The 23rd edition of the Docaviv documentary film festival returns to Tel Aviv–Yafo theaters this July with more than 100 local and international titles set to screen.
This year’s hybrid event will include both on-site and online screenings.
On-site screenings will take place indoors and outdoors throughout the city, where theaters are allowed to open with limited capacity. To attend, cinemagoers are required to present a “green pass” to prove they have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
A total of 13 documentaries, of which nine are world premieres, have been selected for Docaviv’s Israeli Competition.
Among the world premieres are All The Trees Are Blowing In The Wind by Tomer Heymann (Mr. Gaga, Who’s Gonna Love Me Now?), about a boy with Asperger’s Syndrome who embarks on a journey in search of his biological parents in Guatemala; Kobi Farag and Morris Ben-Mayor’s Queen Shoshana (pictured), the story of the first Israeli diva, Shoshana Damari; and Riding With a Spy, in which filmmaker Shlomi Eldar (Foreign Land) accompanies Israeli whistleblower Anat Kamm on a cross-country road trip through the U.S.
Hot Docs titles Viral by Udi Nir and Sagi Bornstein — about the self-documented lives of YouTubers from around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic — and Daniel Sivan’s Dirty Tricks, following the scandal around the world’s best bridge player, are among the Israeli premieres in competition.
Prizes to be awarded in this year’s Israeli Competition amount to ILS₪256,000 (US$78,624).
Launched last year, the Beyond the Screen Award will be presented at the 2021 event in memory of Docaviv’s founder Ilana Tsur, who served as the festival’s director during its first decade and passed away last year.
The award recognizes Israeli and international films that focus on subjects working to “change our political, social and ecological reality.”
Israeli contenders include A Happy Ending: Anat Gov by Tamar Tal Anati (Life in Stills, Shalom Italia) about one the most influential playwrights in Israeli theater; and Two Minutes to Midnight, in which filmmaker Yael Bartana asks, “What if women ruled the world?”
Across Docaviv’s program strands, other Israeli titles at this year’s festival include the opener of the Art and Culture section Grossman by Adi Arbel, a portrait of Israeli writer David Grossman; Panorama title People Forever, about the Eternal Flame group by former member Ranni Midyan; music doc That Orchestra With the Broken Instruments by Yuval Hameiri about the symphony of broken instruments at Jerusalem’s Mekudeshet Festival; The Good Soldier by Silvina Landsmann (Soldier/Citizen, Hotline), a look inside the work of Breaking the Silence, playing in the festival’s Masters section; and Depth of Field competition title State of Emergency by Idan Glikzelig, a look at Israel’s “addiction to living in a perpetual state of crisis.”
The international titles at the festival are expected to be unveiled in June. To see the full Israeli lineup, visit Docaviv’s website.