Star Producer Steve Tisch to Chair TA International Student Film Festival

Top-ranked student festival, the world's largest, will showcase 250 short films from 40 countries
09 April 2014

Steve Tisch, one of the most successful producers in the motion picture industry, will chair the 16th Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival at Tel Aviv University from May 31 to June 7, 2014. He brings Hollywood know-how and increased visibility to the festival, long ranked as one of the top three in the world by the International Association of Film and Television Schools.


Tisch is a partner at Escape Artists Productions and is the Chairman and Executive Vice President of the New York Football Giants,the only person with both an Academy Award and a Super Bowl ring. He received his Academy Award as a producer of Forrest Gump, which won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1994, and has received two Super Bowl rings as Chairman of the Giants, who defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI.


"Our students will have the privilege of learning from Mr. Tisch, a role model of accomplishment and an internationally recognized figure in the film industry," notes Prof. Joseph Klafter, President of Tel Aviv University.


Established in 1986 by students from Tel Aviv University's renowned Department of Film & Television, the Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival is now the largest in the world. Beginning this year, the previously biannual festival will be held every year, with permanent funding from the Municipality of Tel Aviv, the Israel Film Council, and Tel Aviv University.


A launching pad for young auteurs

The festival is an important venue for screening and promoting a rarefied category of student-produced films that blaze new trails in cinema and culture. Produced by more than 100 student volunteers, it showcases promising young directors from over 40 countries. Members of the festival's judging panels and its special guests regularly include luminaries of world cinema. Past judges and speakers include actors Richard Gere, Marcello Mastroianni, Erland Josephson, and Sarah Polley; directors Robert Wise, Jim Sheridan, Chantal Akerman, Paul Schrader, Giuseppe Tornatore, Theo Angelopoulos, Emir Kusturica, Hicham Ayouch, Paolo Sorrentino, and Ari Folman; and producers Arnon Milchan, Roger Corman, Jan Harlan, Ori Inbar, and Nick Frazer.


Past festival winners include young filmmakers already making names in the industry: Thomas Vinterberg, Dover Kosashvili, Francois Ozon, Alan Taylor, Jasper W. Nielsen, and Nir Bergman.


Led this year by student directors Talia Bernstein and Roni Shamiss, The 16th Film Festival is comprised of three parts: the International Forum showcases a panorama of cinema from around the world; the Israeli Competition presents the works of Israel's next generation of filmmakers; and the Mediterranean Competition screens films from neighboring countries, serving as a unique forum for shaping future trends in Middle Eastern film and television.


A filmmaker and much more

Steve Tisch brings a remarkable track record to his role as the first Chairman of the festival. Three decades ago he helped launch Tom Cruise's career with the sleeper hit, Risky Business, and his credits with Escape Artists include The Pursuit of HappynessThe Weather ManSeven PoundsKnowingThe Taking of Pelham 123The Back-Up Plan, and Hope Springs. Tisch has three films scheduled for release this year:Sex Tape, directed by Jake Kasdan and starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel, opens July 2014; The Equalizer, directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Denzel Washington, opens September 2014; and The Business Trip, directed by Ken Scott and starring Vince Vaughn, opens in March, 2015.


Tisch has been involved with the New York Giants since his father, Preston Robert Tisch, purchased 50 percent of the franchise in 1991. In 2005, Steve was named Executive Vice President, and with the passing of his father, he assumed the additional title of Chairman. Steve worked closely with John Mara, President & CEO of the Giants, on the planning and construction of MetLife Stadium, completed in the spring of 2010 and ranked as the number one grossing stadium in the world in 2012. Tisch and Mara were named Best NFL Owners by Forbes in 2011. Steve also helped win the successful bid to bring Super Bowl XLVIII to MetLife Stadium in February 2014.


He has long been a leader in the philanthropic sector and generously contributes his time and resources to a variety of organizations including The Epilepsy Foundation, Women's Cancer Research Foundation and The Simon Wiesenthal Center. He is on the Board of Trustees of The Geffen Theatre in Los Angeles, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Cancer Center at Duke University. He is the naming benefactor of the new sports and fitness center at his alma mater, Tufts University.


This year’s impresarios

Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival Directors Talia Bernstein and Roni Shamiss are leading the corps of student volunteers who are already working on this year's event. "Mr. Tisch embodies the spirit of the festival — dynamic, progressive, and creatively adventurous," they say. Talia Bernstein, 28, completed a BA in Literature and Philosophy before studying for her MFA at Tel Aviv University's Department of Film and Television. She has worked in the film industry — directing, production and distribution — throughout her higher education, and was a line producer at the last festival.


Roni Shamiss, 27, became involved in media and film even earlier, in high school, then served as a director of the media center at the Israeli Air Force Aviation Academy. While earning a BA from TAU's Department of Film and Television, she worked as a video clip director, producer and editor, and was a production manager at the last festival.


As originally reported by AFTAU


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