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. ac.il/2018.
‘CALL FOR Dreams’ by Ran Slavin will be one of the festival’s highlights.