Northern experience

Warming up to the art of the documentary in the Galilee.

November 10, 2013 06:15
3 minute read.
‘MR GAGA’ chronicles Batsheva director Ohad Naharin.

gal.docu 370. (photo credit: Gadi Dagon)


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The 5th DocAviv Galilee Festival highlights two trends: the growing excitement in the documentary film industry and the shift in focus in the arts community away from Tel Aviv and towards the periphery of the country.

This year’s festival takes place November 12 to 16 in Ma’alot Tarshiha, a gorgeous and restful setting imbued with history, legend and natural beauty.

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It will feature 30 documentary films from Israel and abroad, as well as workshops, performances and meetings with artists.

Festival CEO Galia Bador says, “Five years ago, DocAviv Galilee started on the periphery...

The Galilee festival has become part of the scene of the yearly cultural life in the Galilee and, at the same time, was the opening salvo of the extensive activity across the country of the DocAviv Association.

During the last two years, documentary film series were established in many places and are an additional platform for artists and documentary work in Israel.”

Among the highlights of this year’s festival will be the world premiere of Damned, a new series by Hagai Levi, the writer/producer/ director who created the TV show In Treatment.

Reality and fiction mingle in Damned, which features portraits of a number of gifted artists and writers, among them Yona Wallach, Aviva Uri and Pinhas Sadeh.

An important part of this year’s festival will be the First Showing program, where artists present their works in progress to audiences and get feedback. Tomer Heymann, the prolific documentary director who made the award-winning films Paper Dolls, Bridge over the Wadi and I Shot My Love, will present the film he is currently working on, Mr. Gaga, a portrait of Ohad Naharin, the acclaimed director of the Batsheva Dance Company.

Another film in this category is Avida Livni’s documentary about the final concert tour of the band Kaveret.

There will also be a seminar on collaborative filmmaking in the Digital Age, moderated by Tiffany Shlain, documentary director, writer and founder of the Webby Award for excellence on the Internet.

Inside Out is an international art project in which local groups promote social goals with artistic action, which has been carried out in hundreds of locations around the world. Inside Out at DocAviv Galiliee will focus on photographic images of older women, mostly over 70, particularly women who have always lived their lives behind the scenes, working hard and taking care of their families. It celebrates these women’s achievements and identities in an affectionate and respectful way.

Cloud Filmmaking, a seminar dedicated to the exciting tools provided by technology that are now available to filmmakers, will feature a presentation by Shlain on how to create a cinematic method developed in a cooperative framework in which many artists from around the world collaborate on a single project. Workshop participants will be invited to be part of such a work in progress.

The second part of the seminar will be devoted to presenting completed projects and the self-distribution alternatives available to filmmakers in the Digital Age.

In addition, there will be joint workshops for Jewish and Arab children during school hours, as well as workshops for children on creating special effects and learning how to create videos.

There will also be a workshop on dubbing, held in conjunction with Elrom Studios.

These are just a few of the special events that will take place during these very busy five days. For anyone interested in the future of documentary filmmaking, this festival is likely to be an intense and memorable experience. It challenges the traditional notion of the roles of festival guests, participants and organizers, with everyone getting to try different roles and jobs.

For more information and to order tickets, go to

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