DocAviv Galil 2011: November 28 – December 2, 2011

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Borderlines by Yakie Ayalon and Yousef Abo Madegem/Photo: Elad Asoulin and Rad El Makawi

DocAviv Galil opens its third year of activity with an expanded program of 35 films, including two premieres: Amit Goren’s Dangerous Children and Yakie Ayalon and Yousef Abo Madegem’s Borderlines. The festival will take place in Maalot Tarshiha from November 28 – December 2, 2011. DocAviv Galil is the initiative of the DocAviv Board of Directors, which produces the festival in collaboration with the Municipality of Maalot Tarshiha and the encouragement of Mayor Shlomo Buhbut. In addition to making the new crop of documentary films accessible to the residents of northern Israel, the festival aims to foster the making of films that relate to the periphery in their choice of location or subject, and the development of filmmakers in communities beyond the urban centers of Israel.

Artistic director Sinai Abt said, “This year DocAviv Galil will place special emphasis on the social issues currently at the forefront of the public’s concerns that form the basis for many of the documentaries. The discussions surrounding social issues and justice become more pertinent in the context of the festival’s place in the periphery.”

Ben and Miriam Weissenstein - Life in Stills by Tamar Tal

Opening the festival will be Life in Stills, written and directed by Tamar Tal and produced by Barak Heymann. The award winning film (Best Israeli documentary and Best Editing at DocAviv 2011) tells the story of a remarkable woman, Miriam Weissenstein, full of verve, drive and opinions, the honest and loving relationship she has with her grandson Ben, and the drama as they fight City Hall to save their family legacy: The Photohouse.

New to the festival this year will be a “Social” Pitching event produced in collaboration with the Gesher Multicultural Film Fund that will enable documentary filmmakers to meet with activists, representatives of funds, NGOs and other social organizations with the purpose of initiating collaborations and co-productions. The Galil in One Day, a film created especially for the festival from materials filmed by students from the Galillee area, will premiere at the festival. A collaboration of DocAviv with Jump Cut School of Editing and Animation, the film reflects the perspective of local residents. Jump Cut will also conduct an animation workshop for children.

Amit Goren's film Dangerous Children

Chef Eyal Shani will judge a home-cooking competition, revealing the hidden treasures of local Maalot Tarshiha cuisine. The competition will be accompanied by the screening of David Gelb’s film Jiro Dreams of Sushi, documenting world famous sushi chef Jiro Ono.  Among the interesting festival offerings is The Language of the Street, a workshop for students and industry professionals from the content creators for the Israeli Sesame Street program which attempts to negotiate the complex Israeli reality for a diverse audience of children. The workshop will be followed by a screening of the film Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey by Constance Marks.

Image from Iraq 'N Roll by Gili Gaon

Dudu Tassa will perform at the festival following the screening of Iraq ‘N Roll. The present is transformed through the encounter with the past in this documentary directed by Gili Gaon. Contemporary Israeli musician Dudu Tassa researches his family’s musical heritage – the Al-Kuwaity Brothers. Saleh and Daoud, Tassa’s grandfather, were celebrated musicians in Iraq. Yet when they immigrated to Israel in 1951, they remained on the margins of Israeli culture, performing at weddings and Bar Mitzvahs, and operating a small store selling kitchen utensils in the shuk to eke out a living. Crushed by circumstances, they forbade their children to become musicians or even learn to play an instrument.

There will be a festive screening of short documentaries focusing on the Galilee and the people who live and work there, all made at the docuVillage multicultural center in Tarshiha. The screening will be followed by an ethnic rock performance of the Druze band at the Maalot Performing Arts Center.

The complete festival program is available (in Hebrew) on the DocAviv Galil site.

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