Much-awaited movies at the Haifa Film Festival enjoyed by guests


The 39th Haifa International Film Festival, which will run from September 28-October 7, announced its guest list and its international lineup on Tuesday and will be featuring top filmmakers and some of the year’s most-anticipated movies. 

Chief among them will be Jonathan Glazer’s Zone of Interest. Based on a novel by Martin Amis, it won the Grand Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and was arguably the most buzzed-about film of the year. It’s a slow-burn, psychological and historical drama set mainly in and around the house and garden of Auschwitz commander Rudolph Hoss (Christian Friedel) and his wife, Hedwig (Sandra Huller), as they go about their daily life during World War II, as a killing machine operates at their doorstep. For anyone interested in cinema about the Holocaust, this movie is a must-see. 

The festival will feature a number of special programs, among them a tribute to German master director, Werner Herzog, which will feature a new documentary about him, Werner Herzog, Radical Dreamer by Thomas von Steinaecker. There will be other tributes at the festival, including ones devoted to British director Peter Greenaway and to the 100th anniversary of Disney, as well as a focus on the Iranian “Cinema of Resistance,” by directors who dare to challenge the regime. The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Israeli star, Sasson Gabay, for a body of work that includes The Band’s Visit, Karaoke, Shtisel, and many other films and series, as well as stage appearances on Broadway and in Israel. 

‘ZONE OF INTEREST’ (Haifa International Film Festival)

Who will be attending the festival?

Among the guests this year will be actress Leonie Benesch, star of The Teachers’ Lounge, Ilker Catak’s German film about an idealistic teacher who clashes with the administration; Stephan Komandarev, director of Blaga’s Lessons, a critique of post-Communist Bulgaria; Sofia Exarchou, director of Animal, about a group of performers who spend a wild summer at a hotel; Tudor Giorgiu, director of Libertate, the story of chaotic events that led to the overthrow of Communist rule in a small Romanian town; Paola Cortellesi, director and star of the Italian film, There is Still Tomorrow; Sudabeh Mortezai, director of Europa, about an executive at a shadowy corporation; Mehran Tamadon, director of My Worst Enemy, a documentary about Iranian police interrogations;  and Steffi Niederzoll, director of Seven Winters in Tehran, a documentary about an Iranian woman who was hanged for defending herself against a rapist. 

For the full program,

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