Pune, December 6: Cinema has been instrumental in forming a strong cultural connection between India and Israel expressed Dan Wolman, eminent filmmaker-playwright from Israel. He was speaking at the inauguration ceremony of a Festival of Films from Israel.

Nimrod Kalmar, Deputy Consul General at the Consulate, Latika Padgaonkar, Festival convenor, Prof. Amitav Mallik, programme’ committee chairman, PIC and Prakash Magdum, director, NFAI were present on the dais.

This festival has been organised by the Pune International Centre (PIC) in association with National Film Archive of India (NFAI) and the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai. The film festival will showcase 13 films from December 6 to 9 at NFAI. The inauguration ceremony was followed by the screening of an opening film ‘An Israeli Love Story’ directed by Wolman.

Wolman further added that he has been to India and Pune city several times and enjoy the experience of sharing my films with the audience here. He was recently awarded the lifetime achievement award at International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa.

Kalmar while speaking about Israeli society stated that Israel is a democracy that has many internal struggles. He said, “Cinema is a peaceful medium of showing these conflicts. It is an essence of our society.”

This is the 12th film festival organised by PIC. Prior to this festival, PIC has organised festivals focussed on Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Iran.

Prof. Mallik explained the initiative of PIC ,he said, “Cultural connect is an important aspect of International relations. We are trying to strengthen them by organising such Festivals.”

Magdum further added, “Cinema has no language barriers. It is a visual language that transcends all the cultural differences, this is what we are trying to achieve in this Festival.”

While narrating the importance of cinema from Israel, Padgaonkar said, “Many of the films speak about conflict, family relationships, borders and wars and about the impact of Arab conflicts. These films would open an array of perspectives of Israel for the audience.”

Most of the films being showcased in this festival have won national and international awards. Films such as Footnote, Yana’s Friends, My Michael and Time of Favour – were Israel’s submissions for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars in different years.

This festival is open for all and the entry is free.