Just another film festival in Los Angeles? Not quite the case with the Israel Film Festival, now in its 24th year, and the largest showcase of Israeli films in the United States. From its humble beginnings, screening only half a dozen films, the festival throughout the years has presented 800 features and spotlights Israel’s thriving film and television industry.

Some of the most profound, provocative and insightful independent films and shorts to be showcased include Lost Islands, directed by Reshef Levy. This autobiographical drama set in the 1980s is an ode to his childhood, the importance of fulfilling dreams and staying loyal to family. The film’s plot thickens when twin brothers fall in love with the same girl and must choose between family ties and true love.

In Srugim, director Eliezer Shapiro communicates his views and perceptions on well-educated singles, their romance and life in Jerusalem. This film explores how single, young adults work to create normal lives under the constraints of religious upbringing and the pressure to marry early, yet still seek warmth, love and companionship.

For My Father, a film that tackles a hot-button issue, the Israel-Palestinian conflict, is about Terek, a young Palestinian on a suicide mission in Tel-Aviv, given a second chance to reconsider his actions when the fuse on his explosive vest fails to detonate. Forced to spend the weekend in Tel-Aviv, he meets a beautiful Israeli woman, Keren, and unlikely love blooms between two individuals raised to be enemies.

With offerings from light to serious fare, the festival aims to reach a diverse audience. Art truly does imitate life, and the filmmakers involved in the Israel Film Festival believe that telling their crucial stories to the world makes a huge difference.

For more information, visit la.israelfilmfestival.com/the-festival