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Pnina Blayer Dies: Former Artistic Director Of Haifa International Film Festival Was 77

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Pnina Blayer, the honorary president and former artistic director of the Haifa International Film Festival (HIFF) has died.

She was 77. One of the most influential figures in the Israeli film industry, Blayer was appointed artistic director of HIFF in 1988.

She served in the role for 33 years. In a statement shared with Deadline, the festival said it “mourns her loss and sends heartfelt condolences to her family.” “Under Pnina’s leadership, Haifa Cinematheque has turned into a leading Israeli film institute, and Haifa International Film Festival has become one of the most renowned and esteemed film festivals in the world,” the statement read. “Over the course of her 33-year tenure as the festival’s artistic director, Pnina expressed her love for filmmaking and the art of cinema through the creative process of curating the festival’s artistic programs, and the support and promotion of Israeli cinema, building an extensive net of connections with the international film industry.”  The statement added that Blayer gave the festival its “spirit and identity” as a cultural institution that “promotes the pursuit of peace, compassion, curiosity, and tolerance in addition to its artistic brilliance.” “The Haifa International Film Festival team shall make every effort to uphold, enhance, and maintain Pnina’s legacy and her life’s work.

May her memory be blessed,” the statement ended. Blayer was also director of Haifa Cinematheque for 19 years from 1986 to 2005, having joined the institution as programme director in 1978.

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