March 10, 2009 Israeli Film "Dancing Alfonso" to be Screened at the Library on March 31

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Gail Shirazi (202) 707-9897

As people are living longer, the emotional life of senior citizens has become fertile ground for filmmakers. A case in point is Israeli filmmaker Barak Heymann’s “Dancing Alfonso,” which explores a Tel Aviv man’s participation in a flamenco dance class for seniors.

The 50-minute film (in Hebrew, Spanish, French and Moroccan with English subtitles), will be shown at noon on Tuesday, March 31, in the Pickford Theater, located on the third floor of the Library’s James Madison Building at 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. Ruth Diskin, the film’s distributor, will deliver remarks and answer questions at the conclusion of the screening.

The program, which is sponsored jointly by the Israeli Embassy, the Library’s Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division and the Hebrew Language Table, is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required.

“Dancing Alfonso,” which won the Silver Asian Award at the Shanghai International TV Festival in 2008, is part of the Library’s continuing Israeli Film Series. In the film, the protagonist uses dance to express the alternating emotions of hope and rage of a man about to lose his wife to illness.

Ruth Diskin Films Ltd. specializes in the distribution of films with distinctive content produced for the global television market. The company facilitates the promotion, marketing, distribution and exhibition of independent films worldwide. As one of the highly acclaimed Israeli distributors, Ruth Diskin Films Ltd. works with organizations and institutions that integrate non-commercial, educational media into their programs. This includes colleges and universities, archives, art cinemas, libraries, museums, galleries and symposia.

For more than a decade, the Embassy of Israel has been presenting the Library of Congress with moving-image material to complement more than 100 items in the Library’s Embassy of Israel collection. First presented to the Library in 1997 by Ambassador Eliahu Ben-Elissar, the collection is made possible under the terms of a Feb. 19, 1950 agreement between the United States and Israel (Treaties and Other International Acts Series 2169), under which the official publications of Israeli government agencies are made available through the Library of Congress.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its Web site at and via interactive exhibitions on a new, personalized Web site at


PR 09-048
ISSN 0731-3527