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Foreign Film Friday: Celebrate 70 Years of Israeli Cinema with a Film Festival this October

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A four-day film festival celebrating 70 years of Israeli cinema will take place at Curzon Soho on October 25-28 - a showcase of critically acclaimed films as well as exciting new talent.

If your film festival funds are still reeling from this year's LFF, then you're in luck - this fest is free and only requires registration. The programme features eight movies in four days, including the UK premiere of director Eliran Malka’s The Unorthodox

Each screening has over 100 free tickets available - all you need to do is go the official website (www.70yrsisraelicinema.com) and book a seat. 

All screenings will be followed by a Q&A session with prolific London-based director and Israeli cinema veteran Asher Tlalim. Two special Q&A sessions will be with critically acclaimed director Rama Burshstein in person.

Burshstein was the first Orthodox Jewish woman to find commercial success as a film director while still having the support of the Orthodox community - the festival will host two of her feature films, her award-winning debut Fill the Void (2012) and the unconventional romantic comedy Through the Wall (2016).

If your Hebrew or Arabic a bit rusty, you'll be glad to hear that all films will be subtitled in English. 

Each day of the festival will have a particular theme: WomenImmigrationLGBTQ+ and Tradition in Society - complex, contemporary issues that are both particular to Israeli society and universally relevant. 

Eiran Malka's quirky comedy drama The Unorthodox already made a splash at the Jerusalem Film Festival earlier this year, and now is your chance to catch it for the first time in London. Set in 1980s Jerusalem, it follows the rise of Shas, the ultra-orthodox political party made of Sephardi Jews.

When his daughter is expelled from school for ethnic reasons, printing press owner Yaakov Cohen takes a cue from the Black Panthers in the US and decides to form his own party.

Another interesting film comes courtesy of the celebrated documentary makers Barak and Tomer Heymann - their 2016 documentary Who's Gonna Love Me Now tells the story of a gay, HIV-positive London-based Israeli expat who returns home for the first time since he was disowned by his family. 

Can he find the same sense of acceptance and community in Israel that he got from the London Gay Men's chorus?

The festival is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate 70 years of Israeli cinema and check out some great films for free. 

The event comes to London and the Curzon Soho thanks to the Embassy of Israel and the relevant information is courtesy of Midas PR. 

For more information on the festival and its selection of films, visit the official website.

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