The 22nd Docaviv: Tel Aviv International Documentary Film Festival
Rescheduled from its usual May dates, this well-curated Israeli event will present nearly 90 new documentary features in an online format, though some drive-in events are also being planned.
Among the offerings:
AND I WAS THERE
Director: Eran Paz
As a young soldier, the director documented his unit taking over Palestinian homes, locking families in a room, and turning the houses into military posts. Now, 18 years later, he confronts his past and returns to where it all began.
Director: Roni Aboulafia
The story of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s unexpected rise to power and his dramatic fall from grace, from the highest office in the land to Ward 10 at Maasiyahu Prison.
KINGS OF CAPITOL HILL
Director: Mor Loushy
For the past 60 years, AIPAC has been lobbying for pro-Israel policies on Capitol Hill, becoming the subject of heated debate in recent years, reflective of Israel’s turbulent relationship with the US.
LOVE IT WAS NOT
Director: Maya Sarfaty
The unbelievable and tragic love story of Helena, a young Jewish prisoner in Auschwitz, and Austrian SS officer Franz Wunsch.
THE PROPHET AND THE SPACE ALIENS
Director: Yoav Shamir
Rael, after an alleged encounter with extraterrestrials – who appointed him the “last prophet” – becomes the founder and leader of the world’s biggest UFO religion.
THE THREE YOSSI
Director: Yael Kipper, Ronen Zaretzky
23 years ago, several families were evicted from their homes ended up squatting in an abandoned building in Jaffa. What has become of them? What chances does a poverty-stricken child have to make it in the world?
‘TIL KINGDOM COME
Director: Maya Zinshtein
Pastors encourage an impoverished Kentucky community to donate to Israel in anticipation of Jesus’ return. This story of faith, money and power exposes the controversial bond between Evangelicals and Jews, revealing how Trump’s America is led by an End Times countdown.
Depth of Field Competition:
Director: Keren Alexander
At the age of 80, Captain Meirson embarks on his last voyage at sea on his hand-made boat.
Director: Vivianne Perelmuter, Isabelle Ingold
20-year-old Shahin fled Tehran in hopes of finding a better life in Europe. His journey – depicted in an impressionistic stream of powerful imagery, text messages, phone calls, and interrogations – sweeps viewers into a deep multi-sensory experience.
Director: Ila Bêka, Louise Lemoine
Ryūe Nishizawa, one of Japan’s most influential architects, leads the filmmakers around Tokyo, stopping for occasional meals and conversations, and in the process creating a portrait of the artist, his city, and his dreams of things that lie beyond it.
Director: Ilan Yagoda
At the bustling Central Train Station in Tel Aviv, a piano is placed. This touching, heartbreaking piano might have the power to restore time and attention, allowing passersby to enter a different mindset in which they can hear themselves.
Beyond the Screen:
Director: Sabine Herpich
Sixteen gifted artists work side by side at an extraordinary studio in Berlin. All of them have mental and cognitive disabilities, but it is their talent that got them here, as paid employees, not patients.
IN YOUR EYES, I SEE MY COUNTRY
Director: Kamal Hachkar
Israeli Musicians Neta Elkayam and Amit Haï Cohen embark on a musical journey to Morocco, where they play on stage, have many musical encounters, and try to trace their roots.
MARRY ME HOWEVER
Director: Mordechai Vardi
An exploration of the lives of Orthodox-Jewish LGBT people who willingly choose to marry heterosexuals and raise a heteronormative family, obeying the rules of their societies while denying their own identities.
A WASTE OF SPACE
Director: Noam Demsky, Ido Bahat
Osher, Michelle, and Eitan who were transferred to foster families, are filmed during the last year of foster care, and first year of independence, at age 18.
Director: Tomer Halfon
Waking up from a 70-day coma, Trina is forced to face her own life – and her death – yet again.
Director: Jerzy Sladkowski
Gathered on a ship sailing along the river Volga are people who could have been characters in a classic Russian novel. Just like in the books, they are all looking for love.
Director: Michal Warshai Arluk
Two women from Tel Aviv, each caught in her own net of everyday battles, get swept away by a charismatic coach.
MURDER AT CINEMA NORTH
Director: Avida Livny
The fates of a young criminal, a Jewish engineer, a German music teacher, and a Jewish woman who has an affair with a Nazi intersect when a bullet is fired into a queue of people waiting to see a film.
Director: Jeong Gwanjo
Seong-ho, autistic and a gifted musician, is joined by his neglected younger brother, Geon-gi, also a musician on an exciting tour through Europe.
Director: Isri Halpern
In the spring of 1998, the director sets out to document the world of Israeli rave scene.
Director: Duki Dror
For decades Lebanon has been the epicenter of international unrest, with ongoing bloody wars plaguing the country from the mid-1970s until today – disastrous decisions having shaped the destiny of millions.
Director: Nurith Aviv
Seven young people share their love for Yiddish avant-garde poetry written during the interwar period.
Arts and Culture:
Director: Teresa Griffiths
Iconic, iconoclast model Lee Miller became a daring and original war reporter during World War II, leaving behind photographs and secrets not discovered until after her death.
IF IT WERE LOVE
Director: Patric Chiha
Gisèle Vienne’s epic dance piece, CROWD, demands a deep physical and mental commitment from the dancers. As they tour internationally, the boundaries between their characters and personal lives begin to blur, merging life and art into an intoxicating celebration of movement, music, and intimacy.
AN IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT
Director: Jens Meurer
The credit for the comeback of Polaroid cameras, now a hit among young enthusiasts, belongs to one very analog guy: Doc Kaps, a spider expert determined to save the world from the digital revolution.
Director: Marc Di Domenico
In 1948, Edith Piaf offered a Paillard-Bolex camera to Charles Aznavour, the first he was to own and which would always be with him, recording everything.