J-Wire Meets Richard Moore

August 21, 2016 by Roz Tarszisz
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J-Wire’s Roz Tarszisz talks with Richard Moore, Artistic Director of the AICE Israeli Film Festival.

RT: Venues for this year’s Festival have changed from previous years.
RM: Yes, we like to think of it as a “rebirth” of the Festival. Both cinemas – Cinema Nova in Melbourne and Ritz Cinemas in Sydney – are lovely venues and we think patrons will enjoy that.

Richard

Richard Moore

RT:  What about security for cinema patrons regarding protesters?

RM: It’s true that protests are a constant irritant but we believe that CSG (Community Service Group) will bring their usual level of expertise into looking after everyone. They do such a wonderful job.

RT: You have a solid background in the Arts. (Moore is a former head of ABC TV Arts, has lead Melbourne and Brisbane’s International Film Festivals and most recently established the Hot Docs franchise in Australia with Palace Cinemas.)

Did your wide experience on all aspects of presenting culture at the ABC help with planning the Festival?
RM: Yes it did as did my experience working with Brisbane and Melbourne’s International Film Festivals. My years as a documentary filmmaker are also part of that.

RT: Tell us a little about yourself.

RM:  I suppose you could say my life has been infused with the Arts. My family have all been involved in Arts across different mediums and it seemed natural for me to end up involved.

I didn’t set out to work in film but started out getting a grant to make a documentary on Japanese butoh dancing. My career took off from there and eventually I ended up with the ABC as an Executive Producer of TV Arts.

RT:  Are things different at the ABC now in regards to Arts programming?

RM: They certainly are. I am sorry to say that the ABC has moved away from commissioning cultural high profile arts programs.

RT:  Who or what have been an inspiration?

RM:  The late Betty Churcher was an inspiration.  Her vignettes about art on the ABC were a wonderful example of her attitude to life and the importance of paintings.

RT: You have family in Israel?

RM: Yes, my son lives there and my grandson was born earlier this year.

RT:  Let’s talk about the new AICE initiative for Israeli films and documentaries at this year’s Festival.

I understand participants are competing for a prize of $25,000 for the best Israeli feature film or documentary, involving at least one Israeli producer.

RM:  AICE founder, Albert Dadon, a longstanding developer and promoter of the arts and culture landscape, aim was to help bring independent Israeli films to the international stage by fostering talent within the industry.

The requirements were that films to be no less than 55 minutes and involve at least one Israeli producer and an Australian premier.

We had about 30 entries across a wide variety of genres and styles including comedy and documentary. The aim was to get a snapshot of Israeli cinema over the past two years.

RT: Are you involved in choosing the winner?

RM: Yes, I am on the jury along with three others. The sole criteria in assessing the films to show was simple. The films had to show a vibrant democracy and a diverse nation.

RT:  I understand the competition for films and documentaries for festivals is fierce.

RM: There is definitely healthy competition for product among all the various Australian film festivals.

RT: Do you have a personal favourite?

RM: As far as the competition goes, I can’t say as I am on the jury.   However there is one important film I just had to include even though it doesn’t fulfil the category of being Israeli.

Made by British filmmakers, Keep Quiet is about  Hungarian Csanad Szegedi, former member of  Jobbik, the far-right, anti-Semitic party, who finds out he is Jewish. His story to find a rabbi to teach him about Judaism is fascinating.

The Australian Israel Cultural Exchange (AICE) Israeli Festival screens at Melbourne’s Cinema Nova from September 14-25 and Sydney’s Ritz Cinema from September 15-25.

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