American filmmaker and actor Quentin Tarantino (left) receiving an award from Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (center) and Jerusalem Cinematheque director Noa Regev (right) at the opening night of the Jerusalem Film Festival, on July 7, 2016.
(Hadas Parush/Flash90) The 33rd Jerusalem Film Festival began Thursday night with a Miri Regev brouhaha, as the often-outspoken culture minister, one of the first to speak at the opening ceremony, was greeted with boos from the audience of thousands.
“Ah, the crowd loves to treat me well,” said Regev, raising her eyebrows.
She has also pushed for state culture funds to be increasingly allocated away from Tel Aviv’s flagship theaters and other institutions and toward bolstering the arts in periphery towns and promoting the culture of Mizrahi Jews from Arab lands.
The audience, in tight-knit seating in the stadium chairs of Jerusalem’s Sultan’s Pool, quieted down while Regev spoke in Spanish to actress Emma Suarez, in Jerusalem for the festival and to perform her role in the opening night’s screening of Pedro Almodovar’s latest film, .
The crowd also offered big cheers when Regev welcomed director Quentin Tarantino in broken English, and listened attentively when she announced plans for NIS 15 million (almost million) in state funding for filmmaking in the poverty-stricken south.
Regev also spoke about her efforts to advance Mizrahi and Sephardi culture in Israeli society.
(Hadas Parush/Flash90)was dedicated to the memory of Cinematheque founder Lia Van Leer and Ronit Elkabetz, the beloved Israeli actress who died earlier this year, said Noa Regev.
Once the film began, Culture Minister Regev was forgotten as the crowd lost itself in the Spanish film based on “Runaway,” three short stories written by American author Alice Munro. I assumed that since Max Steinberg, who had been killed in action in Gaza last Sunday, was a “lone soldier” from California who had no family and few friends in Israel, only a several hundred American-Israelis would show up at his funeral. But when the train reached the Central Bus Station, I realized that something strange was happening.Wanting to give support to his bereaved parents, my husband and I decided to go to the 11 AM Wednesday funeral at Jerusalem’s Mt. Multitudes of people crowded onto the train and seemingly no one got off.The jeering began again as soon as Regev mentioned Hallel Yaffa Ariel, the 13-year-old girl who was murdered in her West Bank home in the latest wave of terror.The crowd, it seemed, wanted a night off from bad news.Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat deftly handled the situation when he spoke after Regev, and thanked her for the government’s support for cultural activity in the capital.