Docaviv 2018 Overview

The 20th anniversary Docaviv: The Tel Aviv International Documentary Film Festival

May 17-26

The Tel Aviv nonfiction event closes out its second decade with approximately 90 new and recent features.


Among the 15 titles in the Israeli Competition are: Danae Elon’s A SISTER’S SONG, focused on a nun and her long estranged sister; Uriel Sinai and Danel Elpeleg’s WILD, about the relationship between a vet and a wildlife hospital caretaker and their charges; Nahar Shabtai’s DER-NISTER (THE HIDDEN), drawing from the filmmaker’s two decades capturing his large Jerusalem family, and especially his codependent mother and brother; Jane Bibi’s A PERFECT HOUSEWIFE, a personal film about the director’s refusal to abide by Georgian ideas of womanhood; Yair Lev and David Deri’s YOU ONLY DIE TWICE, an investigation into a man who maintained two identities; and Yochay Rosenberg’s THE WOUNDED HEALER, in which a criminologist focused on sex crimes reckons with a dark secret from his own childhood.


The festival’s International Competition includes a dozen titles that have all enjoyed premieres at other notable events; the quirkier Depth of Field Competition includes titles like Amir Yatziv and Guy Slabinnck’s STANDBY PAINTER, the tale of an unlikely museum heist in Poland; while the features of the Student Competition are Sharon Shahanny’s A TRAIN TO THE HORIZON, a profile of four women in a housing project, and Manya Lozovskaya’s HEBREW KISSES, which follows a Russian Jewish woman newly arrived to Israeli as she undergoes Orthodox conversion to be with an Israeli Jew.


The Panorama section offers additional Israeli nonfiction, including: Noga Nezer’s hybrid THE GERMAN, in which the filmmaker suspects her German lover of nefarious intent; Orit Ofir Ronell’s THE KING OF BÖREK, tracing the rise and fall of a self-made Bulgarian-Israeli baking family dynasty; Nili Tal’s DADDY, WHERE IS MOM AND GRANDMA?, a true crime tale of a double murder and child abduction case; Avi Weissblei’s THE ASSASSINATION, an investigation into an unsolved case of the murder of a Zionist leader in 1933; and Rachel Elitzur’s COVERED UP, the filmmaker’s personal exploration of ultra-Orthodox strictures around women’s rights and self-expression. Remaining strands include a focus on auteurs, art, music, and fashion, as well as retrospective programming from the festival’s earlier editions.

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