The 38th Jerusalem Film Festival just announced that its opening-night film on August 24 will be Ari Folman’s Where Is Anne Frank, a much-anticipated animated film about the life of the legendary teenage diarist who died of typhus in Bergen-Belsen.
The festive screening will be held at the Sultan’s Pool amphitheater in Jerusalem, where the opening ceremony traditionally takes place, before a crowd of about 5,000. The ceremony will be hosted by television personality Shifra Kornfeld.
While the 2020 festival was postponed from last summer to December and then was held online due to the pandemic, the 2021 edition is planned to go forward as usual, in accordance with Health Ministry regulations.
The festival will be held at the Jerusalem Cinematheque and other venues around the city and will feature about 150 films from over 45 countries.
Folman is best known for his 2008 film, the acclaimed animated documentary about the first Lebanon War, Waltz with Bashir, which won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar.
Where Is Anne Frank recently had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival out of competition and received mainly rave reviews.
The film follows the journey of Kitty, the imaginary friend to whom Anne Frank dedicated her diary. A spirited teenager, Kitty wakes up in the near future in Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam and embarks on a journey to find Anne, who she believes is still alive, in contemporary Europe, where she discovers reflections of Anne’s legacy.
Ari Folman said he was “happy and excited to open the Jerusalem Film Festival with the film that 40 Israeli artists worked on for four years, and whose design department was within walking distance of the screening site in the Sultan’s Pool. Hope the screening will be an unforgettable event for children. Let them watch and [it’s] also for the adult world.”
Dr. Noa Regev, the festival director and CEO of the Jerusalem Cinematheque, and Elad Samorzik, artistic director, said “we are proud to open this year’s festival with Ari Folman’s new film, Where Is Anne Frank. The film is a spectacular animation, the beauty of which will excite viewers of all ages, adults and children alike.
Ari Folman, who devoted about a decade of his life to working on the film, adapted the well-known story of Anne Frank for cinema in an original and groundbreaking way. We have no doubt that watching the film on the huge screen in the Sultan’s Pool, with the participation of thousands of viewers, will be an exciting and unforgettable cinematic event.”