The Russian American Cultural Center in New York established the world’s largest and unique Annual Israeli Russian Film Festival.
Festival Opening and all-day film marathon will take place on December 16, 2012 at the heart of the film district in De Niro’s Tribeca Film Center, Greenwich Street, New York. Q&A sessions, Panel Discussion, Reception will follow. Screenings will continue at different locations through February 28, 2013.
Festival’s special guest: Sharon Bar-Ziv, director of ROOM 514
The 2012 Israeli Russian Film Festival honors veteran filmmaker Mikhail Kalik for his outstanding contribution to art of cinema.
Mikhail Kalik was one of the figureheads of the Soviet poetic cinema of 1960s, and also one of the few filmmakers who refused to forget his Jewish roots. His films, especially Man Follows the Sun (1961) and Goodbye, Boys (1964), left an indelible mark on the generation of audiences and filmmakers at the time. But Soviet regime increasingly censored Kalik’s work, ultimately forcing the director to emigrate. After Kalik left for Israel in 1971, his films were taken off the screens and he became persona non-grata. This is why this important filmmaker is forgotten at home and is almost entirely unknown in the West. Featuring Kalik and his work at the Israeli-Russian Film Festival is an attempt to restore his rightful place in the history of Soviet and Jewish film, and to pay a tribute to a great director.

Festival Program:

11:30 AM
Honoring Mikhail Kalik. Introduction and Q&A session with Professor OlgaGershenson
And the Wind Return (И возвращается ветер) by Mikhail Kalik
1991, 133 min., Russian with English subtitles
And the Wind Return is a cinematic autobiography of Mikhail Kalik. His unique and beautiful film encompasses the whirlwind of Jewish experiences in Soviet Russia—the purges of 1930s, the Great War, the GULAGs and anti-Semitic repressions of late Stalinism. Finally, it takes us to the awakening of Jewish consciousness and an exodus from mother-Russia. Kalik made this film already as an Israeli director, on the invitation of the Soviet authorities. Symbolically, And the Wind Return was one of the last Soviet films ever. In 1991, the USSR ceased to exist. But the film remained, and it is for us today a rich source of memory of the complicated and dramatic Soviet-Jewish history.
Kalik in Black, White, and Color by Semen Vinokur
Documentary, 1994, 62 min., Russian and Hebrew with English subtitles
Semion Vinokur also a filmmaker and an immigrant from Russia to Israel, directs this sensitive and nuanced biography of his favorite director. In addition to compelling interviews, Vinokur weaves in archival segments and excerpts from Kalik’s films, which serve as a rich illustration of the director’s tumultuous life. The result is a complex exploration of Kalik’s personal and artistic trajectory within both Soviet and Israeli societies, and a contemplation of tragic loss intrinsic to immigration.
Introduction and Q&A session with Olga Gershenson
Special Guest Presentation
3:15 PM
Documentary program: From Israel with Love
Fragments by Yonatan Haimovich
Documentary, 50 minutes, Israel, 2009,
Original language : Hebrew, Russian. Language of voice-over : Hebrew.
Subtitles : English
A filmmaker Yonatan Haimovich says, “I was born in Israel, I grew up in Jerusalem, but I am still nostalgic for things Russian…” Haimovich inherited his nostalgia from his parents and their friends—Russian refuseniks, poets, and intellectuals—who came to Israel in 1970s. Now, thirty years later, Haimovich returns to the neighborhood of his childhood with his camera and captures on screen the “Russian” island floating in the sea of ultra-orthodox life of contemporary Jerusalem. This internationally-acclaimed film is in part a visual poem and in part a love letter of the young filmmaker to this unique community.
Sports and Peace by Semyon Pinkhasov
Documentary, 34 minutes, 2012. In English.
Director Semyon Pinkhasov explores the role of sports in the daily lives of the diverse young generation of Israel and the West Bank. The film shows three groups of young people: West Bank participants in the martial arts program, a soccer team from a Bedouin village, training together and competing with Israeli teenagers, and young disabled swimmers training for the Special Olympics. Can sport be a channel for a peaceful future in the Middle East?
Q&A session with the filmmaker.
5:00 PM
Special Guest Feature:
Room 514 by Sharon Bar-Ziv 2012
Feature Narrative, 90 min, in Hebrew, Russian with English subtitles.
Asia Neifeld, Guy Kapulnik, and Udi Persi
Festivals/ Awards
Rotterdam Film Festival 2012 “Bright Future”, Tribeca Film Festival 2012 – Best New Narrative Director, Cannes Film Festival 2012 – “ACID”, Zerkalo Film Festival 2012- Special prize, Granada IFF Cine del Sur 2012- Silver Alhambra de Plata Award for Best Director Feature Film
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2012 – “Another View” , etc
When a young, idealistic Israeli military investigator, confronts an elite soldier her increasingly zealous quest for justice ends up having far-reaching consequences for everyone involved. Her integrity and determination are put to the test as the case proves less black and white than it originally seemed.
The titular interrogation room—where the majority of the film is set—stands in for a microcosm of contemporary Israel, with the limited setting also serving to highlight the superb dramatic turns by lead actors Asia Neifeld, Guy Kapulnik, and Udi Persi. Inspired by real events, director Sharon Bar-Ziv’s debut feature is a gritty minimalist drama that provides a raw, direct look at the psyche of a generation of young Israelis shaped by the effects of the ongoing conflict. The film also introduces a new twist in portrayal of Russian female immigrant in contemporary Israel.
6:30–7:30 Panel Discussion
Introductory remarks by Dr. Regina Khidekel, Founder and curator of The Festival,
Panelists: Dean Movshovitz, Director of Film & Media, Consulate General of Israel in New York, Professor Olga Gershenson, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and filmmakers Sharon Bar-Ziv, Semyon Pinkhasov, Slava Tsukerman and Yehuda Herbst, Esq., former IDF officer in elite combat unit.
8:00 PM – Cocktail Buffet Reception (by invitation)

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