The 22nd edition of the Docaviv Festival will take place online, from September 3 – 12. Experts on reality – the raw material of documentaries – the festival team has been creative and flexible in contending with the changing reality of the COVID19 pandemic. The current edition of the festival has been developed with attention to creating a vibrant and accessible online program. Docaviv 2020 will present 115 new documentary films from 38 countries, with 54 of these films directed by women. The festival will feature world premieres, conversations with directors, webinars, and industry related events – all online, on the Docaviv website. Among the highlights of the festival will be a tribute to Chilean documentary filmmaker Patricio Guzmán, with screenings of his “Chilean trilogy”: Nostalgia for the Light (2010), The Pearl Button (2015), and The Cordillera of Dreams (2019).
Opening the festival on September 2nd will be the Israeli film Rockfour: The Time Machine, directed by Gad Aisen. The documentary follows one of Israel’s most veteran psychedelic rock bands, Rockfour. The screening will be accompanied by a live performance of Rockfour, streamed from the Docaviv studio.
Docaviv’s online format offers some advantages to viewers, for example, films will be available for viewing 24/7, rather than at a specific day and time. Israeli films will hold their premiere at a set time, to be followed by a conversation with the filmmakers, however, following the premiere the films will be available 24/7 for the next 10 days. The online format also enables the festival to virtually host a greater number of industry guests.
Guests this year will include:
Experimental documentary filmmaker Lynne Sachs, who will present two films: States of Unbelonging (2005), and Film About a Father Who (2020) in which the filmmaker documented her father from 1984 to 2019.
Hubert Sauper (Darwin’s Nightmare 2004) returns to Docaviv with his latest film, Epicentro, a portrait of Cuba and its people, which held its world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
Sergei Loznitsa, whose film Donbass won Best Director in Un Certain Regard at Cannes in 2018, will present State Funeral (2019), which employs archival material for a perspective on Stalin’s funeral.
Maite Alberdi, considered one of the new voices in Latin American documentary filmmaking, will present The Mole Agent (2020), which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
Alexander Nanau‘s The Collective (2019) follows an investigation of the Colective nightclub fire by journalists of the Romanian newspaper Gazeta Sporturilor, uncovering corruption with far-reaching consequences. The film premiered at the 76th Venice Film Festival 2019.
Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets, an intriguing film by the Ross Brothers – Bill and Turner – blurs the line between documentary and fiction.
The American Sector by Courtney Stephens and Pacho Velez, is an unusual travelogue, as the filmmakers visit pieces of the Berlin Wall located in different sites and settings in the United States.
This year, Docaviv will inaugurate a new prize, to be awarded to films whose filmmaker or protagonists work for social, political and environmental change. Among the films nominated in this category are: The Fight (2020), directed by Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriefman, and Eli Espres, which follows the efforts of ACLU lawyers to protect individual freedoms; The Cave (2019), a Syrian-Danish documentary directed by Feras Fayyad which follows Amani Ballour, a doctor who runs an underground hospital in the midst of the Syrian Civil War; Aswang (2020), directed by Alyx Ayn Arumpac, follows several different individuals whose lives have been impacted by Philippine President Duterte’s drug war, which has given the police free rein to use violence; Coded Bias (2020), directed by Shalini Kantayya, follows MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini in her investigation of and fight against the biases embedded into current AI technology.
Supporting and promoting Israeli documentary filmmaking, Docaviv, in cooperation with the Tel Aviv Foundation, has launched a new initiative, making it possible for viewers to contribute directly to filmmakers through the website. The Tel Aviv Municipality will match all donations.
The full list of films and additional information will be available on the Docaviv website.