After the announcement, earlier this week, that the Israeli films Water and Inheritance would feature in the Venice Film Festival’s sidebar sections Critics Week and Venice Days, it was further announced that the festivals’ three main selections (competition, out of competition and Orizzonti), would also screen new Israeli films, by young and veteran directors. Also screening in Venice are a Tunisian documentary, a Saudi-German co-production, and an Algerian-French co-production. Euromed Audiovisual scans the line-up.
Made in Israel
Rama Burshtein’s directorial debut Fill the Void is one of the 18 films competing for the Golden Lion this year. There will be tough competition, as Burshtein’s film will run against the latest features of celebrated directors such as Terrence Malick and Brian de Palma.
Fill the Void tells the story of an Orthodox Hassidic family from Tel Aviv. Eighteen-year-old Shira is the youngest daughter of the Mendelman family. She is about to be married off to a promising young man of the same age and background. It is a dream come true, and Shira feels prepared and excited. On Purim, her 28-year-old sister, Esther, dies while giving birth to her first child, Mordechay. The pain and grief that overwhelm the family postpone Shira's promised match.
Hadas Yaron, Yiftach Klein, Irit Sheleg and Chaim Sharir star in this production by Assaf Amir for Tel Aviv-based outfit Norma Productions.
Veteran Amos Gitai (Free Zone) will go to Venice to present two films out of competition. Israeli-French-Italian co-production Carmel (2009), about the director’s mother, will screen alongside Gitai’s new film Lullaby to My Father, based on the life of his father, Munio Weinraub, who was once a student at the Bauhaus design and architecture school in the city of Dessau, before Hitler closed the school in 1933. In May 1933, Weinraub was accused of "treason against the German people" and sent to prison, before being driven out of Germany. The film follows Munio's route from Poland to Germany, from Switzerland to Palestine. Israeli actress Hanna Maron acted alongside French legend Jeanne Moreau and German star Hann Schygulla.
Idan Hubel's feature debut The Cutoff Man tells the story of a man portrayed by Moshe Ivgy, whose job is to shut off the water for people who have not paid their water bills. The film will compete in the festival's Orizzonti section.
Three other South Mediterranean titles
Another three South Mediterranean titles, about which not many details have been revealed so far, include the Tunisian 74’ documentary It Was Better Tomorrow, by Hinde Boujemaa (Special Screenings), besides two Orizzonti entries: Saudi-German co-production Wadjda by the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia, Haiffa Al Mansour, and the Algerian-French co-production Yema by Djamila Sharaoui.