Greta Thunberg, John Belushi, more to appear in Docaviv Galilee festival

Docaviv Galilee goes online

I Am Greta, about Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who became an iconic climate activist (photo credit: Courtesy)
I Am Greta, about Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who became an iconic climate activist
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The 12th Annual Docaviv Galilee Film Festival in Ma’alot-Tarshiha will take place online this year, from December 1-5, with an impressive list of more than 30 documentaries from Israel and around the world.
Following the festival, some of the films will remain available throughout December on Docustream, Docaviv’s monthly documentary streaming event.
The films include R.J. Cutler’s Belushi, a look at the monumentally talented and troubled comedian John Belushi, which features interviews with Chevy Chase, Carrie Fisher, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and many others who knew him; I Am Greta, about Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who became an iconic climate activist; a premiere of the three-part series Israelis Who Are Changing The World, courtesy of Yes Docu, about the discoveries, lives and insights of three young Israeli scientists who have made groundbreaking, internationally-recognized scientific contributions; the premiere of The Circle, a film about Estonia’s first eco-community and the forces that threaten its existence; a premiere of My Mexican Bretzel, which combines fragments of Vivian Barrett’s diary with footage by Léon Barrett from the 1940s to the 1960s; and a premiere of Keith Haring: Street Art Boy, a BBC documentary about the 1980s art sensation whose life was cut short by AIDS.
The festival’s opening film will be Raymonde El Bidaoia, a documentary by Yael Abecassis about her mother, Raymonde Abecassis, the legendary Moroccan singer. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director. The festival’s closing film will be the Docaviv 2020 Israeli Competition winner, Love It Was Not by Maya Sarfaty, a look at a strange and unusual love affair between a concentration camp inmate and her guard. The festival will also feature more of this year’s top local and international documentaries, Q&As with filmmakers, and a family-friendly program.
A special program dedicated to dance documentaries will include Cunningham, about the revolutionary choreographer Merce Cunningham.
The festival program also showcases films by local filmmakers from the Galilee, including the Wings archive: a collection of films made during the last eight years at the Apter Barrer Art Center film workshop, led by filmmakers Yael Kipper and Ronen Zaretsky. The archive will be accessible for free throughout the festival, with 46 films telling the unique stories of Ma’alot-Tarshiha and the Western Galilee. Alongside the archive, the festival will feature a world premiere of I Feel We are Alike, the result of this year’s Docaviv youth film workshop project led by filmmakers Tal Barda and Shadi Habib Allah, and supported by the Weil-Bloch Foundation.
During the festival, audiences will be able to take a virtual tour of the Apter Barrer Art Center at Ma’alot-Tarshiha and see the Untitled exhibition featuring works by Moshe Gershuni (1936–2017) and Rachel Rabinovitch (born 1956), curated by Naama Chaikin.
The festival will also host a seminar for film students held in collaboration with the Israeli Documentary Filmmakers Forum. The seminar will feature a screening of The Three Yossi and a masterclass with the directors, Yael Kipper and Ronen Zaretsky, who will examine the relationship between documentarists and their subjects.
A single ticket costs NIS 20, four movies can be seen for NIS 60, and for NIS 95, viewers can watch all the films for a month. Docaviv Galilee is a Docaviv initiative produced in collaboration with the Ma’alot-Tarshiha Municipality, with support from the Culture Ministry.
Ma’alot-Tarshiha residents receive discounts to the festival.
Docaviv director Galia Bador said: “Docaviv Festival’s partnership with Ma’alot-Tarshiha has now turned 12. This year, the festival goes online, providing an online platform for local and international filmmakers to showcase their work. For the first time, Docaviv Galilee will be opening the Wings archive to the public, giving free access to 46 films by local filmmakers from the Galilee, all filmed in recent years.
“We believe the festival’s rich program reflects the intricate social tapestry of Ma’alot-Tarshiha and the surrounding towns and villages. The program features premieres of films about people who are creating social and ecological change in the world. Thanks to our online platform, this year’s local festival will gain country-wide visibility. I am happy and proud that the festival, which has become an essential part of the Galilee’s cultural landscape, will be going ahead despite these difficult times, and providing our audience with superb original documentaries.”
Arkadi Pomerantz, mayor of Ma’alot-Tarshiha, added: “I am proud that even in these challenging days, Ma’alot-Tarshiha can host this incredibly important festival, a cultural event that has become a long-standing tradition in our town. And now, thanks to the blessings of the digital age, we can expand our reach to the whole country. Enjoy the films!”
The festival’s website is