFF's City to City spotlight was inaugurated and featured Tel Aviv as its first city. City to City was established as a way to delve into urban locales around the world where innovative new filmmaking is happening and Tel Aviv was chosen as its first city because “The filmmakers there were doing really strong work that would reflect some of the complexity of the situation on the ground, where they live,” said TIFF co-director Cameron Bailey in 2009.

Building on the success of that focus, a delegation of Canadian producers, coordinated and facilitated by the Harold Greenberg Fund, has attended the annual Jerusalem Film Festival for the past three years and then held follow-up discussions at TIFF each September. These exchanges have led to projects such asthe development of the film Via Dolorosa, written and developed by an Israeli Company and which recently signed an agreement with Canadian producer Marty Katz, the producer of David Cronenberg's films and Chair of the Canadian Academy;  the film The 1000 Yard Stare, which is based around a Canadian character's involvement in the Yom Kippur War, is in the early development stages;Israeli animation company Snowball Studios has recently opened an office in Toronto; and the film Inch’Allah, released in 2012, is a Canadian film produced by Oscar nominated producers from Montreal and was shot in Israel.

The Israeli Consulate General here in Toronto is delighted to have such talented filmmakers representing Israel in Canada.

For media inquiries or more information please contact: press@toronto.mfa.gov.il or culture@toronto.mfa.gov.il