11th Annual “Other Israeli Film” Fest Announces This Year’s Lineup
A scene from the movie "Holy Air" which will air during the festival. Courtesy of The Israel Film Center

JCC Manhattan has released the fall lineup for this year’s 11th Annual Other Israel Film Festival (Nov. 2-9) and the topics range from zoos to religious scams to everything in between. That being said, we’ve gone ahead and rounded up the top five of the most interesting-looking titles to arrive at the festival. 

Holy Air

2017 | 81 minutes | Narrative

Director: Shady Srour

In Nazareth, Christian-Arab Adam suffers the failure of yet another entrepreneurial idea. He will soon become a first-time father, and his father has fallen gravely ill. Adam needs to catch a break, and finally one day he happens upon his blockbuster idea. With thousands of tourists coming to the childhood home of Jesus every year, Adam could sell them “Holy Air,” bottled fresh from the top of Mount Precipice. For a single Euro, tourists can buy a bottle filled with the very same air Mary breathed when the angel Gabriel announced she would give birth to the “Son of God.” Adam suddenly becomes so successful that he catches the attention of the local Jewish politicians, the Catholic Church, and the Muslim mafia alike. Will success liberate Adam and allow him to support his family? Or will more money lead to more problems? In theaters November 17. 

In Between

2016 | 103 minutes | Narrative

Director: Maysaloun Hamoud

Two Palestinian women share an apartment in the vibrant heart of Tel Aviv. A stylish criminal lawyer with a wicked wit, Laila sheds her professional persona and releases any inhibitions in the city’s underground club scene. Her more subdued lesbian roommate Salma left her conservative Christian home and floats from job-to-job, working primarily as a bartender and DJ. They are joined by Nur, a religious Muslim, who moves into the apartment while studying at the local university. Her fiancé refuses to understand why she prefers to study and work over establishing their home. Together, the roommates  search for ways to live in the space in between their desired modern lifestyles and the pressures from their traditional communities.


Dir. Michael Grudsky – 2016 – 22 min – Narrative

A group of Israeli soldiers and their Arab prisoner must challenge their prejudices when their van breaks down in the desert.


Dir. Yair Agmom – 2017 – 16 min – Narrative

A Jewish man and Arab woman recount their versions of a shared moment during the 1948 war.


Dir. Omri Burstyn – 2015 – 19 min – Narrative

Ali, an Arab in a group of radical Jewish activists, is put in danger due to his crush on Yael.

Founded in 2007 by JCC Manhattan board member Carole Zabar, the festival seeks to showcase works of cinema that closely examine the intricacies of minorities in Israel, tackling social justice issues within the country itself and in the region at large. A full listing of this year’s featured films can be found HERE.


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