Our Vision and Mission
The Jerusalem Cinematheque was established in 1974 by Lia and Vim van Leer and was first housed in Agron House. Their love for cinema and rich film collection, which they spent years developing, was the foundation for the creation of the Israel Film Archive and the screening of quality films at the CInematheque.
With the generous support of George Ostrovsky and the ongoing collaboration with then mayor Teddy Kollek, the Cinematheque made its current location at the Ben Hinnom Valley, across the spectacular vistas of the Old City, its permanent home. With four screening halls and the growing film archive, the Cinematheque screens commercial films, Israeli films, films from around the world, and a selection from it archival treasures.
The Cinematheque sees itself as a leading platform for the promotion of local cinema. At its heart lies the Israel Film Archive, which works to collect, preserve, and showcase local cinematic creations from the beginning of Israeli cinema till contemporary works. The Cinematheque screens new Israeli films, classics, unknown works, and is a unique stage for these films and filmmakers.
In 1984, Lia van Leer established the Jerusalem International Film Festival. Since then this event has become the most prestigious and important film event in Israel. The Festival, which takes place in July, showcases the best films from around the world from the past year and is an esteemed platform for Israeli cinema, exposing local film work to leading professionals from around the world and granting generous prizes for Israeli cinema.
The Cinematheque is a pluralistic and invigorating cultural center that aims to enrich culture in Jerusalem and Israel. In addition to screening the best films from around the world, the Cinematheque holds a prolific educational program and special programming for children and youth.