Greeting from the Minister of Culture and Sport
Founded in 1890 as a village and announced a city in 1950, Rehovot is most famous in Israel for its link with the sciences, thanks to the Weizmann Institute for Science and the Agriculture Faculty of the Hebrew University that reside in it.
It has been six years that this rural green city has been hosting the annual Women's Film Festival, and has thus become a fascinating lively center of cinema as well. Women- filmmakers and scriptwriters present their films in Rehovot, aiming at widening the awareness to the rich feminine creation within film and television.
Israeli legislation promises full equality to women in all domains of life, but the law does not always stand the test of reality. There still is an unseen glass ceiling, which sometimes prevents women from reaching the very high budgets needed for making quality cinema. But the hard battle we run for equality, each woman in her own domain, has brought a fundamental change to women's creation in the film industry too.
The festival's films expose original and innovative female cinematic points of view, which reflect the way women deal with the hardships of life and with dilemmas, which are by nature theirs solely, to a wide audience.
The etymology of the word "cinema" (kolno'a) in Hebrew is the joining of the words voice (kol) and motion (tnu'a). The Women's Film Festival is an opportunity to hear the voice of a woman and look at her motion, from her point of view.
I am honored to join the tribute that the festival holds this year in the honor of the Israel Award winner Gila Almagor, on her 70th birthday. Almagor, a gifted writer, scriptwriter, director and actress with international reputation, is an example for a filmmaker that never let traditional-social-male thinking patterns stand in her way. With her many talents and her professional insistence, she paved the road for all women of the big and small screens that follow her steps.
I send greetings of female identification and sisterhood from the bottom of my heart to the filmmakers participating in the International Women's Film Festival, and my thanks and appreciation to the organizers.
Minister of Culture and Sport