ACADEMY AWARD WINNING ACTRESS HELEN MIRREN PRAISES ISRAEL DURING CAREER ACHIEVEMENT HONORS AT OPENING NIGHT GALA OF THE 29th ISRAEL FILM FESTIVAL IN LOS ANGELES
Beverly Hills — Academy Award winner Helen Mirren last night accepted the 2015 Israel Film Festival Career Achievement Award in Beverly Hills, recalling her first visit to the country in the 1960s and how it changed her career.
“I love Israel. I think it is a great, great country. I think through all the difficulties and all the pains that Israel has suffered and will in the future, the great thing that Israel has is Israelis. They will guide you through,” proclaimed Mirren.
“I was thinking about the building blocks that lead you to becoming the person you will become. I was thinking that my visit to Israel in those days was a part, not a direct connection, but it’s absolutely a part of the building blocks that have made me the actress I am and doing the kind of work that I do. These building blocks make personal lives and also these building blocks make countries,” Mirren said.
Mirren starred in Woman in Gold as Maria Altmann, the Austrian-American Jewish woman who successfully reclaimed artist Gustav Klimt’s art owned by her family and confiscated during the Nazi occupation of Austria in WWII.
Sorkin, noted screener writer of Steve Jobs, The Social Network and Moneyball, upon accepting his 2015 Israel Film Festival Achievement in Film & Television Award, said, “For most people it’s an honor just being nominated, in my family it’s an honor just to be overlooked, so you can imagine how I feel about getting recognition like this from a group of people like this… My friends who are screenwriters tell me that successfully pitching a movie that takes place in the Middle East is somewhere between very difficult and impossible. The reaction from the studios usually is ‘that’s a good story but who right now wants to see a movie set in that part of the world?’ – I do. I want to see a lot of them”.
The film festival also honored Sharon Nazarian with the Israel Film Festival Humanitarian Award.
The 29th Israel Film Festival kicked off with the U.S. premiere of Baba Joon and runs through Nov. 19. For more information, visit: www.israelfilmfestival.com