TLVFest, Israel’s LGBT film festival, goes online

The movie poster for ‘Kiss Me Kosher.’
(photo credit: COURTESY OF TLVFEST)
The 15th TLVFest, Israel’s largest LGBT film festival, will be online this year from November 12 to 22. It will feature 185 films from 31 countries, including Israel, that present the best in pride cinema.
Many of the films in this year’s festival have been shown around the world at festivals such as Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Rotterdam, Toronto, Locarno, Karlovy Vary, San Sebastian, Hot Docs and more.

The opening night movie will be Stage Mother, a new comedy by Thom Fitzgerald, about a conservative church choir director (Jacki Weaver) who inherits her late son’s San Francisco drag cabaret. Lucy Liu (Kill Bill) and Adrian Grenier (Entourage) costar. There will be a Zoom meeting with the cast and director on November 14.
The closing night movie will be Kiss Me Kosher (aka Kiss Me Before It Blows Up). The movie, which was directed by Shirel Peleg, is a German/Israeli romantic comedy that tells the story of two generations of Israeli women who fall for a German woman and a Palestinian man. It stars a mixture of Israeli and international actors. Among the Israelis are Moran Rosenblatt (Fauda) and Salim Dau (Avanti Popolo), while the foreign actors include John Carroll Lynch, who recently starred in The Trial of the Chicago 7. There will also be a Zoom event for this film.
There will be special programs devoted to Austrian cinema, Spanish-language cinema and Brazilian cinema. There will be narrative and documentary competitions, as well as short films and many other programs.
Yair Hochner, founder and artistic director of TLVFest has gotten the online festival up and running in spite of calls from more than 100 LGBT filmmakers to boycott the festival last spring.
In a statement, he said, “We understand that the filmmakers who declared they will boycott TLVFest think they are helping the Palestinians. However, they are wrong. It is more important than ever that the international community continue to support dissenting voices in Israel in favor of human rights and equality.... A boycott will only worsen this erosion of faith and inadvertently undermine those voices of resistance that still exist in Israel.”


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