International Film Festival
The Haifa International Film Festival, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, was founded in 1983 as the first international film festival in the country. This important international event has earned a worldwide reputation in the Israeli and international film industry. Approximately 300,000 people take part in the activities of the Festival, which includes 280 screenings of new films from all over the world, live music events and outdoor films held until the early morning hours.
About 300 special guests, representatives of the Israeli and international film industry, are hosted at the Festival, which promotes topics of pluralism, coexistence and the aspiration to peace. Festival guests meet with the audience and filmmakers at receptions, in artist workshops, international conferences and film-related discussions.
The artistic program of the Haifa International Film Festival is known for its high quality and level. Most of the Festival's filmshave won prizes and have been selected by important film festivals throughout the world.
Three Competitions Held during the Festival
Golden Anchor Competition for Mediterranean Cinema: feature films that have been chosen by festivals from the Mediterranean Basin, including North African countries, compete for the Golden Anchor Award.
Fipresci New Directors Competition: an international competition for premiere films sponsored by the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. This important organization chose the Haifa International Film Festival to award its prizes, alongside important festivals throughout the world, such as Berlin, Cannes, Venice, Toronto, etc.
Israeli Film Competition: for full-length feature films, documentaries, TV dramas and short films.
Professional international judging teams judge all the competitions.
During the Festival, the premieres of new, prize-winning feature films and documentaries from over 40 countries are screened. Festival guests from abroad take part in these screenings, including directors, producers and actors, who meet with the audience and representatives from the Israeli filmmaking industry.
Special Cinematic Events
During the Festival, in addition to the films, special film and TV events are held, including an international conference of film and television professionals entitled "Our Story" – International Pitching Conference to promote dramas and films. The conference hosts important representatives of international production companies and broadcasters who hold a dialog with representatives of the Israeli film industry in order to promote cooperation and co-production.
In addition to the cinematic activities held indoors, the Haifa International Film Festival holds events to which a large audience is attracted: arts and crafts fairs, outdoor performances, livemusic concerts, outdoor film screenings – all open to the general public.