The 2016 American Independent Film Festival

Film Selection

Opening Night: Premiere Screening of



In partnership with Cinémathèque, the premier showcase for film and cinematic arts in Israel.

TEL AVIV, Haifa, Jerusalem

Official Selection 2016 by Amir Bogen

Amir Bogen is a writer and a critic and he has been the chief editor of Ynet's film section for the past six years.  In his role as writer and critic, he has attended and covered a multitude of international film festivals, including Cannes, Berlin, and Karlovy Vary.  His breadth and knowledge of cinema, throughout his 17 years as a journalist, has been further completed by his interviews of numerous leading filmmakers and movie stars, including Matt Damon, Jennifer Lawrence, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore, Christopher Walken, Will Smith and Nicholas Cage, among others.  In addition, he has been a part of the Utopia Film Festival programming team for four years.  Mr. Bogen has served as an artistic adviser to States of Minds since its inception.  He has a M.A. in film theory, and a B.A. in communications, from Tel Aviv university. His Master's thesis was on political models in the Star Wars series, a topic he is pursuing further in his Ph.D. program.

Feature films and documentaries, all Israeli premieres will be subtitled in Hebrew.


Bone Tomahawk 

by S. Craig Zahler  USA / 2015 / 132 MIN / COLOR

Courtesy of Celluloid-Dreams


After an outlaw unknowingly leads a band of cannibalistic Troglodytes into the peaceful western town of Bright Hope, the monsters kidnap several settlers, including the wife of a local rancher. Despite his injured leg the rancher joins a small rescue party with the sheriff, his aging deputy and a strong-willed gunslinger. What follows is a journey into hell on earth as the posse comes to realise it is up against a foe whose savagery knows no bounds. The film takes place in the mid 1800’s around the border of what is now Texas and New Mexico.

Awards & Nominations

SITGES 2015: Best Direction Award – S. Craig Zahler
SITGES 2015: José Luis Guarner Award
INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARD NOMINATIONS: S. Craig Zahler – nominated for Best Screenplay, Richard Jenkins – nominated for Best Supporting Male

Case Against 8

by Ben Cotner, Ryan White  USA / 2014 / 112 MIN / COLOR

Courtesy of The american Film showcase // Photo credit: Diana Walker


The Case Against 8 takes an inside look at the groundbreaking Supreme Court case that overturned Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage. Five years in the making, the film chronicles the struggle that helped pave the way for marriage equality battles nationwide, with behind—the—scenes access to the two California couples seeking the right to marry and the legal team of conservative Ted Olson and liberal David Boies, who previously faced off as opposing counsel in Bush v. Gore. The Case Against 8 provides a definite account of the battle that effectively ended marriage discrimination in California and took the issue of marriage equality all the way to the Supreme Court.

Awards & Nominations

Sundance – Directing Award
SXSW – Audience Award – Festival Favorites
Ashland – Audience Award – Documentary; Best Documentary
Berkshire -Jury Prize
Hot Docs -Top Ten Audience Favourite
Sheffield – Special Jury Nomination
River Run – Best Documentary, Audience Award – Documentary
Traverse City – Runner Up, Audience Award – Documentary


by Peter Landesman  USA / 2015 / 123 MIN / COLOR

Courtesy of Forum film Israel


Will Smith stars in Concussion, a dramatic thriller based on the incredible true David vs. Goliath story of American immigrant Dr. Bennet Omalu, the brilliant forensic neuropathologist who made an important medical discovery.  Dr. Omalu’s emotional quest puts him at dangerous odds with one of the most powerful institutions in the world.

Awards & Nominations

Golden Globes – Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama - Will Smith
African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) – Best Actor – Will Smith
Black Reel Awards – Outstanding Actor, Motion Picture – Will Smith; Outstanding Motion Picture; Outstanding Supporting Actress, Outstanding Ensemble
Denver Film Critics Society – Best Actor (Will Smith)
Georgia Film Critics Association (GFCA) – Best Original Song – Leon Bridges “So Long”
Hollywood Film Awards – Actor of the Year – Will Smith
Image Awards – Outstanding Motion Picture, Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture (Will Smith), Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (Gugu Mbatha-Raw)
Palm Springs International Film Festival – Creative Impact in Acting Award – Will Smith; Directors to Watch – Peter Landesman
Satellite Awards – Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Will Smith

The Great Gilly Hopkins

by Stephen Herek  USA / 2015 / 99 MIN / COLOR

Courtesy of West End Films


Wisecracking, gum-chewing 12-year-old Gilly is well known in the foster system. Totally unmanageable, she has stayed with more families than she can remember and has outwitted them all. After all, how can she settle down when her real mother, the beautiful and glamourous Courtney, might be out there waiting for her?

When Gilly is sent to live with the Trotters, the weirdest family yet, she isn’t planning to stick around. But cheerful, affectionate Maime Trotter isn’t giving up on Gilly just yet - she is sure there’s a hurt little girl in there somewhere. Gilly knows she has to escape, and if she can’t run then she’ll lie her way out. But her grand plan doesn’t go as intended, and she starts to think maybe she was wrong about Trotter. Maybe wrong about everything.

Adapted from a multi-award-winning novel published in more than 20 territories by Katherine Paterson (The Bridge To Terabithia, the adaptation of which grossed over $200 million theatrically), The Great Gilly Hopkins is the hilarious and big-hearted story about a headstrong girl who wants to find a place to call home.

Meet the Patels

by Geeta Patel, Ravi Patel  USA / 2014 / 88 MIN / COLOR

Courtesy of The american Film Showcase // Four in a Billion Pictures & Tribeca All Access


Meet The Patels is a laugh-out-loud real life romantic comedy about Ravi Patel, an almost-30-year-old Indian-American who enters a love triangle between the woman of his dreams … and his parents. Filmed by Ravi’s sister in what started as a family vacation video, this hilarious and heartbreaking film reveals how love is a family affair. In addition to the witty comedic nature of the film, the documentary also uses humor to address a timely social issue: In early 2009, directors, sister and brother team, Geeta and Ravi Patel began to explore and document the societal pressures of marriage in their first-generation Indian American family. Through research in India and America, they discovered that their “Indian Issue” was more of an “American Issue”: the majority of Americans with strong cultural and religious roots shared a serious psychological conflict when it came to dating (and marrying) outside of their skin color, culture, religion, and ethnicity.


Hot Docs Film Festival – Audience Award
Los Angeles Film Festival – Audience Award
Hardacre Film Festival – Audience Award
Traverse City Film Festival – Best Film Award; Audience Award
Mosaic International South Asian Film Festival – Audience Award

Mt. Hood Independent Film Festival – Best Feature Documentary Award


by Michael Almereyda  USA / 2015 / 98 MIN / COLOR

Courtesy of United King Films Distribution Israel 


1961. Stanley Milgram designs a psychology experiment in which people think they deliver electric shocks to a stranger in another room. Milgram is trying to come to terms with the Holocaust. His experiment is about conformity, conscience and free will. He doesn't expect the results, 65% of the subjects deliver shocks that may be fatal, obeying commands from a lab-coated authority figure. Milgram is accused of being a monster. His next experiments are more hopeful. He reignites controversy with his book, Obedience to Authority. Fortified by the love of his family, Milgram carries on, exploring human nature, fighting false perceptions. The film's style is as playful and provocative as a Milgram experiment, showing how Milgram's conscience and creative spirit continue to be resonant and inspirational.


(Courtesy of IMDb / Text, Nir)