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Sharon Stone, Natalie Portman Take Top Honors at Israel Film Festival Gala

10 November 2016 11:01 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

As expected, the 2016 presidential election was the underlying thrust of Wednesday night’s gala dinner honoring the 30th anniversary of the Israel Film Festival where Natalie Portman, Sharon Stone, and Jay Sanderson, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, were honored for their philanthropic and cultural contributions.

“Good evening, my fellow Canadians,” joked comedian Elan Gold, who emceed the night’s festivities, held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. “So we survived day one,” he quipped. “It should have been called a big erection because a dick won.”

Meir Fenigstein, founder and executive director of the fest, was on hand to tout its achievements in bridging cultural divides between Israel and the rest of the world. In its three decades, the fest has showcased nearly 1,000 feature films, documentaries and television series and brought more than 450 filmmakers to the United States.

“We are not just promoting Israeli film in Los Angeles, »

- Malina Saval

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