By Claire Aguilar
Vice President of Programming, ITVS
Since its inception in 1999, DocAviv has become one of the leading cultural events in Israel with the aim of promoting Israeli and international documentary film. ITVS’s Claire Aguilar attended the 2012 DocAviv International Film Festival May 3-12, as a juror for Israeli Competition.
Over the last 10 years, Israel has become one of the leading sources of independently-produced documentary films. There is a dizzying abundance of documentary films and filmmakers in Israel — and not only are there many, they have also been successful: showcased in international festivals, sold to broadcasters in Israel and in the U.S. and Europe, winning prizes and garnering international press. It has been amazing to witness the growth of strong, innovative, and diverse Israeli films — covering subjects that you would expect to see from Israeli filmmakers, such as the Arab-Israeli conflict — but also covering the personal and global experience, films about family, identity, and culture, with other films covering globalization, immigration, and homophobia.
I heard from one filmmaker that there are at least 20 film schools in Israel, and that is mostly counting only Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The community of documentary filmmakers is intimate, diverse, and full of talent — and here at ITVS, we have been fortunate to work with many Israeli filmmakers over the past eight years and have showcased them on U.S. public television: Ari Folman’s Waltz with Bashir, Dalit Kimor’s Pickles, Inc., Yoav Shamir’s Flipping Out, Ran Tal’s The Children of the Sun, Nati Baratz’s Unmistaken Child, Ruthie Shatz, and Adi Baratz’s The Collaborator and His Family, and many others. Continue reading