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"Between Escapism and Strife": Cambridge hosts tribute to Israeli cinema

last modified Jan 18, 2016 02:23 PM
The University of Cambridge is to present a cinematic homage to the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School to mark the 25th anniversary of the School’s establishment.

The University of Cambridge is to present a cinematic homage to the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School to mark the 25th anniversary of the School’s establishment.

Under the title “Between Escapism and Strife”, the University’s Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies will host eight sessions of screenings and discussions featuring some of the most challenging and outstanding films to have come out of the Sam Spiegel Film School since its inception in 1991.

Beginning 21 January, and continuing on successive Thursdays, each week one of eight film-makers and graduates of the School will screen one of their own films and discuss the social, political and cultural context of their work and of Israeli cinema today.

The opening event, “Changing Israeli cinema from within”, will feature an address from the Sam Spiegel Film School’s founding director Renen Schorr, a noted film-maker and academic who also co-founded the Israel Film Fund in 1978.

Dr Yaron Peleg, Lecturer in Modern Hebrew Studies at the University of Cambridge, said: “Each year we invite a number of Israeli artists to Cambridge. This year marks the first time that the University has invited a group of eight varied and diverse film-makers who express the ‘quality mass’ that has emerged from the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School, an institution which brought about the renaissance of Israeli cinema.”

“This event is no ordinary film festival, but rather an academic film series, which combines the concentrated cinematic offerings of a film festival with the reflective depth that an academic setting affords. This allows people to view some of the best examples of Israeli cinema, to meet the film-makers and to consider their work in a cultural and historical context. The series will give people a chance to engage in-depth with contemporary Israeli culture, politics, religion and art”, Dr Peleg said.

The Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School boasts over 700 graduates. Those selected for the Cambridge Tribute represent film-makers from each graduating class over the past 25 years.

Renen Schoor, director of the School, said: “We are very excited by the upcoming Cambridge event. To date, over 190 retrospectives have been mounted throughout the world in tribute to our school, including at the MoMA and the Berlin Festival. But this latest tribute is especially moving, since it takes place within one of the world’s leading academic institutions, outside of the ‘cinema bubble’ where the 800-year-old Cambridge ‘court’ is paying tribute to the 25-year-old ‘court’ of Jerusalem.”

The tribute series, “Between Escapism and Strife” is being held at the Møller Centre Auditorium, University of Cambridge, through assistance from the Lord Alex Bernstein Estate, the Jerusalem Foundation, the Israel Film Fund and the UK Jewish Festival.

For more information, see http://www.ames.cam.ac.uk/news-events/mes/dmes-events

Main image courtesy of the Sam Spiegel Film School, Jerusalem. 

Sam Spiegel film series