Festivals & Awards

Second Prize at the Festival Internazionale del Cinama d'Arte in Bergamo, Italy
The Berlinale Camera to Lia Van Leer
Washington Jewish Film Festival 2011
Pitigliani Kolnoa Festival, Rome  2011
Jewish Film Foundation of Australia 2011
Berlinale- Berlin International Film Festival 2011


The cinematic portrait of Lia van Leer, the founder of the Israeli Film Archive, of the Jerusalem Cinematheque and the Jerusalem International Film Festival.

65 min.
Language: Hebrew, English
Subtitles: English

World Sales:www.go2films.com


Directed by - Taly Goldenberg
Produced by - Amir Harel
Project Initiators - Amit Breuer, Ziv Naveh
Associate producer - Ruth Cummings

In participation with 
Lama Films, Dorot Foundation, Gesher Multicultural Film Fund, The Second Authority for Television & Radio

Editor- Taly Goldenberg
Cinematographer - Daniel Kedem, Philippe Bellaiche
Sound Designer - Michael Emeth
Guidance and Consulting - Ziv Naveh


At the young age of 16, the lovely, fair-haired Lia was sent by her parents to visit her sister in Israel in 1939, at the onset of WWII. After realizing that her parents were murdered during the war, Lia decided to tie her future to the young Zionist State of Israel. When she met Dutch Jewish industrialist Wim van Leer her life was changed. Wim discovered her the magical world of the big maestros of cinema, a world that she never left ever since.

They married in 1952 and initiated their common cinematic endeavor - they procured classic films in Europe and screened them first in their home to their friends, and then widened the circle, created "Film Clubs" and traveled the country with a 16mm projector and screened the films in kibbutzim and community settlements.

In 1960 she founded the "Israeli Film Archive" and in 1961, the Archive was recognized as a member of "FIAF" Federation International of Film Archives.

What started with home-based archive with few copies has become the country's archive which contains 50,000 films, including all the films that have been produced in Israel and Palestine and hundreds of copies of Jewish cinema from all over the world.

A distinct achievement of her undertakings is the founding of Jerusalem Cinematheque in 1974 and ten years after the Jerusalem International Film Festival. She dedicated more than half of her lifetime to promoting the art of filmmaking in Israel and exposing the Israeli public to fine quality cinema.

Lia was probably the first one in Israel to realize that without a film loving audience and a passion for fine films, the growth of a cinema in Israel would not be possible. It is clear that van Leer's persistent enterprise during the years contributed enormously to the development of the cinema culture in Israel, which in its turn nurtured the development of a distinctive identity of the Israeli cinema.

For all her life achievements Lia van Leer was laureate of the prestigious Israel Prize. 

Through the main points of her life, the cinematic portrayal of Lia van Leer will depict an original and uncompromising individual that indeed portrays cinema itself.