The Haifa Film Festival is one of the most important events of its kind in Israel. It is also considered a major, reputable and important international film festival. The event is supported by the Israeli Film Council, the Ministry of Education, the City of Haifa, and the European Union.
Each year, the film festival in Haifa attracts about 400,000 visitors and 300 special guests who represent the national and international film industry. Among the previous guests of the festival are Willem Dafoe, Sophie Marceau, Paul Giamatti, Joseph Fiennes, Elliot Gould, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Brenda Blethyn, and Harvy Keitel.
The program of the Haifa Film Festival is divided into several sections. For example, the artistic program of the festival features only the best quality films. Most films selected for the artistic program are award-winning films that have earned praise at the world’s biggest and most important film festivals. The Guest and International Cinema sections includes premiere screenings of new films from over 40 countries an Q&A sections with actors and filmmakers.
The Haifa International Film Festival hosts three international film competition. The Golden Anchor competition is designed for feature films made in the Mediterranean region. The Between Jewishness and Israeliness competition is dedicated to films that revolve around the Jewish and Israeli self-identification. The third international competition, Tomorrow’s Filmmakers, is for films made by first-time directors. Besides, there are Israeli cinema competitions for feature length films, short films and documentaries.
The program of the festival also includes special screenings (tributes, panoramas, themed screenings) at several theaters across the city, industry events (seminars, workshops, roundtables, masterclasses, pitching forum, the Cinemarket Haifa film market) and a rich program of outdoor cultural events open to everyone such as live converts, outdoor screenings, an artists’ market, etc.