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Nov 26, 2021

Israeli Films Come To Nepal Again

Arun Ranjit
Posters of the various films to be screened at the 13th Israeli Film Festival.
Posters of the various films to be screened at the 13th Israeli Film Festival.

13th Israeli Film Festival begins Thursday in Kathmandu

Film is a tool for adding something new in the fields of arts with its dynamism shattering the old fashioned schemes for exploring new culture, lifestyle and educating the people about the country’s socio-political-history and arts.

It is a universal truth that cinema has a uniquely powerful quality within human culture. It has become a powerful vehicle of culture, education, leisure and propaganda.

Film is a reflective medium in society that is happening in the present or took place in the past and could be a guideline for future days. Thus, it is a powerful form of communications.

So far, Israel has developed a flourishing film industry, with movies competing in international film festivals and winning numerous awards. Also, Israeli films have been nominated for more Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film than any other country in the Middle East.

With Israeli actors and filmmakers achieving international claim and recognition, the Israeli films have become popular worldwide. Today, the Israeli film industry ranks one of the best in the world that has captured a record gaining a huge share of the global market.

It is a known fact that culture has no borders. As culture is an integral part of promoting peace and friendship among the people and countries, cultural dealings can warm up nations’ correlation and strengthen the link between the people.

Aiming to promote further cultural contact, the Embassy of Israel in Kathmandu offers the Nepalese and other interested foreigners an opportunity to taste the culture; features of Israel through organizing the 13th film fest.

Yes, food is easy to get but traditional presentations are not as easily available. In this context the 13th Israeli Film Festival is a right time to accumulate a firsthand experience of the Israeli films and the Israeli culture spirit.

After a carnival of one dozen successful editions in Kathmandu, the 13th Israeli Film Festival is the First Ever Drivein film show in Nepal organized by the Embassy of Israel in collaboration with International Sound Services Pvt. Ltd. at Hotel Soaltee, Kathmandu beginning Thursday- November 25, 2021.

The invitee-guests watched the heart-touching film based on a human reality of migrant labourers facing many ups and downs sitting inside of their own vehicle keeping themselves full security from world hit pandemic COVID.

The festival will wrap up tomorrow on Saturday is a right time to build up a firsthand know-how of the Israeli culture spirit if someone has not yet come across about the Israel and Israeli lifestyle, culture, tradition and many more.

Inaugural Ceremony was held on November 25, 2021 with screening of a 52-minutes long film entitled A FISH TALE produced in 2019 directed by Emmanuelle Mayer. The film is about a migrant labour-couple from Africa (Ghana) in Israel to create the best possible happiness and future for their children.

The film emphasized the profound gap between the poor African nation and rich country Israel of the Middle East that raises the choice versus fate.

On Friday two films named GOLDEN VOICES and LACES were screened at two different times in the evening.  

Golden Voices is a film of an attempt to use the artist’s talent that causes bizarre and unexpected events in their earlier days of migration to Israel and turn the beginning of the new chapter of their life into an amusing, painful, and absurd experience.

Laces tells the story of a complicated relationship between an aging father and his special-needs son, whom he abandoned while he was still a young boy and manages to shed some light and question the importance of human life, human connection and if life is even possible without either one of them.

Likewise, on Saturday evening too, a 105 minutes long film A PLACE IN HEAVEN and 90 minutes long film THE UNORTHODOX are to be screened.  

A Place in Heaven is a story of a young officer who returns to his base after a daring mission on his death bed in the hospital.

The Unorthodox is a story trying to establish a Sephardic-ultra-Orthodox list that improvises a campaign – no means, no connections, no money, but with much rage, passion and a sense of justice. 

The Israeli films selected for the 13th ventures in Kathmandu so far, carry messages besides telling many things about contemporary Israeli society.

No doubt, besides the political ties existing between the countries, this kind of film show will definitely strengthen the cultural and friendly relationships among the people of Nepal and Israel.

The Israeli film wave in Nepal offers an ample environment to help improve cultural exchanges between the two countries and hopefully, will definitely serve as a good means of friendship between the people of two countries.

This film with English subtitles will completely prove to be truly momentous, adding one more step in further strengthening the decades’ old cultural and friendly relationships among the people of Nepal and Israel.

Today-Friday and tomorrow Saturday, the film festival is open to the public.

A scene of 13th Israeli Film Festival opening ceremony.

Inaugurating the Drive-in film show concept being introduced for the first time in Nepal, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Prem Bahadur Ale said “Feeling very excited to experience the ‘drive in film’ concept, this film festival will be a milestone in sharing and promoting each other’s culture, language and values.

Minister of Tourism Prem Bahadur Ale (in middle wearing Nepali cap) inaugurating the 13th Israeli Film Festival by lighting Panas- an traditional oil lamp amidst a function organized at Hotel Soaltee Thursday evening. Israeli Ambassador to Nepal Hanan Goder (left) and superstar of the Nepali film industry Rajesh Hamal (right) are also seen in the picture.

“Also watching films of other countries reflects the knowhow about the culture of other nations as it is a mirror of the realities happening in the society,” the minister stressed.

“The Government of Nepal would like to invite the film producers including from Israel to come to Nepal and capture our nation’s amazing beauty in their films,” said the Minister.

“Being a concerned authority, I am trying to convince the liaison ministries for the rebate in various revenues to occur during the shooting of the films in Nepal,” informed Minister Ale.

Israeli Rnvoy

Welcoming the guests to the film festival, Ambassador of Israel to Nepal Hanan Goder said, “Being culture is the soul of every nation, Israel is proud to share today the story on foreign workers and the challenges in Israeli socio-political ground to Nepal.”

Rajesh Hamal

Appreciating the Israel embassy’s continuous effort of holding the Israeli film fest for the 13th year, superstar of Nepali movie arena Rajesh Hamal said, “Cinema has an ability to build cultural ties with a soft diplomacy of bringing people together.

“I hope that the Nepalis will not only enjoy the entertainment side of the movie but will also take reference to the culture and human emotions aspects of Israel,” he emphasized.

High ranking Nepal government officials, heads of diplomatic missions in Kathmandu, Nepali film community and other distinguished personalities attended the festival.

Invitee-guests watching A FISH TALE film at the inauguration ceremony of the 13th Israeli Film Festival seating inside their cars at Hotel Soaltee on Thursday.

The ongoing 13th Israeli Film Festival will, no doubt, be the conqueror of the hearts of the huge viewers. This would be a landmark to foster artistic exchange between Nepal and Israel to further strengthen existing cordial relations at people to people levels.

Public viewers can watch this unique experience film show from his or her own vehicles on 26 and 27 November 2021 where entry is free. However, to secure a parking place at the Drive-in, the viewers are required to register via Hotel Soaltee website

(All pictures credit to the Embassy of Israel)