"I knew I had dynamite on my hands," says director Dror Moreh. He is talking about his Oscar-nominated documentary The Gatekeepers which has provoked wide international debate across the political spectrum since its release. Even Israeli embassies have had to grapple with how to respond to its frank revelations, admissions and insights.
Village life can evoke a sense of charm, nostalgia or simplicity. Indeed, a first glance at Israeli artist Adi Nes’s latest photographic series, The Village — his first UK show — reveals images that appear shiny, lush, beautiful. But examine the pictures for more than a moment and the multi-layered complexities become apparent.
A Jewish wedding forms the opening frame of indie film-maker Todd Solondz’s film, Dark Horse. Guests are seen dancing to the sound of loud music pumping, all with the exception of Abe (Jordan Gelber) and Miranda (Selma Blair), who are sitting awkwardly next to each other at a table, barely communicating.
A Jewish wedding forms the opening frame of indie film-maker Todd Solondz's film, Dark Horse. Guests are seen dancing to the sound of loud music pumping, all with the exception of Abe (Jordan Gelber) and Miranda (Selma Blair), who are sitting awkwardly next to each other at a table, barely communicating.
‘We’re a four- film- buff family. We watch films from Kazakhstan, from France, from Italy, as well as British and American films,” explains Odelia Haroush. She is one of the co-founders of SERET, the first-ever London Israeli Film & Television Festival, which opens next week.
After a £10 million, major redevelopment, and amid national publicity, on March 17 2010, the Jewish Museum London reopened its doors.
Two years on, at the launch of its latest exhibition, No Place Like Home: Photographs by Judah Passow, there is a palpable buzz of excitement. The 150 or so guests are thronging the building, in particular the gallery space where Passow's work is exhibited.
A dimly lit Frankfurt hotel room filled with tension. A knock at the door; a letter is hand-delivered. A An elderly man's face occupies the screen; he wipes the sweat off his brow. "What now?" his colleague asks. "We wait," he replies. Eventually there is a telephone call. "It's a done deal," the elderly man says. "They're coming home."
Zach Braff begins by wishing me a hearty "Shalom!"
The American actor-director, well known for his role as Doctor J D in the award-winning television series Scrubs, is in London ahead of making his UK stage debut in his first penned play, the comedy All New People.
'I believe that energy has to be used to get more energy," says Bernard Kops. And his is a remarkable energy. He has written more than 40 plays for television, stage and radio, nine novels, seven volumes of poetry and two autobiographies.
'It's like an emotional roller-coaster. You're going to be scared, you're going to laugh and sometimes it's going to be dramatic," enthuses Israeli film director Navot Papushado, talking about the experience of watching a horror film.
The lyrics from his 1978 musical They're Playing Our Song - "Oh ho, they're playing my song, oh yeah, they're playing my song" - seem to be an apt way to describe Marvin Hamlisch. The legendary, multi-award-winning composer/conductor is the creator of some of the best-known American show tunes.
The London Jewish Cultural Centre's new chief executive is seeking to build on the interest of those "looking for other ways to identify being Jewish".
Louise Jacobs - who succeeds Trudy Gold at the LJCC this month - says that people "aren't necessarily identifying through their synagogue, or through Israel. Where they are identifying is through culture and education."
In a 2006 South Bank Show documenting Steve Reich's career, presenter Melvyn Bragg described him as being "one of the major players in contemporary music since the 1960s. His particular style has marked him out as a composer of rare invention and originality".
By now, Michael Samuels will have just about climbed down from cloud nine. That is where the director has spent most of the week after winning two awards for his TV adaptation of William Boyd's acclaimed novel, Any Human Heart, at the Baftas on Sunday.
This is an exciting time for teen-fiction writer Meg Rosoff. Her novel The Bride's Farewell has just been shortlisted for the 2011 CILIP Carnegie Medal. The manuscript for her next book, due for publication in August, is with her publishers and shooting for the film version of her prize-winning debut work, How I Live Now, is planned for the summer.
A group of men and women in tracksuits and coloured bibs are dribbling footballs through cones, whooping and exchanging high-fives as they complete a circuit. It is a common enough sight on pitches up and down the country, but this training session, taking place at Brighton University's Chelsea School of Sport in Eastbourne, is different.
'The only thing more exciting than collecting boxes of Yiddish books was opening them. What treasures lay within!' writes Aaron Lansky in his book, Outwitting History, which describes his attempt "to rescue the world's abandoned Yiddish books". He began collecting in the early 1980s and eventually founded the National Yiddish Book Centre in America where 1.5 million Yiddish books are preserved.
Asked to consider what he thinks has been his most significant achievement as an arts benefactor, former GP Dr David Cohen pauses for a moment before choosing his answer carefully. Then, without a shred of pomposity or fanfare, he explains that he has actually just returned from the launch of New Music 20x12 - a programme designed to put new music centre stage of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. "We're doing something which I think is giving us a feeling of satisfaction," he says.