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25th Israel Film Festival opens in Los Angeles with surprises from Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Ryan Kavanaugh

25th Annual Israel Film Festival opened at a gala dinner at the Beverly Hilton on Wednesday, 20 October. Founder Meir Fenigstein honored several Hollywood luminaries with relation to Israel and Israeli film. Actor, Topher Grace (star of "That 70's Show" and "Spiderman 3") presented the annual IFF Outstanding Achievement in Film Award to Relativity Media's CEO, Ryan Kavanaugh. In his acceptance speech, Mr. Kavanaugh reveals his surprise Jewish identity and Zionist pride. He calls for greater media and public appreciation for Israel politically, the accomplishments of its society, and encourages support for Israel's media and film industry.

Also honored were actor Richard Dreyfuss (introduced by UCLA Hillel's Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller), "Avatar" producer, Jon Landau (introduced by Fox Film CEO, James Gianopulos), and Nu Image / Millenium Films' Israeli-American CEO Avi Lerner ("The Expendables") who was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Lerner was introduced by actor, Sylvester Stallone. Actor Dolph Lundgren also appeared in support of Mr. Lerner.

Israeli Consul General Jacob Dayan called upon the Hollywood film community to break the drought since "Exodus" and convey more of Israel's history through movies.

Celebrating its 25th year, the Israel Film Festival’s mission is to showcase the finest new Israeli films. The film festival encompasses over 30 titles and runs through November 4 in Los Angeles. The schedule can be found at Israel Film Festival.com

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