News Update


IRISH FILM & MUSIC WEEK – February / March 2013 

Irish Film and Music Week 2013 offers audiences a diverse choice of films showcasing the best of contemporary Irish filmmaking.

Internationally acclaimed director Lenny Abrahamson’s drama What Richard Did (2012) opens this year’s programme at Tel Aviv Cinematheque and the programme also includes two of his earlier works, Adam and Paul (2004) and Garage (2007). 

Link to interview with Lenny Abrahamson on Midnight East online cultural magazine.

Screenings take place at Tel Aviv Cinematheque February 20 – 27, as well at the Haifa, Jerusalem, and Rosh Pina Cinematheques.  All films have Hebrew subtitles.

This year’s films have been brought to you in association with the Irish Film Institute who work with international programmers of Irish film events to give audiences everywhere access to the best of Irish cinema.  IFI are supported by The Arts Council of Ireland and Culture Ireland.

In addition, on Friday 22 February at 21:00, at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, Black Velvet, Israel’s leading traditional Irish music group will launch their new disc during a festive concert, with guests  Izhar Ashdot and fiddler Jonathan Keren.

Prior to the concert there will be a display of dancing in the foyer by Noa Pitlik of Rince.

Tel Aviv, 2 Sprinzak Street, Tel Aviv. Tel: 03-6060800
Jerusalem , 11 Hebron Road, Jerusalem, Tel: 02-5654356
Haifa, 142 Sderot HaNassi Street, Haifa, Tel: 04-8104299/302
Rosh Pina, Tel: 04-6801453




On Canaan's Side by award-winning Irish writer Sebastian Barry, published in Hebrew

We are pleased to announce the recent publication in Hebrew of On Canaan's Side by award-winning Irish writer Sebastian Barry.  The publication by Achuzat Bayit Books was supported by the Ireland Literature Exchange (ILE) in their key role in the promotion of Irish literature abroad. 

Achuzat Bayit, who previously published Barry’s 2008 book The Secret Scripture, expressed their thanks to the Ireland Literature Exchange and the Embassy for their support in bringing this translation to the Israeli public. 

Earlier this year On Canaan's Side won the Walter Scott prize for historical fiction.  Barry’s novel was chosen from a shortlist of six books, including The Sisters Brothers by Patrick de Witt, and The Quality of Mercy by Barry Unsworth.



Ireland joins International Task Force on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research

Ireland has been accepted as a member country of the International Task Force on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research (ITF). To read the full text of the Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Eamon Gilmore T.D., please click here.


Remarks by the Tánaiste at the opening of the Israeli Film Festival Film Base, Temple Bar, Thursday 24 November 2011

Ambassador, ladies and gentlemen,

When the Lumière Brothers showed the first moving pictures to a paying audience back in 1896, they were an instant success and, over the course of the century that followed, cinema moved from projecting light at a wall to projecting a light on the world.  The world, of course, has a wealth of cultures and dialogue between peoples and cultures is an essential prerequisite to enhancing mutual understanding and respect.

Dialogue is a two way process and I see the Israeli Film Days, which we are launching here tonight, as mirroring the annual Irish Film Week at the Cinematheque in Tel Aviv.

Dialogue is a two way process and I see the Israeli Film Days, which we are launching here tonight, as mirroring the annual Irish Film Week at the Cinematheque in Tel Aviv.

At his inauguration, President Higgins encouraged “the flowering of creativity in all its forms” and here at Film Base it is worth recalling the role the President played as Culture Minister in developing the Irish film industry.  Indeed, while Minister in the 1990s, he wrote that Ireland’s choice was “whether we become the consumer of images in a passive culture or whether we will be allowed to be the makers of images in an active culture, in a democratic society.”

The same choices apply to all peoples and the sign of a healthy democracy is one which makes space for the makers of images.  Film is a relatively new medium, but it has become a vital form of expression, with film-makers often casting a critical eye over the world around them. 

There are those in Ireland who view Israel exclusively through the lens of the situation of the Palestinian people and their right to a viable, sovereign, independent State.   Some of them are demonstrating outside this theatre as I speak and they are fully entitled to do so in a peaceful fashion.  Indeed, I do not hide that the Irish Government is also in open disagreement with many aspects of Israeli policy towards the occupied Palestinian territories. 

But those of us here tonight recognise that it is possible to view Israel and Israelis through many different lenses which give us different insights into the rich and varied culture of a people who draw inspiration from the ancient and the modern.

The Israeli film industry has earned a reputation for raising difficult questions on a broad range of topical issues and for not being afraid to challenge existing orthodoxies.  Over the next four days we will have the opportunity to take a new and different look at Israel and the Israeli people from a wide variety of perspectives and to add to our understanding of Israeli culture as well as our understanding of cross-cutting themes which are universal in nature.

We will be free to interpret what we see in the context of our existing knowledge and awareness.   I expect that the films projected at this festival, like any other festival, will prompt discussion and even debate but I have no doubt that the audiences here will also be entertained.

I would like to close by congratulating the Ambassador of Israel, His Excellency Mr. Boaz Modai, and his staff at the Embassy for taking this welcome initiative and by thanking the staff at Film Base for helping to stage it.  I am delighted to be associated with the launch of this cultural festival and would like to join with everyone involved in wishing it every success. 


Visit of the Mr Seán Barrett TD, Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann

The Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann Mr Seán Barrett TD paid an official visit to Israel in July.  The Ceann Comhairle was accompanied by his wife, Mrs Sheila Barrett.

During his visit as guest of Knesset Speaker, Mr. Reuven Rivlin M.K.,  the Ceann Comhairle attended a welcoming ceremony at the Knesset and met with Mr. Isaac Herzog, M.K. and with Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.   During the visit the Speaker also met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intelligence Mr. Dan Meridor M.K.

The Ceann Comhairle visited Yad Vashem and, after touring the Holocaust museum, laid a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance and signed the visitors’ book.

The Speaker visited the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot where he was received by the President, Professor Daniel Zajfman;  he also visited the Irish-Israeli technology company CEVA.   A highlight was the visit to the Football Village of Hope soccer camp for Israeli and Palestinian children where the Ceann Comhairle met and talked to this year’s young participants.  The Football Village of Hope is run by the Football Association of Ireland in conjunction with the Peres Centre for Peace and the soccer camp is supported by the Irish Government through its Irish Aid programme.

A dinner in honour of the Ceann Comhairle and Mrs Barrett was hosted by Speaker of the Knesset, Mr Reuven Rivlin MK, and a reception in the Irish Residence was hosted by the Ambassador of Ireland, Breifne O’Reilly and his wife, Ms Eavan Doyle.

Photos of the event can be found here .

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Embassy of Ireland
17th Floor, The Tower
3, Daniel Frisch
Tel Aviv 64731
Tel: + 972 3 696 4166
Fax: + 972 3 696 4160
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