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Israel Film Festival Open Next Week, Honors Four Industry Leaders

The 24th annual Israel Film Festival will begin next week with screenings in Beverly Hills and the San Fernando Valley.

More than 30 films will be shown at Beverly Hills’  Fine Arts Theatre in Beverly Hills and at the Laemmle’s Fallbrook 7 from June 3-18.

Opening night’s celebration of the year’s honorees, typically held at the Beverly Hilton, will be at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood on June 3.

Los Angeles’ celebration is the largest of three, with a New York event in autumn and a Miami event in winter.

This year’s honorees include: Diane Warren, Robert Lantos, John R. Fishel and Branko Lustig.

• Warren is a songwriter whose work has been featured in more than 100 films. She has been nominated for nine Grammy awards, four Golden Globes and has been named ASCAP’s Songwriter of the Year six times.

 • Lantos is a Hungarian-born Canadian film producer who has worked on several Academy Award- and Golden Globe-nominated films including Being Julia and Eastern Promises.

 • Fishel was a longtime member of Montreal, Canada’s Jewish community before becoming president of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles in 1992.

He has also served leadership positions in the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the Council Migration Services in Philadelphia, the Federation of Jewish Agencies of Greater Philadelphia and the Ohio State Department of Health.

• Lustig, a Jewish-Croatian-American film producer and Auschwitz survivor, has worked on such films as Fiddler on the Roof and Sophie’s Choice.

He received Academy Awards for Best Picture in 1993 and 2000 for the films Schlindler’s List and Gladiator, respectively. He is the only Croatian to win two Academy Awards.

Lustig recently helped to establish the independent production company Six Point Films, which currently holds the rights to the life story of Anne Frank.

The festiva’s opening night will also be the West Coast premiere of Reschef Levy’s Lost Islands, Israe’s top grossing film of 2008 and winner of four Israel Academy Film Awards.

Other films screening during the festival include Ronit and Schlomi Elkabetz’s 7 Days, Dror Zahavi’s For My Father, Eitan Green’s It All Begins At Sea,  and Omri Givon’s Seven Minutes in Heaven.

For more information, call the Fine Arts Theatre, 310-360-0455, or visit www.laisraelfilm

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