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(323) 965-4800

3530 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 1500
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Meir Fenigstein

Meir Fenigstein

As we celebrate JAHM, we reflect upon Meir Fenigstein's inspiring journey, eagerly anticipating his next project. With every endeavor, he continues to ignite the spark of cultural exchange, crafting bridges of understanding and fostering a sense of unity among diverse communities and storytelling.

How has your heritage shaped the person you are today?

Both of my parents were Holocaust survivors. My father lost his first wife and two daughters in Auschwitz and then met my mother at the end of the war in a concentration camp. In 1949, they came to Israel from Poland and he immediately created a small factory for carton boxes. Due to his drive and sense of humor, he was always optimistic and built himself and his family from scratch. He taught me not to give up and to dream big.

What was the inspiration behind the Israel Film Festival?

After my service in the NAHAL entertainment group in the army, I was part of a very successful rock band as a drummer, called Poogy (in Hebrew Kaveret). We represented Israel in 1974 at the Eurovision Song Contest and in 2013 at our reunion concert we sold 100.000 tickets in two days, at Park Hayarkon Tel Aviv. After the band broke up in 1976, I started acting in a couple of movies and theater. In 1980, I started studying music at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and that’s where the idea of the film festival was born. My first festival was called “The First New England Israeli Film Festival” in 1981. It was a great success because I met my first sponsor who paid for an ad in the Boston Globe, which created buzz and sold-out screenings. Three weeks later, I decided to leave the school and move to New York where the First Israel Film Festival took place.

What words of wisdom would you give to someone pursuing a career in the film and television industry?

Love what you do, work hard, be determined, be patient, dream big and don’t give up

What’s your next project?

The 36th ISRAEL FILM FESTIVAL in Los Angeles, November 1-15, 2023

Lastly, we’d love to know, what is your favorite Jewish comfort food?

Matzo Ball Soup