RONIT IN HER OWN WORDS | Israel’s best-known actress describes her first experiences in Cannes

In a recent interview that she gave to French magazine Télérama (France’s answer to TV Guide, but on steroids) Roni Elkabetz recalled her earliest memories of the Cannes Festival:

“The first time [I went to the Cannes Festival] was in 1997. It was a very strange experience. I had decided to leave Israel to live my life as an actress in France. I don’t even speak the language, so it was a kind of spiritual decision, I guess. The Cannes Festival seemed like an essential step in helping launch my career: it is the only place where one can take the pulse of world cinema.

Elkabetz has been Israel’s most visible actress for the last fifteen years or so.

I decided to spend forty-eight hours in Cannes. I left after one day. I did not really know what to expect and so I couldn’t find my place. I thought to myself, if I come back here some day, it’ll be with a movie.

She was named president of this year’s Critics’ Week (Semaine de la Critique) jury.

A year later, I was back to meet with the producers of MADE IN FRANCE (2001). I had an invitation, the feeling of being an impostor was not as strong. They chose me for the leading role, I was ecstatic! After that, my relationship with the [Cannes] festival became one of privileges since all the films in which I have played have ended up somewhere in the Cannes selections: HATUNA MEUHRET in Un Certain Regard (2001), Mon Trésor [Golden Camera in 2004] in 2004, THE BAND’S VISIT in 2007, ASHES AND BLOOD and JAFFA in 2009, etc.