First Israeli-Russian Film Festival

The Russian American Cultural Center, in collaboration with the Office of Cultural Affairs, Consulate General of Israel in New York.

Event Venue:

Tribeca Film Center
375 Greenwich Street

Event Date:

October 31, 2010

The Russian American Cultural Center, in collaboration with the Office of Cultural Affairs, Consulate General of Israel in New York.

Sunday, October 31, 2010, 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM

2 Feature Films, 2 Documentaries and 3 Shorts will be presented through an one-day non-stop celebration of Israeli Russian culture.

7:00 PM – Panel Discussion
The implication and influence of the Russian immigration to Israel on its cinema and the voices of Russian-Israelis in Israeli cinema today.
Introductory remarks by Dr. Regina Khidekel and Deputy Consul, Mr. Shlomi Kofman. Participants: Israeli film directors Leonid Prudovsky and Pini Tavger; Jonathan Brent, Executive Director, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, Olga Gershenson, Professor, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and film director Slava Tsukerman.

8:00 PM – Reception (by invitation)
Meet Dana Goren, Leonid Prudovsky and Pini Tavger, the Israeli film directors, and mingle with our distinguished quests from the diplomatic, artistic and business communities.


11:00 AM - Yana's Friends (Ha'Chaverim Shel Yanna)
A Film by Arik Kaplun
Israel, 2001, 90 minutes, Color, Hebrew & Russian w/English subtitles
  Yana's Friends takes place in Israel in 1991, during the Gulf War. Yana, a young, beautiful and pregnant Russian immigrant is abandoned by her husband and left to fend for herself in the flat she shares with Eli, an Israeli wedding photographer with a passion for women. When the threat from Saddam Hussein's poison gas missiles forces Yana and Eli into the same sealed bedroom, they share their stories, sparks fly, and love blossoms.

12:45 PM - SHORTS
In collaboration with the Tel-Aviv University Film & Television Department

Dark Night (Layla Afel)
Director: Leonid Prudovsky
Israel, 2006, 30 minutes, Hebrew

Two Israeli soldiers take refuge in a Palestinian couple's house after their Jeep is blown up in hostile territory. As the night progresses, the situation becomes more desperate.

Director: Pini Tavger
Israel, 2008, 30 minutes, Hebrew
Pinhas and his mother are new immigrants from Russia. His mother barely makes a living working night shifts, she devotes her spare time to the affair she has with a married man. On the third floor lives a religious family, Pinhas is drawn to the warmth and unity that characterize this family there he meets a girl his age, and her older brother, who slowly introduces him to religion.

Weitzman #10 Director: Pini Tavger
Israel, 2006, 13 minutes, Russian and Hebrew with English subtitles
A Russian Jewish family immigrates to Israel and, while searching for their new apartment, finds the behavior of their adopted countrymen even stranger than the sudden air raid.


2:15 PM - Diplomat
A Film by Dana Goren
Israel, 2009, 80 minutes, Color, Russian, English subtitles

A luxurious hotel turned absorption center, a place where time has come to a standstill. Eight floors, 700 rooms, 600 people. Long corridors, a reception office, a club, green lawns and the vestiges of a pool.

The Hotel Diplomat in Jerusalem was once a five-star hotel. For nearly 20 years it is home to 600 immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Never having integrated into Israeli society, its residents have created their own little island, secluded from the outside world. Many of them never leave the haven of its walls. After all, even their most basic needs like medical care and cultural activities can be provided for by their neighbors down the hall and in their own language, Russian.

Meticulously executed, this documentary film has the feel of a surreal feature film about a world within a world and the people who live there.

3:45 PM - Thieves By Law (Ganavim ba Hok)
A Film by Alexander Gentelev
2010, 90 minutes, Feature Documentary

The Russian Mafia: what can't they do? After this insider's look into the world of, ahem, "hypothetical" crimes, it's pretty clear that the answer is nyet. Following the stories of three mafiosi-cum-businessmen, Thieves By Law paints a fascinating tableau of men that would make Tony Soprano cringe. Most intriguing, though, are their personal histories interwoven with the evolution of the Russian Mafia itself. Beginning in Stalin's gulags and slowly transforming into an international organization, the mafia and Code of Thieves have always directly correlated to the political struggles of the Soviet Union—reflecting society back to the government like a funhouse mirror.

These men have been through bad times as well as good, persevering with the ammunition of street smarts, savvy, and loyalty to their code, and eventually transforming themselves from cunning crooks to shrewd businessmen. Through unprecedented access and a knack for asking all the right questions, director Alexander Gentelev shows us exactly what happens when a dark underbelly is flipped on its back: It slaps on some sunscreen, orders a Molotov cocktail, and soaks up those French Riviera rays...

5:30 PM - Five Hours From Paris (Hamesh Shaot MiParis) Feature film
A Film by Leonid Prudovsky
Israel, 2009, 90 minutes, Color, Hebrew, Russian

At first glance, Yigal is a mild-mannered man who maintains a close relationship with his ex-wife and her new husband because of his devotion to his son. He drives a taxi for a living and has a real command of ground travel. However, Yigal harbors a secret fear that stands in the way of his lifelong dream - he yearns to visit Paris but he is petrified of flying. One day while dropping his son off at choir practice, he catches a glimpse of the music teacher, Lina, whose dimpled beauty belies a growing emotional unrest. Not having dated since his divorce, Yigal proceeds in small steps, even when Lina discloses that she and her physician husband will soon immigrate to Canada. Yigal insists he wants nothing more than friendship, and the two begin a tentative emotional dance with one another.

New York Times Event Listing

November 23, 2010 - Russkaya Reklama
Slava Tsukerman and Israeli Russian Cinema
by Vitaliy Orlov
(in Russian)

November 16, 2010 - Nash Dom
Israeli Cinema Russian Style
by Rimma Harlamova
(in Russian)

October 30, 2010 - VOA News
"Russian Cinema" Visits New York
by Oleg Sulkin
(in Russian)