Sam Spiegel Gets Just One Nod in TA Film Festival Contest

Thirty-one Israeli movies will be screened this summer at the 13th International Student Film Festival in Tel Aviv, set to open on June 5 at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque.

The films, which were selected from among the 75 movies submitted by 15 local film schools and programs, will be entered in an Israeli film competition. Some 120 film students from over 50 countries are expected to attend the eight-day festival, which takes place every two years.

"In an era in which Israeli cinema has won unprecedented international recognition and attracts the attention of the global industry, we attach special importance to hosting this competition," the festival organizers said in a statement.

Although each school or program submitted the same amount of films, Tel Aviv University's department of film and television - whose representatives run the festival - was one of only two institutions to have as many as five films entered in the local competition. The other programs had up to three films selected.

"I hope that the selection was made based on artistic considerations alone," said Dana Ohana from the Sam Spiegel Film & Television School in Jerusalem, which had only one movie chosen for the Israeli competition. "In any case, there's a limit to the amount of movies that every school can submit, and two additional movies from Sam Spiegel were accepted in the festival's international competition."

The Camera Obscura School of Art in Tel Aviv also has only one film taking part in the Israeli competition, but Gur Heller, who heads the school's film department, said he does not suspect any impropriety.

"I don't think there was any discrimination here, and it's not even that important," he said. "If a film is good, it will find its place."

Festival organizers said the films were chosen by a committee compiled of representatives from every Israeli film school as well as four expert lecturers. They added that the films ultimately selected were those that received the highest scores from the committee members.

In addition to the Tel Aviv University program, the other institute with five films in the competition is the Minshar art school, also located in Tel Aviv. Seminar Hakibbutzim College and the screen-based arts department of Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design each has three entries in the competition.

The Ma'aleh School of Television, Film and the Arts, the film department of Beit Berl College, the communications school of Michlala Leminhal and Kinneret College each has two films in the running.

In addition to Sam Spiegel and Camera Obscura, the other institutions with one film entered in the competition are Sapir College, Hasifa art school, the WIZO Haifa Academy of Design and Education, Tel Hai Academic College and the Musrara art school each has a single entry in the competition.