Livnat promotes film for ultra-Orthodox women

Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat met with 12 haredi women regarding production of movies.

Limor Livnat meets fledgling filmmakers 390 (photo credit: Meged Gozani)
Limor Livnat meets fledgling filmmakers 390
(photo credit: Meged Gozani)
Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat met on Tuesday with 12 haredi women who in recent years began to write, produce, direct and shoot films, and who have now been chosen to take part in a project promoting film in the ultra- Orthodox sector.
The project, the brainchild of the ministry as well as the Gesher Multicultural Film Fund, is part of the ministry’s flagship program “Providing a Platform,” to encourage and strengthen cultural activities in the geographic and societal periphery.
“This is an exciting, innovative and groundbreaking project designed to promote and integrate haredi women into Israeli film-making,” Livnat said. “It’s not well known that despite the current background of radicalization among some sections of the haredi community, there are courageous women who have chosen to realize their potential and adopt cinema as a way of life, despite social conventions.”
The common denominator of the women with whom Livnat met was their desire to produce movies despite the complex social problems that face them in this goal.
The project was born out of the need to provide them the right tools and to improve the professional quality of their films.
“I am convinced that the coming to together of creative haredi women with the professionals of the Gesher Fund will be beneficial for both sides, Livnat added. “But there’s no doubt that the primary beneficiary will be Israeli culture which is becoming better and stronger, more vivid and more colorful.”
She emphasized that the project was not a small workshop but “real cinema,” although the movies that are produced are most frequently meant for the female haredi public, and men are generally prohibited from watching them for reasons of modesty.
The 12 women selected to participate in the program will receive development grants for their films along with professional assistance and personal mentoring from experts in the Israeli film industry.
The women come mostly from Jerusalem and Bnei Brak and from a variety of haredi backgrounds, both Lithuanian and hassidic, and are often given specific leniencies by rabbis to enter into the profession.