Los Angeles Premiere Documentary/Israel/USA/2014/81 minutes
Directed by Paul Hirschberger English and Hebrew with English subtitles
Packed with plenty of gridiron action, gritty athletics and irreverent humor, TOUCHDOWN ISRAEL goes inside the improbable rise of the pigskin sport in the Holy Land. American-style, full-contact, tackle football was first imported in the late 1980s by foreign-born Israelis who missed the scrimmages of their youth. Initially hampered by woefully inadequate playing fields and an indifferent public, the Israeli Football League received a boost from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who funded a football stadium and continues his support as a league sponsor. Today, football in Israel is thriving, with 11 teams and over 600 amateur players from a cross-section of Israeli society, including Arabs, Christians, secular and Orthodox Jews even Palestinians. Filmmaker Paul Hirschberger captures the surprising camaraderie among these weekend warriors who hail from widely different backgrounds, but sideline their differences for the sake of teamwork and love of sport. In a quest for an Israel Bowl championship, ordinary Israeli citizens are transformed into fierce competitors, revealing new aspects of themselves along the way. In a country where off-the-field rivalries run deep, TOUCHDOWN ISRAEL celebrates the unifying power of sports amidst the broad religious and cultural diversity of Israel.
Q&A with Director, Paul Hirschberger.
Dedicated to the memory of Robert Irmas, a supporter of the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival with a passion for his family, life and sports.
Laemmle Town Center
17200 Ventura Blvd
Encino, CA 91316
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|