HCA NEWS Hans Christian Andersen in Israel

The acclaimed Israeli actress Gila Almagor has accepted to become a Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador.

By tkr - Dansk Institut for Gymnasiepædagogik - 01 April 2005

During the spring of 2005 Gila Almagor will receive the official appointment as Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador. The Danish ambassador to Israel, Carsten A. Damsgaard, will make the appointment at an event at the Royal Danish Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Gila Almagor is a highly awarded actress, educated in New York with some of the finest teachers, such as Lee Strassberg and Utah Hagen. Almagor is an experienced actress within both theatre and movies. She has played leading roles in both classical and modern plays and has appeared in more than 50 movies. She has won several prizes for her acting, among these are The Israeli Critics Award for the film "Schor" and the Israeli Oscar for Lifetime Achievment in the Israeli Film.

Besides her career as an actress Gila Almagor has also distinguished herself as a writer. Her first book "The Summer of Aviya" has been translated into 15 different languages and is now a part of the curriculum in the Israeli schools. "The Summer of Aviya" has been adapted for both theatre and film. Almagor herself starred in the movie version, which has won several prizes such as the Berlin Silver Bear, the Spanish Valladolid "Golden Spike", the Dutch Cine Kid Prize, the prize of the best foreign film in San Remo in Italy and the Unicef Prize in Yugoslavia. Apart from "The Summer of Aviya" Gila Almagor has also published three other books.

In 2004 Gila Almagor received the Israel Prize, for her contribution to Israeli film. The Israel Prize is the most prestigious award presented annually on the eve of the Israeli Independence Day in a state ceremony in Jerusalem. The recipients of this Prize are Israeli citizens who have displayed particular excellence in their field or have contributed strongly to Israeli culture.

Apart from her work as an actress and writer, Gila Almagor is also the founder of The Israeli Artists Association I.U.P.A. as well as the founder of "The Gila Almagor's Wishes Foundation" which supports children with severe diseases. Almagor is also the head of The Cancer Association in Tel Aviv. In 1996 she was awarded the President's medal of volunteers, the highest decoration for volunteers in Israel.

As a Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador Gila Almagor will represent the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation. She has accepted to spread the awareness of Andersen in Israel and of the world-wide celebration of his 200 years. She will also represent the humanitarian foundation the HCA-abc Foundation, which in Andersen's name will join in the fight against illiteracy on a global level.