As the main topic of this year’s festival, Docaviv will
feature a select group of thought-provoking films about a world that is
changing with the collapse of physical and social boundaries, growing economic
disparities, the waves of refugees and immigrants, civil wars, international
terrorism, and the ultimate undoing of social solidarity.
Within the framework of this theme the program does
not only include documentaries about terror and refugees, but also about a
fragmented society which is losing its solidarity. Both in Israel and elsewhere
the gap between the haves and the have-nots is widening, and so are the
frustrations and the unrest. Israeli and international titles correlating to
these themes can be found throughout the entire festival program:
A tense, minute-by-minute, Rashomon-style account
of a tragic day. On October 18, 2015, a terrorist armed with a gun and a knife
entered Beersheba’s bus terminal. Within 18 minutes Omri Levy, a soldier was killed
and Abtum Zarhum, Eritrean immigrant asylum seeker, was lynched after being
mistaken for a terrorist.
“The Settlers” – Premiered in Sundance, Director
A far-reaching, comprehensive look at the Jewish
settlement enterprise in the West Bank. It examines the origins of the
settlement movement and the religious and ideological visions that propelled
it, while providing an intimate look at the people at the center of the greatest
geopolitical challenge now facing Israel and the international community. (ISA
“Town on a Wire” – premiered at CPH: Dox Dir: Uri
While Tel Aviv is thriving, just ten minutes away lies
the town of Lod, right in the backyard of Israel’s bustling urban center.
Unlike its affluent neighbor, Lod is a city that suffers from the blight of
racism, crime, and sheer desperation. Can it be saved? Is there some way to
bring hope to Lod’s Arab and Jewish residents?
“Foucoammare”/ “Fire at Sea” – by Gianfranco Rosi – winner of Golden Bear, Berlinale 2016 –every day the inhabitants of the Italian Island
Lampedusa are confronted with the
flight of refugees to Europe . These people long for peace and freedom and
often only their dead bodies are pulled out of the water. (Contact ISA: Doc
& Film Int’l. U.S.: Kino Lorber)
“Between fences” – by Avi Mograbi -.
In an Israeli detention center asylum-seekers from Eritrea and Sudan can’t
be sent back to their own countries, but have no prospects in Israel either
thanks to the country’s policies. Chen Alon and Avi Mograbi, initiate a theatre
workshop to give these people the opportunity to address their own experiences
of forced migration and discrimination and to confront an Israeli society that
views them as dangerous infiltrators.
“A Syrian Love Story” – by Sean McAllister -You can’t be
Che Guevara and a mother Amer tells Raghda, but maybe she can’t do it any other
way. After years of struggle, life without her homeland and the revolution has
no meaning for her. It is hard to determine what is more demanding in this bold
film: the revolution, or the search for inner peace. (Contact ISA: Cat &
“Homo Sapiens” – by Nikolaus Geyrhalter – what does humanity leave behind when
its gone? It sometimes seems as if the mark that humans leave on this planet
will last forever. The truth is that the iron, bricks, cement, and steel – the
human traces everywhere abandoned and forgotten – are erased by the forces of nature.
This unusually beautiful film may lack people and words, but that leaves even
more room for thought.(Contact ISA:
“Land of the Enlightened” – Premiered at Sundance FF 2016. Shot
over seven years on evocative 16mm footage, first-time director Pieter-Jan De
Pue paints a whimsical yet haunting look at the condition of Afghanistan left
for the next generation. As American soldiers prepare to leave, we follow De
Pue deep into this hidden land where young boys form wild gangs to control
trade routes, sell explosives from mines left over from war, making the new
rules of war based on the harsh landscape left to them. (Contact ISA: Films
“Flickering Truth” – Premiered at Toronto FF 2015. Director Pietra Brettkelly (The Art
Star and the Sudanese Twins) directs
this harrowing, compelling film about the power of cinema to preserve our history
and in so doing potentially change our futures. (Contact ISA: Film Sales Company)
“Requiem for the American Dream” – Directed by Peter D. Hutchison,
Kelly Nyks, Jared P. Scott. In ten
chilling but lucid chapters, Noam Chomsky, one of the great intellectuals of
our time, analyzes the “system,” which allows wealthy capitalists to seize the
reins of government and turn those without wealth into a passive herd, willing
to forego power, solidarity, and democracy itself. (U.S.: Gravitas. Contact ISA:
festival will open with a first film by Israeli director Roman Shumunov
“Babylon Dreamers” Directed by Roman Somonob. An intimate report about a troupe of immigrants from the
former Soviet Union, from one of Ashdod’s poorest neighborhoods; they struggle
to survive facing harsh conditions – poverty, mental illness, and broken
families. They channel their anger and cling to their dream of attending and
winning the International Breakdance Championship.
Some 70 Israeli films produced over the last year
were submitted out of which 13 films have been selected for the Israeli
Competition. They will be competing for the largest cash prize for documentary
filmmaking in Israel 70,000 NIS (US$ 15,000). Other awards in the competition
include the Mayor’s Prize for the Most Promising Filmmaker, the Prize for
Editing, the Prize for Cinematography, the Prize for Research, and the Prize
for Original Score.
Wonderful Kingdom of Papa Alaev,” directors Tal Barda, Noam Pinchas –Tajikistan’s answer
to the Jackson Family. A modern-day Shakespearean tale about a famous Tajik
musical family, controlled by their charismatic patriarch-grandfather – Papa
“A Tale of
Two Balloons” by Zohar Wagner – The tale of a women who thought a pair of perfect breasts
would help her find true love. But when that love came along, those perfect
breasts had to go.
“Aida’s Secrets,” director
Alon Schwarz – At 68, Izak learns
he has a brother he never knew about. As part of the discoveries about the
family, the film uncovers the story of the Displaced Persons camps- the vibrant
and often wild social life that flourished immediately after WW2.
Mother” by Yael Kipper and Ronen Zaretzky – The story of elderly women born in
Morocco and Yemen, who were married off when they were still little girls. Only
now, as they enter the final chapter of their lives, do they openly face their
past and the ways it still affects them and their families.
Shaman” directed by Raz Degan – Inspired by an article he read, James decides
to travel to the Amazon rainforests, in search of a shaman whom he thinks can
save him from a clinical depression that haunts him.
“The Patriarch’s Room” by Danae Elon -The bizarre imprisonment of the former head of the Greek
Orthodox Church in a tiny monastic cell in Jerusalem’s Old City leads to a
fascinating journey in search of the truth, penetrating the remote world of the
priesthood. The complex and unfamiliar picture that emerges is revealed here,
on camera, for the very first time.
of the Brain” by Nurith Aviv –weaving associative links between
her personal biographical stories and neuroscientists’ accounts of their work.
They discuss topics such as memory, bilingualism, reading, mirror neurons, smell,
traces of experience.
Italia,” by Tamar Tal Anati (winner of Docaviv for Life in Stills) -Three
Italian Jewish brothers set off on a journey through Tuscany, in search of a
cave where they hid as children to escape the Nazis. Their quest, full of humor,
food and Tuscan landscapes, straddles the boundary between history and myth,
both of which really, truly happened.
“Week 23” by Ohad
Milstein – Rahel, the daughter of a Swiss bishop, is coping with a difficult
pregnancy in Israel. One of the identical twins she is carrying has died in
utero, and now poses an almost certain threat to its sibling. The doctors are
unequivocal about it. They tell Rahel that she should abort the surviving fetus
and end her pregnancy.
Settlers” by Shimon Dotan; Town On A Wire directed by Uri
Rosenwaksand Eyal Blachson; Death
in the Terminal by Tali Shemesh and Asaf Sudry, and Babylon
Dreamers by Roman Shumunov.
The Members of the selection committee included
Sinai Abt, artistic director of the Docaviv Film Festival; director Reuven
Brodsky, winner of Docaviv in 2012 for his film Home Movie and of Honorable Mention at Docaviv in
2015 and film editor Ayelet Ofarim.
Twelve films have been selected for the International Competition, which will
open with the The Happy Film by Stefan
Seigmeister. Also competing are Jerzy Sladkowski’s Don Juan, winner of the IDFA Award; Author: The J.T. LeRoy Story about the imaginary cult figure who
became the darling of New York society and nightlife, picked up by Amazon at
Sundance as its first doc title. Another festival favorite is A Flickering Truth and Sean McAllister’s
daring award winning documentary A
Syrian Love Story.
The Depth of
Field Competition will open with LoveTrue by director Alma Har’el,
who will be a juror for the Israeli Film Competition. This is the Competition’s
third year, held in conjunction with the Film Critics’ Forum that will award
films for an outstanding and daring artistic vision. Other films that will be screened
as part of the competition include Sundance winners Kate Plays Christine by Robert Greene, and Pieter-Jan De Pue’s
hybrid documentary The Land of the
Enlightened; other titles that will be shown are Hotel Dallas by wife and husband artist duo Livia Ungur and
Sherng-Lee Huang, The Hong Kong Trilogy by noted cinematographer Christopher
Doyle , and the musical- turned into documentary London Road by Rufus Norris and Alecky Blythe.
Masters Section, a new category in the festival, highlighting new
films by world renowned directors will be opened by Fire at Sea by director Gianfranco Rosi, winner of the Golden Bear
at this year’s Berlinale. Avi Mograbi’s
Between Fences will be
accompanied by a play by the Holot Legislative Theater, with a cast of actors
that includes Israelis and African asylum seekers.
Other films in this section include amongst others Junun, Paul Thomas Anderson’s portrayal
of a musical project involving Shye Ben-Tzur and Jonny Greenwood, Homo Sapiens by director Nikolaus
Geyrhalter, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine by director Alex Gibney, To the Desert by director Judd Neeman, Unlocking the Cage by directors D.A.
Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, De Palma
by co-director Noah Baumbach and He Named Me Malala by David Guggenheim.
Panorama selection of films will include amongst others the moving Strike a Pose, by Ester Gould and Reijer
Zwaan about the dancers who accompanied Madonna on her “Blond Ambition” tour, Roger
Ross Williams ‘Life, Animated
depicting the remarkable story of an autistic boy, who learned how to
communicate with his surroundings through Disney films, Those Who Jump about an African refugee who films attempts by other
refugees to jump the barbed wire border fence in North Africa and Louis Theroux: My Scientology Film.
This year’s Arts
Section will include Music of
Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble by Academy Award winner
Morgan Neville; I Don’t Belong Anywhere: The Cinema of
Chantal Akerman, which was
produced shortly before her tragic death, Listen
to Me, Marlon, which tells the story of Marlon Brando through the audio
recordings he made throughout his life, Peggy
Guggenheim: Art Addict, the
salacious story of art collector Peggy Guggenheim, Koudelka Shooting Holy Land, Gilad Baram’s film about famous Czech
photographer Josef Koudelka’s travels along the Separation Fence, and more.
Seven films produced by the top film schools in
Israel were selected to compete in the annual Student Film Competition. The prize for the competition was donated
by the Gottesman family in memory of Ruti Gottesman, a leading supporter of
Docaviv and of documentary.
The Members of the selection committee included
Karin Ryvind Segal, programming director for Docaviv, Hila Avraham, curator and
expert on film and audiovisual media preservation and screenwriter Danny
Rosenberg, whose work includes the films My Father’s House , Susia and the
television series Johnny and the
Knights of the Galilee.
Guests attending the Festival:
Award winning Director Ondi Timoner, will be
attending the Israeli premiere of her film Russell
Brand: A Second Coming. Her Sundance-winning film Dig! will be among the music documentaries screened
at the Tel Aviv Port. In conjunction with the Film Department of Beit Berl
College, Timoner will also be conducting a special master class for students,
professionals, and amateurs.
This year’s festival will include a special tribute
to acclaimed director Nikolaus Geyrhalter who will be attending the
festival with his recent Homo Sapiens.
This year’s festival will also include two previous films of his, Our Daily Bread and Abendland,.
International jury members
attending the festival include:
Adriek van Nieuwenhuyzen, Director of the IDFA
industry office; Gary Kam, producer of Planet of Snail; film director Alma
Har’el (Bombay Beach; LoveTrue)
; Nilotpal, Director of Docedge Kolkata, Sascha Lara Bleuler, Director of the
Human Rights Film Festival in Zurich, and film director Tatiana Brandrup.
Israeli jurors include:
Director Dror Moreh, director and producer Barak
Heymann, director Robby Elmaliah, producer Elinor Kowarsky, photographer David Adika, and film
editor Tal Rabiner.
town. A record number of twelve screening venues spread out across Tel Aviv
will offer free screenings. These are: Habima Square, the Beit Danny Community
Center, the Hatikvah neighborhood, the Arab-Jewish Community Center in Jaffa,
the rooftop of Tel Aviv City Hall, WeWork, Levinsky Park, Bar Kayma, Beit
Romano, the Nalaga’at Center, Picnic Little Italy-Sarona Tel Aviv, and Artport.
The Tel Aviv Port will
continue to host the festival this year, with outdoor screenings of music films
with guest deejays from KZRadio.
Films to be screened at the port include Janis:
Little Girl Blue, The Reflektor Tapes
about the band Arcade Fire,
P.T Andersoan’s Junun about the musical collaboration
between Shye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood, Nigel Godrich,
and a dozen Indian musicians.
Firsts. DocaviVR: a collaboration
between Docaviv and Steamer, Israel’s first Interactive and Virtual Reality
Film Festival, presents original documentary projects from Israel and around
the world, created especially for viewing with VR gear. The event will take
place at Beit Romano. A cinema will pop up in one of Tel Aviv’s trendy hubs,
with 25 stations equipped with VR gear.
conference aims to promote dcomentary across the country by bringing together cultural coordinators and
artistic directors from across the country to introduce them to the latest
documentary films from Israel and around the world.
Platform for Alternative Documentation at Artport art space: A
performative piece that brings together film artists, social activists, and
researchers studying the various aesthetic, social, and philosophical aspects
of documentation. Curated by Laliv Melamed and Gilad Reich.
audiences. For the first time, films from The Next Doc will be screened, a special initiative of Docaviv, the Second
Channel, and the New Fund for Film and Television, which led to the production
of three films created especially for a teenage audience.
Docaviv will also be hosting the final event of Docu Young, at which films by students
in residential schools, who participated in film workshops , will be screened.
Competition will feature the best documentary films produced
by students in high school film programs throughout the country. For the first
time, voting for this year’s competition will be held online and open to high
school students across the country.
Among the Screenings of docs for kids are Victor Kosakovsky’s “Varicella”, and “Landfilharmonic”.
Over the course of the festival, 110 films will be