Manhattan is an island awash in film festivals. If there are new movies with a thematic niche, chances are there's a film festival with a clever lineup of screenings -- and film junkies lining up outside -- somewhere the city.
American film aficionados (and Academy members) seem predisposed to view Israeli film in a specific light -- that of the conflict. That makes sense. It's sensational, tragic and ongoing. But this leaves American audiences with a skewed view.
Moshen Makhmalbaf's film The Gardner opened in New York this weekend. His films revolutionized Iranian cinema and he became world renowned as a master. Makhmalbaf is not a run-of-the-mill filmmaker, he believes that the art of cinema as a vehicle to change culture.
Over the years, Tribeca has had a hard time finding its voice in the film world. At times it seemed lost between overtly commercial selections and second-rate art-house films. Tribeca is still searching for its voice in the vast film festival market.
Israel has quickly become an entertainment powerhouse that has given us In Treatment and the original Homeland, along with the two marvelous films that made the NYFF. We eagerly await the latest from Ari Folman. His Waltz with Bashir was also distributed by Sony Pictures Classics.