Montreal Israeli Film Festival will be an online event

A still from the documentary Aulcie, the story of a retired American-Israeli basketball player.

Numerous local events have been cancelled or tentatively postponed this year, but the 15th Annual Montreal Israeli Film Festival (FCIM) will still be taking place from June 10 to 21, as a purely online event because of the COVID-19 virus.

The event will be held under the auspices of the Communauté Sépharade Unifiée du Québec (CSUQ). This year’s honourary president will be Brian Bronfman, president of the Brian Bronfman Family Foundation and the Peace Network for Social Harmony, who will speak opening night, 8 p.m. June 10, online.

“The FCIM was postponed a few times and finally revived thanks to our co-presidents Chantal and Gerard Buzaglo with the approval of the CSUQ and the president, the Honorable Jacques Saada,” media representative Georgette Bensimon told The Suburban in a recent interview. “This whole thing is so new, we had to turn around and look at this from a different context.”

Bensimon said the original program had to be changed.

“We had done our selection in January, and we were in contact with the distributors, and distributors took away some of the films because some are on Netflix and they do not want them to be seen online [on another platform],” she pointed out. “We had to negotiate. We also hope people will give donations as they’re buying their passports — we feel like we’re pulling everything together to get the festival online.”

The festival program, only viewable in Quebec, will include six feature films (including two comedies), eight documentaries, four classic films and a two-film miniseries on former Israeli military leader Moshe Dayan and his family.

The opening night film will be The End of Love by Keren Ben Rafael, a “conceptual and daring film involving communication via Skype between the two protagonists.” Some of the other films will be The Art of Waiting, a four-time award-nominated drama about a couple undergoing fertility treatments; Transkids, an acclaimed documentary about the emotional, physical and social effects of hormone treatments that transgender children undergo; Mossad, a comedy about the Israeli Mossad; Chained, an award-winning drama about an honest police officer who becomes the subject of an investigation; and Aulcie, the story of an American-Israeli basketball player who overcame deep adversity.

A jury headed by Michael Prupas of Muse Entertainment and including filmmaker Claude Fournier, Jamie Elman of the comedy duo Yidlife Crisis, screenwriter Gerald Wexler, Academy Award winning filmmaker Beverly Shaffer, Élie Castiel of KinoCulture Montréal and Lorne Price, co-president of WaZabi Films; will award six Lys d’or on festival closing day June 21.

A passport to see all of the 20 featured films will be $20. To gain access, sign in at or the FCIM Facebook page. Viewers will receive a code enabling them to access the films at their leisure between June 10 and 21. 

The 15th edition of the FCIM will be online this year due to exceptional circumstances

Starting June 10 to 21, outstanding selection of recent Israeli features and documentaries will be presented.

The web site will give you all the information you need.

Cost: $20 for 20 films to be watched at your convenience whenever you want!

What could be better ?

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