Two Israeli films will be screened this year at the Toronto International Film Festival: “The Farewell Party,” by Tal Granit and Sharon Maymon, and “Gett, the Trial of Viviane Amsalem,” by Shlomi and Ronit Elkabetz. Both will be screened in the international cinema category.
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“The Farewell Party” will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival later this month. News that “The Farewell Party” had been accepted to the Toronto festival came only hours after it was announced that the film had garnered the most nominations –14 – for the Ophir awards, Israel’s equivalent of the Oscars.
The film, starring Ze’ev Revach, Levana Finkelstein, Aliza Rozen, Ilan Dar and Rafi Tavor, is a comedy-drama about a group of friends in an assisted living residence in Jerusalem who build a self-operated mercy-killing device in an effort to help one of their group end his life in dignity. When word of the invention starts to spread, they start receiving additional requests for such assistance. The movie was produced by Pie Films, 2Team Production and United King Films with the support of the Israel Film Fund, the Jerusalem Film and Television Fund, Reshet and Yes Satellite Television.
“Gett,” the third film in the cinematic trilogy by the Elkabetz siblings, had its world premiere at the Cannes Festival as part of the Directors’ Fortnight. The film, which won the Best Film award at the Jerusalem Film Festival (along with “Princess”), continues to follow the story of Viviane Amsalem, who wants out of her marriage but whose husband refuses to grant her a divorce.
The Toronto festival opens on September 4. It is considered one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals, even though it isn’t competitive like the events at Cannes and Venice.