Doc Aviv Festival heads south

Highly acclaimed festival to debut in the Negev.

‘TINGHIR – Jerusalem Echoes from the Mellah’ (photo credit: Courtesy)
‘TINGHIR – Jerusalem Echoes from the Mellah’
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The highly acclaimed Doc Aviv Festival, which started life at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque 17 years ago, branched out to Ma’alot Tarshiha in the Galilee six years go and, this week, it will debut at Yeruham in the Negev.
The inaugural Yeruham three-dayer, which will take place January 6-8, opens with a screening of an intriguing work by Moroccan-born French director Kamal Hachkar called Tinghir – Jerusalem Echoes from the Mellah, and subheaded The Rediscovery of a Judeo-Berber Culture. Hachkar was born in Tinghir, near the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, and moved to France with his family as a baby.
Later in life he discovered that Tinghir was once home to a thriving Jewish community, and the documentary sets out to explore the harmonious past of the town’s Jewish and Muslim communities.
Eyal Goldberg’s moving portrayal of Iranian-born veteran pop megastar Rita, Rita Jahan Foruz, looks into our own cultural melting pot, while Probation Time tackles the highly contentious issue of a religious lesbian dealing with a breakup with her longtime partner, as well as raising the child they had together.
Norwegian filmmaker Mona Friis Bertheussen’s Twin Sisters, about siblings separated as babies and adopted by families in America and Norway, and how they eventually reunite, should provide for a moving experience. And there is more music-based fare on offer at the festival, with an emotive portrait of Israeli indie artist Yehu Yaron, called A Self-Persuasive Artist.
In addition to screenings, the festival program includes panel discussions, workshops – including one by award-winning Yeruham- born director, scriptwriter and producer David Deri, whose glittering resume to date includes acclaimed TV documentary series Avudim (Lost), and veteran TV presenter Tzofit Grant.
Food also stars in the festival agenda, with the Cooking a Story slot, supervised by Sigalit Banai, whereby six local women will regale their audience with personal stories, and secrets of their cuisine, while putting together tasty dishes.
For more information about Doc Aviv Yeruham: