Founded in 2007, The Other Israel Film Festival uses film to foster social awareness and cultural understanding. The Festival presents dramatic and documentary films, as well as engaging panels about history, culture, and identity on the topic of minority populations in Israel with a focus on Arab citizens of Israel/Palestinian Citizen's of Israel, who make up twenty percent of Israel's population. Our goal is to promote awareness and appreciation of the diversity of the state of Israel, provide a dynamic and inclusive forum for exploration of, and dialogue about populations in margins of Israeli society, and encourage cinematic expression and creativity dealing with these themes. Our programming is guided by our mission to showcase quality cinema that brings to the big screen the human stories and daily lives of Arab Citizens and other minorities groups in Israel, often overlooked by mainstream Israeli society and culture.
LETTER FROM THE FOUNDER
The Other Israel Film Festival was founded to be a vehicle for cultural change and social insights into the nature of Israel as a democracy and the complex condition of the lives of its minorities that are living in the Jewish Sate. Israel's largest minority within its midst is the 1.7 million Arabs. In its 60 years of existence Israel has fostered another group of people who have put down roots in Israel and have born their Hebrew speaking children in its boundaries - Israel's 300,000 foreign workers. It is not about the conflict - it is not about taking sides - this festival is about people.
Film can be a powerful tool, it can show new sides, change perceptions, and evoke emotions. Through the use of film we are provided with a human dimension that extends beyond the daily news bulletins. Film can explore the deeper meaning of everyday living. Through these films, the festival aims to present the lives, dreams and strengths of the Arab minority and to show their participation in Israeli life. Foreign workers present a unique condition in Israeli society and we aim to familiarize our audience with the faces of "foreign workers."
I care deeply about Israel and its future. Growing up in a democratic Jewish state has without any doubt shaped the cultural and national identity of all of its inhabitants and citizens - who know no other home. These films and artistic expressions are paving the way to co-existence and a new, more inclusive culture in the Middle East.
WHO WE ARE
Mrs. Zabar has been an active supporter of Israeli documentary filmmaking over the last decade and has recently founded the Other Israel Film Festival. As part of her support for Israeli cultural, social and political causes, Mrs. Zabar serves as board member of The JCC in Manhattan, New Israel Fund, and the American Friends of Meretz.
Director of film and literary programs at The Jewish Community Center in Manhattan, Isaac grew up in Israel and served in the IDF as an educational filmmaker and recently completed his first feature film, "Reality Lost."
Founder and Managing Director of Dragoman Films, a NYC-based boutique distribution company, specializing in marketing of Israeli Cinema in North America. Ravit also serves as director and programmer of numerous film festivals in the Tri-State area.
Film Program Associate at the Israel Film Center at The JCC in Manhattan. Ariana studied Film Theory and religion, and has worked in film and television industry in various capacities for years - most recently as an editor.
Filmmaker, DJC Films
Victoria S. Cook
Environmental and Middle East Peace Activist
President, Koch Lorber Films
Director, Film Society of Lincoln Center. Professor, Columbia University Film Department
Festival Director (Dragoman Films)
Festival Executive Director (The JCC Manhattan)