Nov. 6-13 Other Israel film festival to feature immigration film ‘Transit’

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Scenes from Hannah Espia's debut film

Scenes from Hannah Espia’s debut film

“Transit” by Hannah Espia is among the films to be featured in the 8th Annual Other Israel Film Festival in New York City.

Espia’s debut film is the story of a Filipino caregiver in Israel determined to hide his children from immigration police to prevent their deportation. In 2009, Israel sought to expel several hundreds children of migrant workers to tighten its rules on immigration as well as strengthen Israel’s Jewish identity.

Presented by The JCC in Manhattan, the festival will take place in New York City from November 6-13, featuring U.S. and NY premieres of acclaimed selections from international film festivals, by and about Arab and other minority populations living in Israel.

“In light of the recent war in Israel and Gaza, and the polarization of global opinion surrounding multiple ethnic conflicts in the Middle East, the festival seeks to provide a safe space for conversation and artistic expression around some of the most sensitive issues in contemporary global society and specifically on the theme of Arab-Jewish relations in Israel,” the organizers said in a press statement.

This year’s edition features a vibrant array of new works that capture the current zeitgeist of political and social debate in Israel. Opening Night will feature the U.S. premiere of “Life Sentences,” by Nurit Kedar and Yaron Shani, the Academy Award-nominated director of “Ajami.”

The line-up is as follows:


-Almost Friends by Nitzan Ofir & Barak Heymann, 2014
-Arab Labor by Shay Kapun, 2013
-The Dove Flyer by Nissim Dayan, 2014
-East Jerusalem, West Jerusalem by Henrique Cymerman & Erez Miller 2014
-Fire Lines by David Viola & Avi Goldstein, 2013
-Invisibles by Mushon Salmona, 2013
-Life Sentences by Nurit Kedar & Yaron Shani, 2013
-On The Left by Ron Cahlili, 2013
-Sweets by Joseph Pitchhadze, 2013
-Transit by Hannah Espia, 2013
-Villa Touma by Suha Arraf, 2014
-The Village Of Peace by Ben Schuder & Niko Philipides, 2014
-Write Down, I’m An Arab by Ibtisam Mara’ana Menuchin, 2014


-Blackness by Mohammad Bakri, 2014
-Earrings by Ziad Bakri, 2013
-Enta Omri by Adiya Imri Orr, 2014
-Mirror Image by Danielle Schwartz, 2013

Films will screen at The JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave, and the Cinema Village, 22 E. 12th Street and in a variety of other locations. The festival will also offer nationwide access to select films and conversations on its streaming site:

The Other Israel Film Festival is the foremost U.S. presenter of new cinematic works that bring into focus the most talked about and controversial topics concerning Israeli society today. Its selection committee includes Carole Zabar, festival founder and long-time supporter of Israeli documentary filmmaking; Isaac Zablocki, Director of The Israel Film Center at The JCC in Manhattan; NY-based film programming and marketing professional Ravit Turjeman, and world-renowned Palestinian-Israeli actor and filmmaker Mohammad Bakri.

The festival’s advisory committee includes Richard Peña, professor of the Columbia University Film Department and Former Director, Film Society of Lincoln Center; Richard Lorber, president of Kino Lorber Films; and, Dan Friedman, managing editor of Forward newspaper.

The Other Israel Film Festival explores the diversity of Israeli life with award-winning films and open discussions about people living on the margins of Israeli society. These groups include Israeli Arabs, Christians, Muslims, Bedouins, the Druze, migrant workers, immigrants and others, which together comprise more than 20 percent of the country’s population. The Other Israel Film Festival is proud to bring these unique stories to the big screen and help raise awareness in the American public, said the statement.

Festival supporters of past years include Tony Kushner, Debra Winger, Naomi Regan and Mandy Patinkin, who congratulated the Festival for “bringing a voice to people who are too often voiceless.”

Tickets for the Other Israel Film Festival are available online at or by phone (646) 505-5708.

‘The FilAm’ is a media partner of the festival.

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