26th ISRAEL FILM FESTIVAL HONORS DAVID NEVINS, HOWARD GORDON & ALEX GANSA WITH ACHIEVEMENT IN TELEVISION AWARD FOR "HOMELAND" - THE ISRAEL-ORIGINATED HIT SERIES FROM SHOWTIME
Celebrating the Best of Israeli Cinema, Thirty Films to Screen
in Los Angeles March 15-29
Limor Livnat, Israel's Minister of Culture, to Attend Her First IFF
IFF Makes Theatrical Exhibition History
Along with Oscar Nominated Footnote,
With Most Israeli Films Playing Concurrently
Los Angeles, CA (February 29, 2012) - Enriching the American vision of Israeli life and culture through the powerful medium of film, the Israel Film Festival has definitively become the largest showcase of Israeli movies in the United States. Running March 15-29 in Los Angeles, 2012 is the 26th anniversary of this much acclaimed Israeli showcase that celebrates the finest of Israeli cinema, this year encompassing over 30 dynamic titles, including award winning features, documentaries, television programs and student shorts.
David Nevins, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc. and Executive Producers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa will be honored with the 2012 IFF Achievement in Television Award for the critically-acclaimed series "Homeland," at the opening night event taking place on Thursday, March 15th at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, California. "Homeland" is based on a hit Israeli television show that was developed into a Golden Globe Award-winning American series by its executive producers and Showtime, marking the highest profile American transformation of an Israeli series to date.
Nevins, Gordon and Gansa will join previously-announced Jonah Hill, who will receive the IFF Achievement in Film Award. All presentations will occur prior to the screening of the Opening Night film, Yossi Madmoni's Restoration, which won the Best Film awards at both the 2011 Jerusalem and Karlovy Vary Film Festivals and the Dramatic Screenwriting Award at Sundance.
"This year marks an important turning point in the relationship between Hollywood and the Israeli entertainment industry", says Meir Fenigstein, Founder and Executive Director of the IFF. "For 25 years, the IFF has made great strides in connecting the two but for the first time, we are able to honor a remarkable US TV show, 'Homeland,' which is based on the successful Israeli series, 'Hatufim' ('Prisoners of War'). We are delighted to present David Nevins, Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa with this award for bringing 'Homeland' to American audiences."
The Guest of Honor during the Festival's Opening Night is Limor Livnat, Israel's Minister of Culture and Sport. She will be making her first appearance at the IFF.
The Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles will be occurring simultaneously as Footnote, the recent Israeli Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Film released by Sony Classics, will also be in area theatres. "Outside of Israel itself, never before will there be so many Israeli films playing at one time in as many theatres - our Festival films coupled with Footnote," said Fenigstein. "It's a momentous, wonderful occasion that Israeli entertainment is currently experiencing its widest acceptance yet. We at the Festival are very proud to bring our great movies and television programming to audiences."
All Israel Film Festival films will screen at the Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills and the Laemmle Fallbrook 7 in West Hills. Tickets are now available. For additional information, visit www.IsraelFilmFestival.com or call IsraFest toll-free at 1-877-966-5566.
David Nevins is responsible for developing, acquiring and supervising all aspects of programming for all of the Showtime Networks channels. The first project greenlit by Nevins at Showtime was "Homeland," which premiered to record breaking ratings in October 2011. Under his tenure, Showtime has launched six consecutive hit original series, with "Homeland," "House of Lies," "Shameless," "The Borgias," "Episodes" and "The Big C."
Prior to joining Showtime, Nevins was an Emmy(R) Award-winning producer and veteran network and studio programming executive. He served as President of Imagine Television from July 2002 until June 2010, where he oversaw development, production and acted as executive producer on all Imagine Television shows. Under his leadership, Imagine produced the Golden Globe(R)-nominated "Arrested Development," "Lie To Me," "Parenthood," "Friends With Benefits" and the acclaimed series "Friday Night Lights," which has received honors from the American Film Institute (AFI) for Television Program of the Year and the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award.
Howard Gordon is executive producer of the critically-acclaimed "Homeland." He previously was the showrunner and Executive Producer of the hit television series, "24." A twenty-five year industry veteran, Gordon first gained national attention for his award-winning work on Fox's groundbreaking series "The X-Files," for which he won multiple Golden Globes. His other credits include "Angel," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Beauty and the Beast," "Sisters" and "Spenser: For Hire." He created the innovative 1999 drama "Strange World" and the Fox series "The Inside." He serves as showrunner and Executive Producer of the new NBC series "Awake." Gordon released his first novel, Gideon's War in 2011 with a published a sequel, Hard Target, in January 2012.
Alex Gansa is the showrunner and Executive Producer of "Homeland." Gansa previously served as an Executive Producer on the long-running and acclaimed series "24," the CBS hit series "Numb3rs", and "Dawson's Creek," as well as a Consulting Producer on "Entourage." He was on staff of the hit series "The X Files" and "Sisters" for NBC, and also created the critically acclaimed ABC series "Maximum Bob." Gansa is now prepping the second season of "Homeland" which will air in Spring 2012.
In addition to winning the Golden Globe for Best Television Drama Series in 2012, "Homeland" was also named one of AFI's Ten Programs of the Year, and received two WGA awards in the categories of Best New Series and Episodic Drama.
"Homeland" stars Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Morena Baccarin, David Harewood, Diego Klattenhoff, Jackson Pace, Morgan Saylor and Mandy Patinkin. It is based on the original Israeli series "Prisoners of War" by Gideon Raff. "Homeland" was developed for American Television by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa. "Homeland" is executive produced by Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff, Michael Cuesta, Avi Nir and Ran Telem.
"Homeland" depicts the story of Carrie Mathison, a CIA case officer who hunts down threats to U.S. security in the Middle East. When her investigation sparks a serious diplomatic incident, she is stripped of her field status - but not before gathering unsettling secret intelligence: that an American Prisoner of War has been turned by Al Qaeda. When Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody, missing in action for eight years, is suddenly recovered in Afghanistan, the timing is too suspicious to ignore. Carrie must break protocol in order to prove her theory that Brody now poses a major threat to his own country.
In the last two and a half decades, the Festival has presented nearly 800 feature films, documentaries, television dramas and short films to over 900,000 filmgoers and brought hundreds of Israeli filmmakers to the U.S. to share their art. The Israel Film Festival is produced by IsraFest Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization created in 1982, with support from the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles. The 26th Festival Honorary Chairmen are Ryan Kavanaugh and Arnon Milchan. The Honorary Committee includes Avi Arad, Mark Canton, Robert DeNiro, Danny Dimbort, Michael Douglas, Richard Dreyfuss, Jean Picker Firstenberg, Meyer Gottlieb, Peter Guber, Goldie Hawn, David Hoberman, Dustin Hoffman, Marvin Josephson, Avi Lerner, Amir J. Malin, Penny Marshall, Mike Medavoy, Bette Midler, Rob Reiner, Terry Semel, Nina Tassler, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and many others. Proceeds from the Gala Awards Dinner will provide funds to support the IsraFest Foundation and scholarship funds at the top six film schools in Israel.