DocAviv 2010

Teacher Irena/Photo: Yossi Aviram

From the trendy to the esoteric, and exploring every angle in-between, DOCAVIV 2010, the International Documentary Film Festival, opens May 6 with events taking place at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, ZOA, Tel Aviv Museum and under the stars at the Tel Aviv Port. Itamar Chen’s “Teacher Irena”   – a year in the life of a classroom in the Katamon, an impoverished neighborhood of Jerusalem, under the discipline and dedication of their teacher Irena, a Russian immigrant – will be the opening film of the festival.

Looking to the past, present and future of film, the festival presents contemporary Israeli and international documentaries, while nurturing a new generation of filmmakers through workshops, student competitions and projects such as DocuChallenge, as well as honoring and preserving film history. This year’s festival pays a tribute to INA (Institut National de l’Audiovisuel), established in 1974 to conserve the collective memory through archiving, digitization and preservation of audiovisual assets. The INA archive is one of largest in existence, including film, television and radio. INA has initiated many productions and co-productions worldwide, two films will be screened in this program: In the Name of Islam (France 2009) and Petition (China-France 2009).

In addition to the Israeli and International film competitions, there are several special screenings. DocArt includes a look at Igor Sevitzky’s collection of forbidden art from the Stalin era, the influence of Vermeer, follows Maestro Valery Gergiev on tour and takes the nostalgic tour with the folk sound of Joan Baez. Celebrating the Mondial is DocuSport with films focusing on referees, legendary boxer Mike Tyson, and the love of football.

Inspired by music? This year’s line-up offers an extended and diverse music programme including: When You’re Strange (The Doors), They Call it Acid, Woodstock: Now and Then and more. In addition to screenings at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, these three films will have FREE outdoor screenings at the Tel Aviv Port. For the aspiring filmmaker, DocAviv presents a unique workshop on making music documentaries with the directors of “Blur: No Distance Left to Run” Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern on Saturday, May 15 at 12:00 at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque. How do you communicate that wild rush of sound and emotion of a live concert to the screen? This is the place to find out.

Films For Change will screen “Bogota Change” (Denmark 2008) and hold a panel discussion on Wednesday, May 12: “Cracks in the Asphalt – Creating Change in an Urban Environment,” moderated by Amir Goren, with the participation of film director Andreas Mol Dalsgaard, architect and urban planner Lea Katz, and Michal Barzel Cohen, founder of “Green, Not Cement – Central Tel Aviv Residents Organization.” The panel will examine the forces involved in building, developing and changing a city, looking at the interaction of citizens, politics and urban design in the process.

DocuChallenge is now in its second year at the festival. Energetic filmmakers will have 5 days to create a film 4 – 7 minutes in length on the topic of “power”. The films will be screened on Wednesday, May 12 at the Tel Aviv Port, Tel Aviv Cinematheque and The Third Ear.

For a complete program and more details, check out the wonderful DocAviv site (in English!). Tickets may be purchased online:,, or call: 03-6060800.