I never imagined my father's state of perpetual motion would lead him to motion pictures.
In the 70s, George decided to contribute something that would make a significant change in Israeli cultural life. He took his idea to Lia and Wim van Leer (living in Haifa at the time) and then spoke to Teddy Kollek and Ruti Cheshin at the Jerusalem Foundation. The three partners got together and founded the Jerusalem Film Center, which opened its doors in 1981. Had they envisioned the repercussions it would have 25 years later? Probably not. And the impact the Festival would have in 1984?
Thanks to Lia and her devoted staff's know-how, what started out as a neighborhood festival in Yemin Moshe turned into an event that reverberates throughout Israel and has been instrumental in launching new Israeli cinema abroad.
In the spirit of my father's wish, the Ostrovsky Family Fund continues to nourish the Cinematheque, the Festival and the Israel Film Archive through general operating support but also with:
- The Festival tent, which for years provided an additional venue for screenings in the Ben-Hinnom Valley;
- The Wim van Leer Student Awards for high school students making their first film;
- The recent purchase of archival prints for the Archives and for occasional Festival use.
George, a nomad by way of Pinsk, Prague, Paris, Moscow and Rio, is now buried in Jerusalem. Part ofthe heart of our family now beats here-albeit in samba rhythm.
Unfortunately, George died several months before the dedication of the building in 1980.
While he was unable to appreciate the fruits of his philanthropy, his family Anya, Rose, Natasha and Vivian remain generous supporters of the Jerusalem Film Center. The relationship is characterized by continued involvement, solid commitment, and profound friendship.