Cinema of the South film fes­ti­val in Sderot go­ing strong at 17


The South of Is­rael has been in the head­lines lately for mis­siles and clashes, but the 17th Cinema of the South Fes­ti­val in Sderot, one of Is­rael’s most orig­i­nal and ex­cit­ing cinema events, run by the School of Au­dio & Vis­ual Arts at Sapir Col­lege and which takes place at the Sderot Cine­math­eque from June 3-7, will bring some good news to the re­gion.

This fes­ti­val, which seeks to re­de­fine the essence of cinema, will also fea­ture events at other places around Sderot and other com­mu­ni­ties in the Negev, in­clud­ing, for the first time, Beer­sheba.

It fea­tures the best in­no­va­tive films deal­ing with var­i­ous so­cial is­sues from around the world and from Is­rael. Ad­mis­sion is free when you re­serve your seats in ad­vance.

It will open with the pre­miere of Ye­honatan In­dursky’s first fea­ture film, Driver, about a man who drives peo­ple around Bnei Brak at night and who takes his daugh­ter along on his noc­tur­nal odyssey. In­dursky cre­ated the tele­vi­sion se­ries Sh­tisel.

This year, the fes­ti­val will fea­ture a num­ber of distin­guished guests. Mex­i­can di­rec­tor Car­los Rey­gadas will be present at the screen­ing of his lat­est film, Where Life is Born. Cine­matog­ra­pher Kirsten John­son, who has worked on such films as the Edward Snow­den doc­u­men­tary Ci­ti­zen­four and many other doc­u­men­taries, will give a work­shop on cin­e­matog­ra­phy.

In­dian di­rec­tor Anurag Kashyap will be present at screen­ings of some of his pop­u­lar films, in­clud­ing Bom­bay Vel­vet, about a man de­ter­mined to be­come a busi­ness suc­cess, as well as The Boxer and That Girl in Yel­low Boots. He will host a mas­ter class.

Ar­gen­tine di­rec­tor Alejo Mogu­il­lan­sky has a num­ber of films in the fes­ti­val, in­clud­ing The Par­rot and the Swan and The Gold Bug. Di­rec­tor Mar­i­ano Llinás, who is also from Buenos Aires, will present two of his films, La Flor and Un­usual Sto­ries.

Among the high­lights of the Is­raeli film pro­gram will be Ran Slavin’s Call for Dreams, the star of which, Mami Shi­mazaki, just won the best actress award at the 2018 ECU The Euro­pean In­de­pen­dent Film Fes­ti­val in Paris. The film is a noir/psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller about a Ja­panese woman in Tokyo who places a news­pa­per ad ask­ing for the de­tails of oth­ers’ dreams, which leads to more trou­ble than she bar­gained for, un­til she needs an Is­raeli de­tec­tive to help her fig­ure things out.

Other Is­raeli films that will be shown in­clude Herod Is­lands, by Nelli Guy, a com­edy about two small-time in­ter­preters who in­vent a coun­try and reg­is­ter its fake em­bassy in or­der to make a profit; and Yamin Mes­sika’s The Onke­los Af­fair, about a sol­dier who dis­cov­ers his fa­ther is a Druse. Marco Carmel’s A No­ble Sav­age is about a trou­bled boy who is torn be­tween his es­tranged par­ents.

There will be a spe­cial pro­gram to com­mem­o­rate Is­rael’s 70th an­niver­sary, which will be cu­rated by di­rec­tor Rani Blair, who teaches at Sapir, called Be­tween Cult and Cul­ture. It will fea­ture screen­ings and dis­cus­sions of three clas­sic Is­raeli films, Re­nen Schorr’s Late Sum­mer Blues, Talya Lavie’s Zero Mo­ti­va­tion and Benny To­raty’s Des­per­ado Square.

The doc­u­men­tary cat­e­gory will in­clude Uri Rosen­wak’s The Right to Shout, a look at two rev­o­lu­tion­ary move­ments in Is­rael that be­gan in the early 1970s, the Black Pan­thers and Gush Emu­nim, and ex­am­ines why one group faded while the other is still go­ing strong. The An­ces­tral Sin by David Deri takes an un­flinch­ing look at the gov­ern­men­tal pol­icy of set­tling new im­mi­grants in de­vel­op­ment towns. Former for­eign min­is­ter David Levy will take part in a dis­cus­sion fol­low­ing the film.

Films by grad­u­at­ing stu­dents at Sapir Col­lege will be screened.

Among the spe­cial events will be Mu­sic and Sound for Cinema, in which the Ne­tanya Cham­ber Or­ches­tra will play orig­i­nal mu­sic, some of it com­posed for Sapir grad­u­ates’ films, in an open-air con­cert at Azrieli Park be­fore the open­ing-night screen­ing.

For the sched­ule and to re­serve seats, go to the fes­ti­val web­site at https://csf.sapir.

(Maayna Blech)

‘CALL FOR Dreams’ by Ran Slavin will be one of the fes­ti­val’s high­lights.

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