The Jerusalem Film Festival is a film festival held in Jerusalem, Israel each year. The festival, which was founded in 1984, features documentaries and films representing countries from all across the globe. Lia van Leer, who served as a judge at the Cannes International Film Festival, conceived the idea for the film festival. Leer wanted to bring a similar competition to Jerusalem. Leer served as the director until he was in his 80’s, before stepping down in 2008.
Since the beginning, the Jerusalem Film Festival has had a dedicated focus on Israeli films, in addition to premiering documentary films, feature films, and short films. The film festival offers several different categories of awards including awards for best actor, actress, cinematography, screenplay, music, and editing. The most coveted award, however, is the Wolgin Prize.
In 1989, Jack Wolgin, a philanthropist from the United States of America, was persuaded create a competition that would be named after him. This competition would be for honoring the best in Israeli films. This world-renowned competition helps to showcase the best of Israeli films and helps to promote and encourage Israeli cinema.
In addition to being the premier film festival in Israel, the Jerusalem Film Festival has a reputation for being one of the most friendly and beautiful film festivals in the entire world. Aside from the excellent film premiers, the kindness of the people and beauty of the land are two of the reasons that the film festival continues to grow in popularity each year. Professionals in the cinema industry, the media industry, and avid cinema enthusiasts are always eager to attend this film festival. Visitors often describe the festival as being a warm, a loving celebration, and they leave with a sense of feeling blessed.
The film festival showcases approximately 200 films each year. The films can be short films, feature films, or documentaries. The variety of films entered continues to expand each year. The Jerusalem Film Festival encourages creativity in films and enjoys showing local cinematic talent as well as talent from all over the world.
The Jerusalem Film Festival is held over 10 days in July each year. 2015 dates have yet to be confirmed, but anyone interested in attending the film festival is encouraged to keep watch for the official dates as ticket sales are quick and can often sell out. In 2015, the film festival will be celebrating its 32nd anniversary, which is surely an event not to be missed.