Lemon Tree (2008) - News Poster



Interview with Monica Bellucci; talking Spider in the Web

  • HeyUGuys
This week sees the release of director Eran Riklis’ atmospheric espionage thriller, Spider in the Web, starring Ben Kingsley as an Israeli Mossad agent, who is assigned to investigate an organisation that could be selling chemical weapons to a Syrian dictatorship.

Monica Bellucci plays the mysterious Angela Caroni, a shady operative who may also be involved in the weapons supply while harbouring other, darker secrets.

Heyuguys recently caught up with Bellucci to discuss the film, her role, balancing family life with film-making and the magical moments bringing characters to life.

Heyuguys: Your character Angela is quite elusive and enigmatic, but the story was also complex and labyrinthine? Was it the character that appealed to you more, or the script?

Monica Bellucci: What really drew me to the story was the humanity more than the espionage. The characters have great depth and delicateness which is ultimately their downfall. To me,
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Budapest Israeli Film Week wrap

Budapest Israeli Film Week wrap
Budapest Israeli Film Week Wrap

By Alex Cousy Deleon

Apparently about basketball, but not really …

There were altogether some fourteen films programmed in this overview of recent Israeli films, however, due to overlapping scheduling at the Puskin Art Mozi it was not possible to get to them all. One or two that looked particularly enticing were missed. What films were seen indicate that the Israeli film industry is thriving, loaded with talent, entering into many co-productions to expand productivity, and forging full steam ahead. The last film I managed to get to was the following.

Playoff 2011 director Eran Riklis is also the director of The Syrian Bride and Lemon Tree, two of the highest profile Israeli films at festivals and generally during the past dozen years.

This latest Riklis effort, ( # Editor note below) filmed entirely in Germany with non-Israeli actors, featured American actor Danny Huston as “Max Soller” a legendary
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

Ben Kinglsey is an Agent in First Trailer for Spy Film 'Spider in the Web'

"There are a lot of people out there who'd do anything to stop me from exposing the truth." Vertical Ent. has unveiled an official trailer for spy drama Spider in the Web, the latest film from Israeli filmmaker Eran Riklis. This "riveting new spy drama in the vein of John Le Carré" stars Sir Ben Kingsley as an aging Mossad agent struggling to maintain his relevance. His bond with a younger operative sent to monitor him while he's on a secret mission in the heart of a troubled Europe is a reflection on human relationships as well as "on the Europe of today – fragile, troubled, under constant threats from the outside and in turmoil on the inside." Also starring Monica Bellucci, Makram Khoury, Filip Peeters, and Itay Tiran. This looks like a solid, action-y spy thriller with some big twists, but it also looks rather derivative without anything new to offer.
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

'Spider In The Web' director Eran Riklis launches production venture with Israel's United King Films (exclusive)

'Spider In The Web' director Eran Riklis launches production venture with Israel's United King Films (exclusive)
Michael Sharfstein of Topia Communications also involved in new outfit; debut slate revealed.

Eran Riklis, the director whose credits include the upcoming Spider In The Web with Monica Bellucci and Ben Kingsley, has joined forces with Moshe Edery, founder of Israeli company United King Films, and producer Michael Sharfstein of Topia Communications to launch venture Utr Film Projects.

The outfit will develop and produce feature films and series and is officially being launched here in Cannes, where Rikilis, Edery and Sharfstein are taking meetings about their initial slate. The trio previously collaborated on Spider In The Web and are formalising
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Ben Kingsley, Monica Bellucci spy thriller 'Spider In The Web' lands Us deal for Film Constellation (exclusive)

Ben Kingsley, Monica Bellucci spy thriller 'Spider In The Web' lands Us deal for Film Constellation (exclusive)
Israeli actor Itay Tiran also stars in Eran Riklis’ latest film.

London-based Film Constellation has sold out its Ben Kingsley and Monica Bellucci spy drama Spider In The Web and struck a North American deal with Vertical Entertainment.

Eran Riklis’ latest film centres on a young agent dispatched to follow an older operative whose behaviour has come into question and is following a tip on a chemical weapons sale to a Middle Eastern dictatorship.

Israeli actor Itay Tiran (Lebanon) also stars. Film Constellation co-financed Spider In The Web and announced the project and previously licensed Germany (Concorde/Telemuenchen), Greece-Cyprus (Tanweer
See full article at ScreenDaily »

FilMart: Arthouse Distributor Times Vision Steps Into Sales (Exclusive)

  • Variety
This year’s FilMart marks the international sales debut of Beijing-based distributor Times Vision, which brings to Hong Kong a slate led by crime thriller “Savage” and animated feature “Nezha.” The company will be presenting nine live action films, including one documentary, and seven animated titles.

Times Vision is led by CEO Nathan Hao, who co-founded Chinese indie distributor Lemon Tree and led its international division before joining the newly established Times Vision in 2017. Times Vision imports foreign titles – primarily arthouse films, but it also has begun delving into the remake rights market – and is now getting into production as well. It is currently at work with Chinese partners on pre-production for a remake of 2016 Japanese Oscar entry “Her Love Boils Water.”

“We are famous for being good buyers of festival titles,” Hao told Variety. “Tvod is a new thing for Chinese audiences for foreign films. Streaming is a better
See full article at Variety »

Pierre Niney hit 'Through The Fire' draws buyers for WTFilms (exclusive)

Fireman drama has drawn 1m spectators at the French box office since release late November release.

WTFilms is reporting strong buyer interest in French director Fréderic Tellier’s breakout hit Through The Fire (Sauver ou Périr), starring Pierre Niney as a hero fireman who is badly disfigured while rescuing colleagues from a burning building.

The film has sold to China (Lemon Tree), Canada (A-z Films), Latin America (California Filmes), Hong Kong (Edko), Taiwan (MovieCloud), Korea (EnterMode), Belgium (Athena Films) and Greece (Odeon). Encore has picked it up for airlines.

Paris-based sales company WTFilms is expecting to seal further deals at
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Official Trailer for Israeli Drama 'Shelter' Starring Golshifteh Farahani

"I'm here to protect you..." Menemsha Films has debuted a new Us trailer for an Israeli psychological drama titled Shelter, from veteran Iranian filmmaker Eran Riklis (The Syrian Bride, Lemon Tree). Golshifteh Farahani (from Paterson) and Neta Riskin star in this "high-stakes game of deception", about a Mossad agent sent to protect their informant in Hamburg. "The intimacy of the relationship that develops between Mona and Naomi is exposed to the threat of terror that is engulfing the world today... Beliefs are questioned and choices are made that are not their own. And yet their fate takes a surprising turn in this suspense-laden, elegant neo-noir." The cast includes Lior Ashkenazi (from Foxtrot), Yehuda Almagor, Doraid Liddawi, and Haluk Bilginer. The bandages on the face are cool, a bit like Phoenix or The Skin I Live In. Here's the official Us trailer (+ poster) for Eran Riklis' Shelter, direct from YouTube:
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

Filmart: Free Stone inks China deal for 'Hanagatami' (exclusive)

Lemon Tree acquires the coming-of-age tale set in 1941 Japan.

Japan’s Free Stone Production has sold Hanagatami – the last film in director Nobuhiko Obayashi’s “wartime trilogy” after Casting Blossoms To The Sky (2012) and Seven Weeks (2014) – to China (Lemon Tree).

Based on a script Obayashi wrote prior to his 1977 debut feature House, Hanagatami is set in spring 1941 when Toshihiko, played by Shunsuke Kubozuka, shows up at the home of his aunt (Takaki Tokiwa) in Karatsu, Saga Prefecture. Entertaining a crush on his tubercular cousin Mina (Honoka Yahagi), while reveling in his “depraved” adolescence with other girls, he indulges in courage-testing
See full article at ScreenDaily »

The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life

Directed by: Terrence Malick

Cast: Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken, Sean Penn

Running Time: 2 hrs 18 minutes

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: June 3, 2011 (Chicago)

Plot: The story of a midwestern family in the 1950′s, and a boy’s (McCracken) struggle to connect with his father (Pitt).

Who’S It For?: Fans of the Days of Heaven and Thin Red Line filmmaker shouldn’t need any persuasion to invest two and half-hours into the latest visual opus from Terrence Malick. Moviegoers unfamiliar with his work should wear their art house fan caps and be prepared for a spiritual experience. Religious audiences are a curious gamble, as the movie does have a lot of elements concerning god and creation, but the movie doesn’t aggressively associate itself with any particular religion or definite meaning.

Expectations: Malick movies are such a rare event that even if he had directed
See full article at Scorecard Review »



Directed by: Julian Schnabel

Cast: Freida Pinto, Hiam Abbass, Alexander Siddig

Running Time: 1 hr 55 mins

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: April 15, 2011 (Chicago)

Plot: After discovering fifty-five orphans in the streets of a tumultuous East Jerusalem, a young woman named Hind opens up a facility to take care of many Palestinian children, while teaching them the ways of peace. Years later, a young girl named Miral (Pinto) is sent to the school by her father, Jamal (Siddig). Miral begins to question the political chaos surrounding her when she encounters violence in her work at refugee camps and during her daily life.

Who’S It For?: Fans of movies that cover hot topics in international politics, not so much those who gravitate towards biopics. The movie was purposely rated PG-13 to appeal to younger adults, but they’ll find this movie pretty boring.

Expectations: Some controversy about some possible bias
See full article at Scorecard Review »

Lemon Tree (Etz Limon)

Lemon Tree (Etz Limon)

Directed by: Eran Riklis

Cast: Hiam Abbass, Rona Lipaz-Michael, Ali Suliman

Running Time: 1 hr 45 mins

Rating: Unrated

Release Date: June 5, 2009

Plot: When the Israeli Defense Minister moves in next to a woman’s lemon grove, the Secret Service determines it must be cut down for national security, but Salma Zidane (Abbass) refuses to allow that to happen. She takes her neighbors to court in an effort to preserve her trees, which make up her livelihood as well as a connection to her past.

Who’s It For? You don’t have to be interested in Israeli/Palestinian politics to enjoy this film. It’s for anyone who likes a well thought out drama.

Expectations: I expected a slow melodrama about the inability of Israelis and Palestinians to get along.

Scorecard (0-10)


Hiam Abbass as Salma Zidane: Abbass does an excellent job as a widow who
See full article at Scorecard Review »

Lemon Tree (Etz Limon) - Movie Review

A near perfect allegory of the deadlocked struggle for peace in the Middle East, this is rising star Hiam Abbass. best performance to date Emerging director Eran Riklis won the lottery when he signed up rising star Hiam Abbass for the lead in this great political drama. Abbass, winner of the Israeli Film Academy Best Actress award for her work in this film, is coming off her smashing supporting role with Richard Jenkins in .The Visitor. in 2008 (an Oscar nomination for him). In that film she plays the mother of a Syrian national who is flying under the radar as an illegal alien in the USA. In this film she plays Salma Zidane, the Palestinian owner of a
See full article at Monsters and Critics »

Buzz from Europe

Founded in 1988, the European Film Academy currently unites 1,850 European film professionals with the common aim of promoting Europe’s film culture. Their annual awards will be December 8 in Copenhagen. ACE (Ateliers de Cinema Europeanne) which operates out of France and is a network of producers in the process of developing scripts, which become the films everyone loves at festivals, has 12 producers in the network who have received European Film Awards Nominations. Congratulations to ACE producers for their nominations at the 2008 European Film Awards and… good luck! WALTZ WITH BASHIR by Ari Folman, produced by Roman Paul (ACE producer / Razor Film Produktion): Nominated for European Film, European Director, European Screenwriter & European Composer categories. THE CLASS by Laurent Cantet, produced by Carole Scotta (ACE producer / Haut & Court) & Caroline Benjo (Haut & Court): Nominated for European Film & European Director categories. LEMON TREE by Eran Riklis, produced by Bettina Brokemper (ACE producer / Heimatfilm GmbH): Nominated for European Actress & European Screenwriter categories. WOLKE 9 by Andreas Dresen, produced by Peter Rommel (ACE producer / Rommel Film e.K): Nominated for European Director & European Actress categories. MOSCOW, BELGIUM by Christophe Van Rompaey, produced by Jean-Claude Van Rijckeghem (ACE producer / A Private view): Nominated for European Composer category. DELTA by Kornel Mundruzco, produced by Viktoria Petranyi (ACE producer / Evolution Films): Nominated for European Film Academy Prix d’Excellence 2008

Also 10 ACE producers’ films are among the 67 vying for the 2008 nominations for 2007 Best Foreign Language Oscar. ALGERIA: MASQUERADES by Lyes Salem, produced by Isabelle Madelaine (Dharamsala, FR) BELGIUM: ELDORADO by Bouli Lanners, produced by Jacques-Henri Bronckart (Versus Production, BE) and Jerôme Vidal (Noodles Production, FR) ESTONIA: I WAS HERE by René Vilbre, produced by Riina Sildos (Amrion Oü, EST) and Aleksi Bardy (Helsinki Filmi, FI) FRANCE: THE CLASS by Laurent Cantet, produced by Carole Scotta & Caroline Benjo (Haut & Court, FR) ISRAEL: WALTZ WITH BASHIR by Ari Folman, produced by Roman Paul (Razor Film Produktion, DE) KAZAKHSTAN: TULPAN by Sergey Dvortsevoy, co-produced by Thanassis Karathanos (Twenty Twenty Vision / Pallas Film, DE) LATVIA: DEFENDERS OF RIGA by Aigars Grauba, produced by Andrejs Ekis (Plat Forma Filma, LET) - Developed at the ACE Workshop! MACEDONIA: I’M FROM TITOV VELES by Teona Strugar Mitevska, co-produced by Diana Elbaum (Entre Chien et Loup, BE) THE NETHERLANDS: DUNYA & DESIE by Dana Nechushtan, co-produced by Joost de Vries (Lemming Film, NL) and Jean-Claude Van Rijckeghem (A Private View, BE) SWEDEN: EVERLASTING MOMENTS by Jan Troell, co-produced by Christer Nilson (GötaFilm, SE), Sigve Endresen, (Motlys AS, NO) and Tero Kaukomaa (Blind Spot Pictures, FI)

3 ACE producers’ films have been nominated for France’s prestigious Louis Delluc Award. THE CLASS by Laurent Cantet, Palme d’Or 2008, produced by Carole Scotta & Caroline Benjo (Haut et Court, FR), SERAPHINE by Martin Provost, produced by Milena Poylo and Gille Sacuto (TS Productions, FR) and VERSAILLES by Pierre Schoeller, produced by Philippe Martin (Les Films Pelléas, FR) are nominated for the 2008 Louis Delluc Prize.

And finally The Class by Laurent Cantet has hit a record 1.5+ admissions in France.

European Film Awards

Eleven ACE features (Ateliers du Cinema European) have been recommended for a nomination for the European Film Awards to be announced December 6, 2008! 'Moscow, Belgium' by Christophe Van Rompaey, produced by Jean-Claude Van Rijckeghem (A Private View), 'Eden' by Declan Recks, produced by Martina Niland (Samson Films), 'The Class' by Laurent Cantet, produced by Carole Scotta (Haut & Court), 'Giorni e nuevole' by Silvio Soldini, produced by Tiziana Soudani (Amka Films Productions), 'Home' by Ursula Meier, produced by Denis Delcampe (Need Productions) and Helena Tatti (Box Productions), 'I am from Titov Veles' by Teona Strugar Mitevska, produced by Diana Elbaum (Entre chien et loup), 'Lemon Tree' by Eran Riklis, produced by Bettina Brokemper (Heimatfilm), 'Love and Other Crimes' by Stefan Arsenijevic, produced by Herbert Schwering (Coin Film), 'Black Ice' by Petri Kotwica, produced by Steffen Reuter (Schmidtz Katze Filmkollektiv), 'Waltz with Bashir' by Ari Folman, produced by Roman Paul (Razor Film Produktion), 'Wolke 9' by Andreas Dresen, produced by Peter Rommel (Rommel Film).

Full list of recommended films: European Film Academy.

See also

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