The elegant, glamorous, sophisticated, and most talented British actress, Dame Helen Mirren, graced the stage of the Saban Theatre, as she was honored with the prestigious IFF Career Achievement Award. Mirren, the epitome of class and beauty, began her acting career with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1967, and is one of the rare actors, who have won the “triple crown of acting,” in all three mediums: Stage, Screen, and Television. She won the Oscar for her magnificent performance as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen. Her recent film, “Woman in Gold,” will be shown at the festival, featuring the compelling true story of one woman’s journey to reclaim her heritage and seek justice post World War II. Clips of her amazing range of work were shown to the mesmerized audience, including “The Queen,” “The Hundred Foot Journey,” “The Last Station,” “Calendar Girls,” and ‘Red,” to name a few. In 2014, Bafta announced that Mirren would be the recipient of the Academy Fellowship. Mirren’s acceptance speech was truly gracious, with a most poignant compliment, “The great thing that Israel has is Israelis.” She shared personal anecdotes about her first time visiting the land of Israel and spending time on a kibbutz. She eloquently compared the building blocks of her personal career to the building blocks of this great country. Her presence at this festival garnered a standing ovation, so well deserved.
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