SOUTH The annual Cinema South International Film Festival is returning to the big screen in Sderot next week.Dozens of film screenings are scheduled to take place June 11 to 15 at the Sderot Cinematheque. The renowned festival aims to address the mixed population of residents in the region – Jews and Arabs, secular and religious.Since its 2002 inception, the festival, organized by the Film and Television School of Sapir College, has gained national and global exposure, with cinematic programs from the festival appearing in France, Switzerland, Britain and the US.Along with Israeli works, this year’s festival repertoire includes documentaries and feature-length films filmed in Mexico, Argentina and Senegal.For the full festival program: drive.google.com/ file/d/0B1D9QI7sO68oLWRNeHFVeVVTTkU/view CENTER International Yoga Day in Rabin Square Hundreds of yoga practitioners of all levels of expertise are due to get together at Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on June 21 to take part in festivities marking International Yoga Day.The event, hailed as the largest yoga gathering in the country, is due to take place for the third time this year and coincides with the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and India.Top teachers from both countries are due to host yoga classes at the event at Rabin Square, where activities for children, dances, lectures and shows are also scheduled to take place.The celebration of the ancient discipline that originated in India falls on the summer solstice and is expected to be marked by millions at iconic locations around the world from Mumbai to Paris and New York.To register: www.yogaday.co.il/en-registration/ ‘Meet, drink, think’ in Tel Aviv bar talks Academia and current affairs join forces in a new lecture series taking place in bar throughout Tel Aviv.The inaugural event of Tel Aviv University Bar Talks was launched in March and the latest session took place on Wednesday (June 7) at the city’s Polly Bar, where experts addressed the crowd on the subject of the Russian political theater and its impact on the Middle East.Held under the banner of “Meet, Drink, Think,” the venture, a collaboration of Tel Aviv University International and the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality, also provides a setting for networking and cultural immersion. The next talk is due to take place in July or the first week of August. All events in the talk series are conducted for free in English. For updated information on upcoming events: www.eventbrite.com/e/when-putin-and-trump-meet-in-themiddle- east-tickets-34820263345?aff=es2.NORTH Artists open doors in Haifa studio festival Dozens of artists and cultural institutions in Haifa are opening their doors to the public this weekend for a festival of creative expression.The Intersections – Open Studio Festival began Thursday night (June 8) and is due to run until late on Saturday (June 10).The highlights of the festival include guided walking tours between participating artists’ galleries in the neighborhoods of Wadi Nisnas, Hadar, Wadi Salib and various Lower City neighborhoods.Galleries and studios participating in the festival include: Sha’ar 3 (Gate 3), Hanemala Studio, Bordal Gallery, Beit Galeria (Gallery House), Pyramida, Tiberis 15, Beit 9 (House 9) and more.The festival, produced by Naama Sobol, is taking place in conjunction with the backing of the Haifa Municipality’s Culture Division along with the Haifa Lower City administration, the Beit Hagefen Arab Jewish Center directorate and the city’s Hadar neighborhood.According to organizers, the festival aims to bring to light avante-garde, non-traditional works and the connection between art and the city. It is operating as a pilot for other similar initiatives such as the “Loving Art, Making Art” urban art festival in Tel Aviv and the “Manofim” (Cranes) contemporary festival in Jerusalem.Haifa swims from the heart for a cure Some 600 swimmers from Israel and around the world took to the waters off the coast of Haifa last Friday (June 2) to raise awareness and funds for disease prevention research about sudden cardiac death (SCD).Participants in the second-annual “Swim from the Heart” meet took part in one of four heats ranging from 1 kilometer to 7.8 kilometers in the Haifa Bay in support of SCD research at the city’s Rambam Health Care Campus.SCD presents no warning sign in patients until a fatal incident, and in the young, the disease is usually prevalent to due to inherited genetic disorders that may result in the death of otherwise healthy individuals.Funds raised by swimmers in the Haifa event, aimed at saving lives with every stroke, were raised to go toward genetic research that explores gene mutations responsible for life threatening arrhythmias.Researchers hope to use this knowledge to develop novel therapies to detect and prevent SCD.