×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Israel’s Docaviv Festival to Focus on Women, Refugees for Landmark 20th Edition

Docaviv, Israel’s only festival devoted exclusively to documentary filmmaking, will celebrate its 20th birthday in May with a jam-packed screening schedule focusing on women’s empowerment, refugees and the ever-complicated politics of globalization. In the lineup are films about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and fashion designer Alexander McQueen.

The festival, considered one of the most prestigious documentary festivals in the world, takes place annually in Tel Aviv, with screenings across the city. This year, 121 films – both from promising Israeli documentarians and established international directors – will be shown at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque and a number of other locations.

Among the highlights: Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosolowski will present “The Prince and the Dybbuk,” which won Best Documentary at the Venice Film Festival last year; Switzerland’s Markus Imhoof will compete in the international competition with “Eldorado,” his hard look at the current refugee crisis in Europe; and Maryam Ebrahimi, an Iranian director living in exile in Sweden, will make history by bringing to the Jewish state her deep dive into Iranian propaganda, “Stronger Than a Bullet.”

Ebrahimi will be in good company with a number of other strong female director. Julie Cohen and Betsy West are bringing “RBG,” a look at Justice Ginsburg that reveals the complicated woman behind the lace collar. Stefanie Brockhaus and her co-director, Andy Wolff, will present “The Poetess,” about the veiled Saudi poet Hissa Hilal. Irene Lusztig offers “Yours in Sisterhood,” a time capsule of 40 years of letters sent to the editor of the feminist bible “Ms.” magazine.

“This year’s rich program presents cinema that is a response to the current mood of women’s protest against the patriarchy, film that asks questions and examines itself,” says Karin Rywkind Segal, Docaviv’s artistic director.

Another anticipated offering is “McQueen,” director Ian Bonhote’s intimate look at the late fashion designer, who committed suicide in 2010. “McQueen” had its world premiere Sunday at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Docaviv celebrates its 20th birthday at a fraught moment. Israeli filmmakers are facing increased hostility and calls for censorship from the nation’s right-wing government, while Israeli films – including both narrative features like “Foxtrot” and deep-dive documentaries including “Dancing in Jaffa,” “The Gatekeepers” and “5 Broken Cameras” (a joint Israeli-Palestinian directorial project – have never enjoyed more international respect.

Also this year, Docaviv will inaugurate an important new competition category: the documentary short. The winner will automatically be submitted as a nominee for the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Film, akin to how the winner of Israel’s Ophir Award for Best Picture automatically becomes the nation’s nominee for the Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film.

Judges at Docaviv include Hot Docs’ Shane Smith;  Josh Siegel, curator of motion pictures at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; Alice Burgin, director of the Australian International Documentary Conference; and producers Hans Robert Eisenhower and Julia Ningham.

Docaviv runs May 17-26.

More Film

  • Jon Feltheimer

    Lionsgate Posts Loss, Underperforms Wall Street Expectations

    Lionsgate has posted a quarterly loss and its revenues and operating income have come in under Wall Street projections, despite growth from its premium cable channel, Starz. The studio reported a net loss of $24 million, or 11 cents a share, with adjusted operating income of $103 million for its fourth fiscal quarter ended March [...]

  • Cannes: China's 'Summer of Changsha' Debuts

    Cannes: China's 'Summer of Changsha' Debuts Without Censorship Approval

    Chinese crime drama “Summer of Changsha” screened at the Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section despite lacking the necessary approvals from China’s censors. It premiered without its director or creative team in attendance, who blamed “technical reasons” for their absence — marking the third time that Chinese censorship appears to have caused [...]

  • Jane Austin SAG AFTRA

    SAG-AFTRA Secretary-Treasurer Jane Austin Running for President

    Jane Austin, the National Secretary-Treasurer of SAG-AFTRA, has become the third candidate for the presidency of the performers union, joining incumbent Gabrielle Carteris and Matthew Modine. Austin is running as an independent for the top post at SAG-AFTRA, which has 160,000 members. Carteris will seek re-election as the head of the ticket for the Unite [...]

  • John Wick Chapter 3

    'John Wick: Chapter 3' Tones Down the Blood and Gore to Keep Look 'Totally Real'

    When Jeff Campbell, a visual effects supervisor with VFX studio Spin, initially set to work on the first “John Wick,” the 2014 action thriller from director Chad Stahelski and writer Derek Kolstad, he started with an industry-standard test: Establish a single, simple kill effect meant to get a sense of the look of the violence [...]

  • Louise Courvoisier’s ‘Mano a Mano’ Wins Cinéfondation

    Louise Courvoisier’s ‘Mano a Mano’ Wins Cannes Cinefondation Selection Top Prize

    CANNES–“Mano a Mano,” by Louise Courvoisier of France’s CinéFabrique, won the first prize Thursday at the 22nd Cinéfondation Selection,the Cannes Film Festival’s top film school shorts awards. The prize was awarded by a jury headed by French director Claire Denis (“Beau Travail”). The jury also included French actress Stacy Martin (“Godard mon amour”); Israeli writer-director Eran [...]

  • The Traitor

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Traitor'

    What surprises most about Marco Bellocchio’s Mafia drama “The Traitor” is just how straightforward it is. Given its subject — Tommaso Buscetta, the highest-ranking Mafia don to sing to the authorities — there were expectations that the director would deliver a theatrical drama along the lines of “Vincere,” but notwithstanding a few operatic flourishes, his [...]

  • Perfect Strangers

    Zhao Tao, Rajkumar Hirani Join Shanghai Festival Jury

    Italian director Paolo Genovese and Chinese actress Zhao Tao are among members of the jury for the upcoming Shanghai International Film Festival. They join the previously announced jury president, 2014 Cannes Palme d’Or winner Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the Turkish director behind last year’s “The Wild Pear Tree.” Genovese’s 2016 film “Perfect Strangers” made $7.7 million [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content