Two Israeli Films to Compete in New York's Tribeca Film Festival

Along with Eytan Fox's 'Tablet,' the official competition will include Ruthie Pri-Bar’s debut film 'Asia' and Talya Lavie's 'Honeymood,' to be screened non-competitively

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John Benjamin Hickey in "Tablet" directed by Eytan Fox
John Benjamin Hickey in "Tablet" directed by Eytan FoxCredit: Still from the movie "Tablet"
Itay Stern
Itay Stern

Two Israeli films will be screened in New York as part of the official competition at the international Tribeca Film Festival happening in April.

"Tablet," a new film by Eytan Fox, and "Asia," a film by Ruthie Pribar, were selected for the category that includes only 10 films out of the thousand that were submitted from around the world.

This is the third time Fox is presenting one of his movies at Tribeca. Preceding it were "Jagger," which came out in 2003, and its sequel "Yossi," from 2012. Pribar’s achievement is no less impressive, since this is her debut film.

"Tablet," written by Fox and Itay Segal, is about a 55-year-old American tourism correspondent from the New York Times who comes to Tel Aviv in order to write about the city, after he and his partner have gone through a tragic experience. The city’s energy and the relationship he develops with a young Israeli man restore his faith in life.

The journalist is played by American actor John Benjamin Hickey ("The Good Wife" and "Manhattan"), and the Tel Aviv character is played by Niv Nissim. The movie was produced by Moshe and Leon Edery (United King Films), along with Micky Rabinovitz (Light Stream Israel) and Gal Okhovsky (Moa Productions).

"Asia," directed and written by Pribar, focuses on the story of an established immigrant (Alena Yiv), who is a single mother to 17-year-old Levika (Shira Hass). Levika’s deterioration obliges Asia to acknowledge her motherhood for the first time, and to take responsibility for her daughter’s life for the remainder of the time they have left together.

Alena Yivand Shira Hass in "Asia" directed and written by Ruthie Pri-Bar Credit: Daniella Novich

Pribar is a graduate of the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem. Her graduating film, called "Last Conversations," was chosen as one of the five best student films in the world for 2012. "Asia," her first full-length feature, was developed as part of a residence program at the Cannes Film Festival, winning an award for best screenplay by Sam Spiegel graduates. The film was supported by the Israel Film Fund, the cinema initiative of the Jerusalem Development Authority and by Yes Satellite TV.

Another Israeli film, no less intriguing, will be shown at the festival but not as part of the official competition. "Honeymood," directed by Talya Lavie (Zero Motivation), revolves around a newlywed couple (played by Ran Danker and Avigail Harari). Their wedding night, which was supposed to be an exciting and romantic one, turns into a dreamlike journey that includes encounters with former lovers, repressed doubts and the single life they’ve left behind.

A still from the film "Honeymood" directed by Talya Lavie, starring Ran Danker and Avigail HarariCredit: Yaron Sheraf

“'Honeymood' begins where most romantic comedies end, the moment after the wedding,” says Talya Lavie. “All the romantic comedies I’ve seen end with a wedding, not necessarily with the event itself, often with only a promise of a wedding, but it’s clear to everyone that this is the happy ending of all fairy tales, the point at which all problems are resolved. I asked myself what happens a minute after the drama ends, especially to people who by nature feed on drama more than on tranquility, how will they live happily together without getting terribly bored?”

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