Israeli Films, Footnote, The Slut, Among Others to Premiere at 2011 Cannes Festival

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This year, four Israeli films will appear at the Cannes Film Festival: Joseph Cedar’s Footnote, Hagar Ben-Asher’s The Slut, Anat Costi’s On My Doorstep, and Ma’ayan Rypp’s Martha Must Fly. A fifth film, Elad Keidan's Of Our Economical Situation, is part of Cinéfondation’s L'Atelier program.

Footnote
(Hearat Shulayim) is one of twenty feature films competing for Cannes’ highest honor, the Palme d’Or. Joseph Cedar’s three previous films, Time of Favor (2000), Campfire (2004), and Beaufort (2007) have all been critical successes, with Beaufort being the first Israeli film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film since Uri Barbash’s Beyond the Walls (1984).

Footnote
tells the story of two professors, father and son, in the Talmud department of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, who are rivals for the country's most prestigious award, the Israel Prize. Lior Ashkenazi and Shlomo Bar Aba star in the film, which is one of the most anticipated projects from Israel this year.



The Slut (Hanotenet) is appearing in Critics Week, a parallel competition at Cannes that showcases first and second feature films by directors from all over the world. The film is Hagar Ben-Asher’s first feature, following her short film Pathways (2007) which premiered in the Cinéfondation competition at Cannes. The Slut is a tragic account of womanhood. It depicts Tamar, 35, a single mother of two, who drifts from one sexual encounter to another. When a new man shows up to the kibbutz where she lives, they fall in love and Tamar quits her previously salacious and carefree life. Her transformation is no simple affair as the community’s perception of her does not change easily and Tamar’s chaste restraint leaves her empty and occasionally desperate.

On My Doorstep
and Martha Must Fly are Cinéfondation Selections, short student works from film schools across the globe. Anat Costi attended The Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem; her animated short, On My Doorstep (Befetach Beity), presents a young woman leading a sheltered and lonely life. Compromising her defenses, an event sends her into a spin.

Tel Aviv University's Ma’ayan Rypp presents Martha Must Fly (Al Martha Lauf), which centers on Martha (Ania Bukstein), a foreign employee stuck in the service of an old woman who refuses to die. Alone and desperate, she requests a transfer, but it is denied. Martha, having lost her freedom, begins to dream, and becomes increasingly willing to go to extremes to regain it.

Elan Keidan, whose film Anthem won first prize in the Cinéfondation competition in 2008, attends Cannes this year to raise funds for his debut feature, Of Our Economical Situation. The film will be presented in the L'Atelier program, which was developed to put young filmmakers in touch with industry professionals. A synopsis for the project from the developer EZ Films’ website reads, “A man climbs the stairs which lead from the lower city to the heights of the Carmel Mountain, looking for his wife’s lost earring. A sensitive and naive quest for spirituality set in the pastoral, never before filmed setting of Haifa’s 1000 stairways."