Tel Aviv student film fest turns 21

The festival is produced and managed by students at the Steve Tisch School of Film and Television at Tel Aviv University.

June 12, 2019 22:03
3 minute read.
‘THE GOLDFISH Theory’ is one of the entries in the 21st International Student Film Festival

‘THE GOLDFISH Theory’ is one of the entries in the 21st International Student Film Festival. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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The 21st International Student Film Festival will take place at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque and other venues from June 16-22, and the event is now finally the age of many of its participants.

The festival is produced and managed by students at the Steve Tisch School of Film and Television at Tel Aviv University. It was first established in 1986 and until a few years ago was held every other year, although now it is an annual event.

It will show more than 150 films from Israel and abroad, mostly by students, and this year will introduce two new competitions.

Among the international guests of honor will be the director Lone Scherfig, whose most recent film, The Kindness of Strangers, was the opening-night movie at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival; executive producer, Jarrad Vladich; and the director Elina Psykou.

The opening event, which will take place at HaPisga Park in Jaffa and which is free of charge, will be a screening of two feature films which are the winners of the “Short on the Road” project – the joint venture of the International Student Film Festival and the Gesher Multicultural Foundation: Efrat Rasner’s Third Look and Inbar Horesh’s Birth Right. In addition, two animated films will be screened: One Last Wish by Galia Osmo and The Black Sabbath by Meital Meshulam and Hanan Liberman, produced as part of the cooperation between the Makor Foundation and the International Student Film Festival.

This year there will be five competitions: an Israeli competition, international competition, short independent film competition, digital media competition and an experimental film competition, all of which will be awarded prizes totaling NIS 120,000. The panel of judges will include senior executives from the global film industry, who will judge 94 films and 14 digital media projects from more than 30 countries: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Mexico, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UK, USA, Australia, Israel and more.

This year, there will be an award of NIS 5,000 given to the winner of the short, independent film competition at the festival, in memory of Ari Nesher, the son of director Avi Nesher, who was an aspiring filmmaker killed in an accident in 2018. This competition will feature 13 feature films, documentaries and animated films by independent Israeli artists.

In the Israeli competition, 22 films from nine film schools will take part, more than half of which were made by women. This year, a record number of documentary films were chosen. This year’s feature film themes are a mix of critical issues today in the lives of students, including sexual identity and gender, bereavement and loss, maturation and family, military service and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Among the special events this year, there will a focus on Fashion and Cinema in cooperation with the Renuar fashion chain. Following the success of last year’s event, the festival will take a day to spotlight the connection between cinema and fashion. A short film festival will be screened at the festival, which was produced especially for this occasion by the festival and the film department, together with Renuar, which will be an homage to an iconic fashion era in cinema. There will be a tribute to Karl Lagerfeld, the designer of fashion house Chanel who passed away this year, with a screening of the iconic documentary Paris Is Burning, about the voguing balls in the 1980s and 1990s.

There will also be a tribute to the Factory, a collection of films produced by the Cannes Film Festival and contemporary Turkish cinema.

Prof. Eitan Green of Tel Aviv University will be honored by the Steve Tisch School of Film and Television for his work as a screenwriter and a director. Several of his films will be screened, including Until the End of Night, It All Begins at Sea and Indoors.

For more information and to order tickets, go to the festival website at

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