Past Festivals - 2009 Guests

Mohammed Bakri

Mohammad Bakri was born in the Arab village of Bi’ina (see Shaghur) in the Galilee in 1953. He went to elementary school in his hometown and received his secondary education in the nearby city of Acre. He studied acting and Arabic literature at Tel Aviv University in 1973 and graduated three years later.

Bakri began his professional acting career in plays in several theaters in Israel and the West Bank notably the Habima National Theatre in Tel-Aviv, the Haifa theater and al-Kasaba theater in Ramallah. After a few years of acting in Israeli film, Bakri began to act in international films in nations such as France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Canada. Bakri also directed two documentary films including the controversial “Jenin, Jenin” and most recently the autobiographical documentary “Since You Left”.

Daniel Chalfen

DANIEL J. CHALFEN is a New York-based producer specializing in films that gives voices to the unheard and images to the unseen. He produces and consults for provocative, compelling, socially conscious, and visually powerful non-fiction features, television series and specials, educational programs, news and current affairs programs, and digital media content.Chalfen is a founder of Cine-Peace Film Festival, Los Angeles; an Advisory Committee Member of the Other Israel Film Festival, NY; and a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). He has also consulted on development, media and outreach for many international NGOs and non-profits including the Spirit of Youth Foundation, the Center for Jewish Arab Economic Development, Parents’ Circle (The Association of Bereaved Parents in the Middle East), the Southern California Israel Chamber of Commerce, and Creativity for Peace.

Amos Gil

Formerly the founding Executive Director of Ir-Amim (“City of Peoples”, “City of Nations”), an Israeli not-for-profit which specializes in the unique circumstances of Jerusalem in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Prior to this Amos Served as the first Executive Director of CBST – Congregation Beth Simchat Torah – in Manhattan, the world’s largest gay and lesbian Jewish congregation.Previously served also as the first Executive Director of ACRI – The Association for Civil Rights in Israel – which is Israel’s oldest and leading human right’s group. Amos is a major of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in humanities – philosophy and history of the Middle East.Amos is married and is currently living in Chicago with his wife and one of their three children.

Anne Marie Haller

ANNE MARIE HALLER was born in Kölliken, AG, Switzerland. She started her career as a freelance journalist for several swiss newspapers, and magazines. With more than five years in the Public Swiss Radio Station, DRS1, she was an editor, reporter and presenter of the programme “Espresso” and the editor of “Ratgeber“.Her career as a Documentary Filmmaker started in 2001, producing and directing numerous Video-Documentary films, including Inside Out, Go Your Own Way, Time-Out, and more.

Barak Heymann

In 2003, Barak joined the “Heymann Brothers Films” company, and has since directed and produced an impressive number of documentary films for television and cinema. Together with his brother Tomer, he created the TV series Bridge over the Wadi for the “Yes Doco” channel in Israel, first-place winner in the Israeli Documentary Competition, then went on to create a one-hour film version which won competitions worldwide (including the golden award at the Shanghai TV festival.) Barak’s film Dancing Alfonso was screened at the last SXSW festival and recently won the silver award at the Shanghai TV festival. Barak also produced Stalags – Holocaust and Pornography in Israel, which has been screened at the Film Forum in New York, in “Hot-Docs”, and many more international festivals. Most recently, Barak produced Lady Kul el-Arab, and is currently producing a new documentary about the Israeli Arab writer, Sayed Kashua.

Abeer Joubran-Dakwar

ABEER JOUBRAN-DAKWAR received her Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Economics in 2005, from the Joint Program of Economics & Law, Haifa University.During her studies she interned at Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, and later in 2005 she also completed her internship year at Adalah. During that year, Abeer drafted a brief in a case against Haifa University, demanding the prohibition of the use of discriminatory criteria in the allocation of student dorms.After becoming a member of the Israeli bar in 2006, Abeer has worked as a lawyer for Hamoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual, an Israeli human rights organization that assists Palestinians in the Occupied Territories whose rights have been violated. In November 2007, Abeer was named the director of Hamoked’s legal department.Following her participation in the NIF US-Israel Civil Liberties Law Fellowship, Abeer expects to work to improve the plight of people in the Arab sector wi

Gil Karni

Winner of the Israeli Documentary Academy Award 2006, born in Tel-Aviv at 1966. Gil Karni has been directing and producing creative, politically and social moving documentary films since 1993. He creates and directed couple of documentary films and series for Israeli Channel 2. His themes are social-political and caltural with emphasis to the minorities in the Israeli society. His film, “Troubled Water”, was premiered in IDFA 2005 the official selection, Joris Ivens Competition. Best Feature Documentary Award of the Israeli Documentary Academy Awards, 2006.

Oded Adomi Leshem

ODED LESHEM was born in Jerusalem in 1972 and was nicknamed “Adomi” when he was 10 years old. He graduated from the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School in 2003 and in 2005 released his first documentary film, “The Brave Cowards”. He works as a freelance cameraman and editor for news organizations and is based in Tel Aviv. He also teaches and lectures on cinema history and documentary filmmaking and is husband to Yasmin and father to 3-year-old, charming Aviv.

Mahmood Shalabi

Born in Acre (Acco) in 1982. JAFFA is Mahmood’s first acting roll in a feature film.An actor and a rap musician, Mahmood was featured in the award winning documentary film Slingshot Hip Hop by Jacki Saloum and participated in the film DJihad by Felix Olivier.Formerly a member of the rap/hip-hop group MWR, Mahmood now studies Middle Eastern Music and plans to attend acting school.

Bruce Temkin

BRUCE TEMKIN has been the New Israel Fund’s New York Director since 2004. He returns to the New Israel Fund, after a four year sojourn at other organizations, with a rich history of accomplishments and involvement in the non-profit world around the globe. After working as a licensed tour guide for the UJA missions department in Israel, Bruce continued to hone his fundraising skills as the Director of New Generations for the New Israel Fund. More recently, Bruce was the Development Director for the Hetrick-Martin Institute, a NYC-based social service organization supporting gay and lesbian youth in distress, and the Development Direct for the National Council of Jewish Women. Most recently, Bruce spent a 4-month sabbatical from NIF working for a non-profit in Ghana, West Africa working on HIV/AIDS prevention within the gay and lesbian community

Chaim Yavin

Between 1968 and 2008, Yavin was the anchor of Mabat, the primetime news roundup on Israel’s state television station. He was known in Israel as “Mr. Television” and often perceived as the “voice” of Israel. In 2005, Yavin sparked political controversy with his five-part documentary series “The Land of the Settlers”, aired on Israel’s Channel 2. In August 2007, Yavin announced his retirement, and read the news for the last time on 5 February 2008. Most recently, he is the creator of the documentary series, “ID Blues”.

Sameh Zakout

Sameh “SAZ” Zakout is a native of Ramle, a predominantly Palestinian Arab city within Israel, reputable for its excessive crime and poverty. Transcending the violence plaguing his people and his city, SAZ chose hip hop as a means to overcome his circumstance, stating, “If I didn’t have a music career, I’d probably be in the streets selling drugs and getting shot at.” SAZ rhymes in Arabic, Hebrew and English and is widely hailed for his beatbox technique. He has been featured in Rolling Stone and on CNN. Despite his young age a documentary film was made about him and his family, the film was broadcasted in more than 5 countries. Sameh has daily fights regarding his Palestinian identity, therefore his songs deal with political, social and personal issues