The Tribeca Film Festival, which will take place in downtown Manhattan from April 18-29, just unveiled its lineup, and this year’s competition will feature several movies by Israeli directors.
Hagar Ben-Asher’s Dead Women Walking is comprised of nine vignettes that depict the stages leading to execution for women on death row. The film looks at the human toll of the death penalty – on both the inmates and those they encounter in their final hours. Ben-Asher has made several films in Israel, including The Slut. This is her English-language feature film debut, and it stars Lynn Collins and Colleen Camp.
It will be screened in the Viewpoints section and is in the running for the Nora Ephron Prize, which is awarded each year to a female filmmaker, in memory of writer/director Ephron.
Keren Ben-Rafael’s Virgins is about a teenage girl who becomes intrigued when an older, attractive writer arrives with tales of a mermaid sighting off the shore of the declining resort town where she has grown up. The film stars some of Israel’s leading actors, including Joy Rieger, Evgenia Dodina, Michael Aloni, Manuel Elkaslassy Vardi and Rami Heuberger.
Virgins will take part in the International Narrative Competition, a category Israeli films have won three times: David Volach’s My Father My Lord in 2007, Talya Lavie’s Zero Motivation in 2014 (this film also won the Nora Ephron Prize) and Udi Aloni’s Junction 48 in 2016. Ohad Knoller won the Best Actor Award in 2003 Eytan Fox’s Yossi & Jagger.
The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2002 by actor Robert De Niro, along with Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, in an effort to revitalize lower Manhattan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.