ITAI RAZIEL’S ‘Wedlock’ 370.
(photo credit: courtesy/ PR)
The Israeli film industry has undergone a wonderful transformation in the past
decade, and nowhere has Israel’s influence been felt more on the international
scene than in the world of short films.
Israeli short films have won
literally hundreds of prizes at international film festivals. Film-school
students invariably make short films to begin their careers, and so the
emergence of film schools such as Sam Spiegel, Tel Aviv University, Maaleh and
many others has led to a focus on the art of the short film. Now, you can see
the fruits of Israel’s short film renaissance at the Galilee Short Film Festival
in Kiryat Shmona, which runs from May 23-25.
The festival, which is
sponsored by the Kiryat Shmona Municipality and Tel Hai College, will show more
than 50 short films (up to 30 minutes), including both dramas and
There will be films by professionals as well as students.
The festival features a competition, the Golden Kingfisher Award (the kingfisher
is a bird that lives in the Galilee). There will be prizes both for established
filmmakers and one for students.
The films are varied in subject and
style, and graduates of all Israeli film schools are represented.
are also films by directors who have studied abroad or who have not attended
film school at all.
Keren Shayo’s House Arrest
looks at the career of
Jawad Siyam, a community artistic leader in east Jerusalem. I Will Drink My
is Tom Shoval’s fiction film about a disturbed 15-year-old who tries to
raise some money. Itai Raziel’s Wedlock
is a silent meditation on matrimony.
Rafy Shagray’s Eva
is about an old woman who tests the limitations of her life.
is a film by Avital Barak and Sie Gal about sexuality and Orthodox
Judaism. Rafael Balulu’s Batman at the Checkpoint
is a surreal look at the havoc
a Batman doll brings to a routine search.
While most short films from
around the world feature unknown actors, the Israeli film industry is so small
that often the biggest stars of film and television are happy to appear in short
films, even ones by students. The Pitch
, by Misch Rozanov, features Moni
Moshonov, in a film about an ambitious film student pitching a samurai story to
the head of a film fund.Kill a Bee
, directed by Tal Granit and Sharon
Maymon, is a look at how ordinary people can brutalize others in the blink of an
eye. It stars Rami Heuberger and Dvir Benedek. Oded Binnun and Michal Breizis’
stars Rotem Zisman in a story of a woman who is not who she
appears to be at first. Lior Ashkenazi plays a traveler on a strange trip in
Erez Avni and Etai Edry’s Train Coach.
Chilean/French director Luis
Briceno will attend the festival to present his work, and also will give a
master class. Although most of the films in the festival will be Israeli, there
will be screenings of some of the most acclaimed short films from around the
There will be a tribute to the work of Avraham Hefner, which will
include screenings of three of his short films from the Seventies and
Hefner is best known for his feature film, Where is Daniel Wax?
There will be pitching events, where filmmakers looking for financing will pitch
their ideas to representatives of the film industry. The Rabinovich Fund-Cinema
Project will give a grant of NIS 200,000 to one of the filmmakers pitching
Another forum, called Coffee and Cigarettes, will bring
established filmmakers together with younger directors to teach them how to
promote their work.
Young, aspiring filmmakers will look forward to a
showing of the best shorts by high school students.For more information,
and to buy tickets and get details of where to stay in the area, go to the
festival Website at http://www.gsff.co.il/