Thursday, 26 July 2018 until Thursday, 05 July 2018
On May 17, 1984, Le Bal, directed by Ettore Scola, opened the first Jerusalem Film Festival. Over the course of three weeks, about 100 films were screened, including Israeli premieres, alongside the year’s best selection of international films. In addition, a distinguished group of guests honored the first festival, among them, the First Lady of Silent Film, Lillian Gish, as well as Jeanne Moreau, Warren Beaty, and John Schlesinger.
Since then, and throughout the 1980s, the Festival's spirit matured into its present form: a cinematic event spanning around 10 days, screening between 150-200 films, reflecting the best of films from the past year. The program emphasizes bold cinematic achievements, exciting works by new directors, the latest contributions by contemporary masters of cinema, films concerned with questions of freedom and human rights, the history and tradition of the seventh art, and of course, Israeli film.
From its inception, the Festival has dedicated a central and unique place to Israeli cinema, premiering features, documentaries, and shorts. In 1989, the Festival granted an official stamp of validity to Israeli cinema with the introduction of the Wolgin Competition, which became the leading platform to showcase the majority of the most important Israeli films of the year. In time, additional Israeli film prizes became part of the Festival, and the Haggiag Family Awards Competition – which replaced the Wolgin Awards in 2010 – became the largest and most esteemed stage for presenting local films in Israel.