By Elizabeth Boone
An Orthodox Jew, a gay man with a baby on the way and an anti-terrorist squad leader.
Yiftach Klein has played it all.
The 41-year-old actor now takes on a new role as a visiting artist for the fall 2014 semester at the University of Florida School of Theatre + Dance where he is teaching a course in solo performance.
Students and members of the community can catch him in action in “Policeman,” his latest film that has won awards at numerous film festivals, including the Philadelphia Film Festival. The screening will take place at the Hippodrome Cinema in Gainesville, Florida, Tuesday, Sept. 9 at 6 p.m. followed by a Q-and-A session with Klein.
The film is about an elite anti-terrorist squad leader (Klein) who is battling the challenges of becoming a father for the first time and the failing health of a friend in the midst of a rise of an extremist terrorist group.
The entire film took only 24 days to shoot — the standard length in Israel due to budget constraints, according to Klein.
But that certainly didn’t mean less work for Klein. He trained about 10 hours every week to get into shape for the role. After boxing for three years, Klein was happy to feel the burn again.
And the strength wasn’t just for show. In the film, he carries his wife who is nine months pregnant (the actress was five months pregnant in real life) up a flight of stairs.
“I had to hold her really tight,” Klein said. “It was scary, but it was great.”
Klein would love to have his UF students see the film. He said everyone can take their own message away from it.
“I want my students to create their own piece,” Klein said. “Something solid that they can show wherever they want and develop it.”
Klein said he is also thrilled to offer students a different cultural perspective from his teaching. While he is enjoying American society, he also wants to provide insight on life in Israel. There, he has acted in numerous stage productions at The Cameri Theatre in his hometown of Tel Aviv and received his acting degree from Nissan Nativ Acting Studio. He comes to UF after starring in the critically-acclaimed film, “Fill the Void.”
For more information about the “Policeman” screening at the Hippodrome Cinema, visitthehipp.org. Tickets are $7.50 and seating is limited.