Steve Suissa discusses his French Theater Festival

Steve Suissa has a outstanding resume. A French director, manufacturer, screenwriter and global actor, his 2000 movie L’Envol (Taking Wing) earned him the Very best Director Award on the twenty second Moscow Global Movie Festival and plenty of further awards. He has came upon a pool of younger French ability, together with Isabelle Carré, Clement Siboni, Marion Cotillard, Lorànt Deutsch, Bérénice Bejo, Titoff and Nicola Casale.

But Suissa, who does now not talk Hebrew, is a Zionist at his essence. His objective is to deliver the hearts of Israeli and French audiences nearer in combination and show the most efficient of French tradition and theater to audiences in Israel. To this finish, in 2017, he created and taken the French Theatre Competition to Israel for the primary time, which introduces and gifts essential artists from the arena of Israeli and French tradition. It’s going to run from October 27 – November 3 in Tel Aviv and Ashdod. 

For the previous two years, Suissa has additionally served as creator, manufacturer and director of a non secular program on Judaism broadcast each and every Sunday morning on state tv in France. Suissa has established 3 appearing and theater colleges in Israel – in Tel Aviv, Ashdod and Netanya, and these days he focuses totally on imparting wisdom and schooling to many scholars.

Marking his go back to Israel after a protracted absence because of the pandemic, we met Suissa for a dialog about his try to reinforce cooperation and discussion between the worlds of French and Israeli cinema and theater amidst the truth of rising antisemitism in France and hostility in opposition to Israel.

Brahim Asloum (proper) and Steve Suissa painting Jewish brothers from Tunisia who had been boxers right through the Holocaust in ‘Victor Younger Perez.’ (credit score: VERED ADIR)

You do such a lot. The place does your power come from?

I do it out of a way of venture as a result of appearing stored my existence. I believe the film tradition and tradition, normally, are a kind of “correction” for me. I used to be just a little boy finding out boxing on the health club after I met actor Alain Delon. He checked out me and instructed me that I had to learn to act. Alain Delon and I got here from a equivalent background. He had additionally studied boxing, and we hooked up. By means of this background, we discovered a not unusual language.

How has the pandemic affected your efficiency as an actor and writer?

All through the pandemic, 5 of my performs had been stopped, and greater than 60 are living performances had been canceled. Nevertheless it additionally introduced a favorable facet. It equipped new which means to the opposite issues that I do. I noticed that the cultural bridge that I’m development, such because the French theater competition I created in Israel, connects folks, creates a not unusual language of discourse and love, and will deliver folks in combination from all over the place. I noticed that this used to be a chance for me to have interaction in issues that had worth and which means. Through the years, it all started to really feel like a venture for me.

Lately you move to your wisdom to kids with restricted monetary assets. Can appearing assist kids?

Without a doubt. To me, theater and appearing are the artwork of therapeutic. They have got healing components of advent and of bold. On level, we dare to do issues and maintain portions inside of us that we don’t dare to maintain in existence itself. It permits you the liberty to be your self.

Let us know about your established order of appearing colleges within the nation.

I established 3 appearing colleges for kids in Israel known as STUDIO M, in Tel Aviv, Netanya and Ashdod. I wish to make it imaginable for kids who won’t have the monetary assets to be told appearing. I understand how a lot it might assist them and direct them to excellent puts, to get to understand and perceive themselves higher, because it helped me.

You’re a Zionist who works for Israel an ideal deal. Is it associated with the truth that maximum of your existence, you could have lived a long way from Israel?

It doesn’t come from a sense of guilt. It’s as a result of my revel in in Israel. Six years in the past, I got here to Israel and produced The Diary of Anne Frank. I felt how a lot energy there’s in Israeli tradition and the way important it’s, particularly for the more youthful technology.

You created the French Theater Competition in Israel. Do you suppose it has the ability to persuade French public opinion and eliminate antisemitism?

The competition is not going to get rid of antisemitism, however whilst you deliver the nice artists of France to Israel, they usually be told the rustic, go back and forth, revel in the tradition and get to understand the Israeli target market up shut, they are going to go back to France with a unique viewpoint on Israel and unfold it additional. It has super energy.

What do you take into accounts the state of the Jewish group in France these days with the rising antisemitism?

I’m very frightened about antisemitism in France. My contribution on this topic is to inform the tales – to deliver the tale of Anne Frank, of Albert Einstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Victor “Younger” Perez, and now, additionally to inform the bizarre tale of Alfred Nakache, the swimmer from Auschwitz who used to be now not identified till the day he died. The play about him will shut the French Theater Competition on November 3 in Wager Lessin, and Nakache might be portrayed by means of actor Amir Haddad.

They had been all heroic Jewish heroes who stood the take a look at. Those are performs that masses of hundreds of folks will see and it has a large have an effect on on me.

Inform me about this system on Judaism that looks on French tv.

This system about Judaism that I edit and host is named Genesis. Previous to that, Jewish TV presenter Josy Eisenberg edited and hosted this system. After his demise, French President Emmanuel Macron, the minister of the internal and the executive rabbi of the rustic, Rabbi Chaim Korsayi, needed to come to a decision on any other candidate, they usually all agreed that I used to be best suited from a pedagogic point of view. Once I started, I created a brand new idea that larger the selection of weekly audience from 200,000 to 1,000,000. This resulted in my internet hosting of the Holocaust Remembrance Day rite in France yearly. Ultimate yr the rite that used to be broadcast on Channel 2 broke viewing information and exceeded the viewing numbers of the once a year Christmas Mass.

This yr’s French Theatre Competition will run from October 27 to November 3 in Tel Aviv and Ashdod. For more info name (03) 915-5632 or discuss with culturaccess.com/horizon-2021-festival-du-theatre-francais/. This newsletter used to be written in cooperation with the French Theatre Competition

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Author: Anu Raghunathan