International superstar Madonna may have been focusing on her Super Bowl halftime performance for Sunday night, but soon her sights will turn to the Middle East.
The iconic singer will launch a world tour in support of her upcoming album MDNA with a show on May 31 at Ramat Gan Stadium. Details of the show and ticket availability will be revealed later in the week.
The Material Girl is no stranger to Israel, having performed here twice and spent time in the country as part of her Kabbala studies. She closed 2009′s “Sticky and Sweet” tour, which became the second-highest grossing tour of all time with $408 million in receipts, in Israel.
The Golden Globe winning artist released her new video”Gimme all your lovin’” on Friday, and is also promoting hernew film W.E.
The British Film Festival is returning to Israel after a two-year hiatus, with a selection of movies by new and interesting voices that give audiences a glimpse into modern-day Britain.
The festival, the flagship event of the British Council in Israel, will be showing ten films in seven cities – Tel-Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem, Sderot, Rosh Pina, Holon and Herzliya – from February 4 to 15.
In the past, the program of choice U.K. movies has drawn some 20,000 cinema-goers across the country. This year, says British Council Arts Manager Naomi Michaeli, “We hope to have more”
The selection is certainly an eclectic one. The British Council wanted to showcase various aspects of contemporary British cinema, and most of the movies are by relatively new filmmakers.
The festival opens with Andrea Arnold’s remake of Emily Bronte’s classic nineteenth century novel, Wuthering Heights, and closes with the much anticipated Shame, directed by Steve McQueen, winner of the U.K’s top contemporary art award, the Turner Prize.
Other movies on show include Ralph Feines’ directorial debut, Coriolanus, and Paddy Considine’s Tyrannosaur, one of the biggest Sundance Festival winners of 2011, which Michaeli describes as “the kind of bleak, hard-hitting drama that British cinema is famous for.”
Perfect Sense starring Ewan McGregor and Eva Green will also be showing.
Along with the screenings, audiences will be able to meet up-and-coming British indy actor Tom Cullen, who stars in one of the Festival’s featured movies, Weekend, which Michaeli describes as” a gem.”
Sandra Hebron, who was artistic director of the London Film Festival for 15 years, will share her insight into British and international cinema with audiences at screenings of Weekend on February 9 in Jerusalem, and Tyrannosaur, on February 10.
“We are proud to bring to Israeli audiences the best of new British cinema. The films represent the work of a new generation of British film makers giving us a fascinating peek into current day Britain,” says British Council Director in Israel, Simon Kay.
The festival is also a way for the British Council to promote Israeli-British cooperation in film. With the ratification the first Film Co-Production Treaty between the two countries in September last year, the British Council is hoping to see more cooperation in the future.
“Our priorities are very clear now,” says British Council Arts Manger Naomi Michaeli. “We want to invest a lot in creating co-productions between Israel and the U.K., it was really important for us to bring festival back and use it as a way of promoting film and invigorating dialogue.”
By Idan Matalon – Which was also one of our Top 10 guys of 2011 (Click here to check out the list)
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9. Reykjavik, Iceland
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Israeli footwear chain to inaugurate its first branch abroad in Prague’s biggest mall, plans to open 42 additional stores across continent
The Scoop Shoes chain, which operates 42 stores in Israel, is expanding abroad for the first time and plans to open dozens of branches in Europe.
The first store was inaugurated recently in Prague’s Fashion Arena, the biggest mall in the Czech capital with more than 300 international brands, at an investment of some $750,000.
Seven additional stores are expected to open in Eastern Europe by March 2012, and the chain plans to expand to Western Europe later on.
Ronny Insaz, co-owner of Scoop Shoes (together with his brother Freddie), says the company plans to open another 42 branches across Europe. In addition, the company is expanding in Israel and will open eight additional stores in 2012.
Aren’t you concerned by the failure of Israeli fashion companies abroad?
“We examined the footwear market in several countries and found huge potential, especially when it comes to the women’s shoes industry, which is only starting to grow and develop.
“We view Eastern Europe as an opportunity because of the economic situation. We’ll be able to offer attractive prices and a proper and accurate mix of shoes and fashion accessories.”
Scoop Shoes was founded 17 years ago and specializes in the import and marketing of shoes, bags and fashion accessories.