Past Festivals - 2011 Guests

Sabine Lubbe Bakker

Through her studies in Emerging Markets and Political Science, Sabine Lubbe Bakker (1978, Belgium) discovered what she likes best: telling stories. She took a course called ‘Poldox’ (combining political science and documentary making), during which she made a film about the world of illegal Chinese gambling in Amsterdam. Her passion for the Middle East took her to Damascus to write her thesis titled ‘Brave New Minds’, which dealt with rebellious student movements in Syria. In addition to learning Arabic, organizing debates and writing articles, she made two short films. Nowadays she works as a freelance documentary filmmaker. Shout is her first feature length documentary.

T-Mohammad 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 documentaries “Since You Left”, and “Zahara”.

Yehuda Bitton

Yehuda acquired his extensive professional experience in television production working as a producer for the “Israel Broadcasting Authority”. Between the years 1977-2005 he was involved in producing a diversified range of genres. He coordinated and produces large scale International Broadcasts such as the Saadat-Carter Summit, the Millennium broadcasts, the World Bible Quiz and The Eurovision song contest. He acted as Chief producer in Dramas such as, “The Lady and the Peddler” and as IBA’s Chief Documentary Department producer he supervised the two prestiges slots “The true story” and “Second glance”. After more then 30 years in public broadcast, Yehuda now owns a private production company which specializes both in independent Drama and Documentary production and supplies production services to local [Channel 10] and International broadcasters [ZDF]. Among his credits are: Gaza Strip Withdrawal, the 2005 elections day broadcast and more.

Sigal Emanuel

Sigal Emanuel was born and lives in Tel-Aviv. She is the recipient of the Mayor of Tel-Aviv Award for Young Artists for her first documentary film “Reut” / a plase of her own which participated in the Docaviv International Film festival held last spring in Tel-Aviv. This festival is dedicated exclusively to documentary film and is Tel-Aviv’s largest film festival. Sigal is a graduate of the Camera Obscura Film School in Tel-Aviv. She works as a director, editor and photographer.

Ester Gould

Ester Gould (1975, Scotland) has lived in the Netherlands since she was ten. She studied Film and Theatre in Amsterdam and New York. Having worked in the theatre, she began to focus on documentary films. She has now been in film for twelve years, including working closely together with renowned filmmaker Heddy Honigmann. She has done research, co-written scenarios and worked on the sets of prize-winning films such as Crazy, Forever and El Olvido. She took a Master’s course in journalism to increase her skills as a researcher. Since 2005 she has been directing documentaries, including 50 cents (2007), Sick of it all (2008) and Starring David (2010). For Sick of it all, a short children’s documentary, she won the IDFA Kids & Docs Script Award. Shout is her first feature length documentary.

Caryn James

Caryn James writes the James on screenS film and television blog for and also contributes to other publications, including The New York Times Book Review. She has been a film critic, chief television critic and cultural critic at the New York Times and an editor at the Times Book Review. She is the author of the novels Glorie and What Caroline Knew, and has appeared as a film commentator on CBS Sunday Morning, Charlie Rose, Today, MSNBC and other programs.

Ronit Kertsner

Kertsner is an award-winning documentary filmmaker – director, producer and editor. Born in Jerusalem in 1956, married with two daughters, Ronit lives in Tel Aviv Israel. After her military service she was admitted to the Cinema Department at Tel Aviv University where she embarked on a four-year course of study. Upon completion Ronit began working as a professional editor of documentaries and features for TV and other media. Ronit has edited dozens of documentary films over the years. For the last 10 years Ronit has directed and produced 4 documentaries: “The Secret” (Berlin Film Festival 2002, first prize at the international Film Festival in Bordeaux 2003); “I the aforementioned infant” (Haifa film festival 2006); “Menachem and Fred” (cinema for peace award, Berlin 2009); and most recently, “Torn” (Docaviv international film festival).

Ilan Kutz

Ilan Kutz MD is an Israeli psychiatrist and psychotherapist. He graduated at the Hebrew University School of Medicine, and specialized in Psychiatry at Tel-Aviv University. He studied the biology and psychology of meditation during his fellowship in psychiatry and behavioral medicine at the Beth Israel hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, where he co-directed the mind-body clinic (1980-83). He is currently an assistant professor at Tel-Aviv University, and in private practice. Until very recently he headed the psychiatric services at Meir General Hospital, and its Acute Stress and Crisis Intervention unit. He continues to consult the Israeli MOH, and is considered a specialist in Acute Stress Reaction. Dr Kutz writes and lectures on psychological aspects of biblical events and the psychobiology of art and creativity. He published The Dreamland Companion, a non-fiction book for adults, and Dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden, a children’s book. (In Hebrew). He also loves to swim w

Liel Leibovitz

Liel Leibovitz is a senior writer for Tablet Magazine and an assistant professor of communications at New York University. He is also the author or co-author of four books, including, most recently, The Chosen Peoples: America, Israel, and the Ordeals of Divine Election, co-written with Todd Gitlin. A native of Tel Aviv, he now lives in Manhattan.

Noa Maiman

Noa Maiman is an interdisciplinary artist born in Tel Aviv, Israel in October 1980. She is a producer, director, actress, and an opinion writer with a vast interest in Politics. She graduated from London School of Economics mastering Conflict Studies. ‘Oy Mama’ – her first documentary film, has won the Remembrance and Future documentary award at the goEast Film Festival, Weisbaden, Germany – April, 2010. It was also a Nominee for the History & Biography Documentary Award at the 16th Shanghai TV Festival, China June 2010 and a nominee at the Bend Film Festival, Oregon, USA – 2010.

Ibtisam Mara'ana

Ibstisam wrote and directed, “Waking Up to a Fatherland,” broadcast on Israel’s Channel 2. In 2003, she wrote and directed the documentary, Paradise Lost, which was supported by the New Cinema Fund, the Tel Aviv Fund, the Makor fund, and the MEDEA project of the European Union. The film won The Best Script award for co-productions at the Spring Doc Festival, The First-Creation Photography Award at the 2003 International Spring Doc Festival, and the Documentary Award at the 2003 Women’s Festival in Rehovot. She then went on to direct the documentaries, The Bridge, Badal – which won the “Spirit of Freedom” award, and The Best Documentary Award in HOTDOCS – A Room in Tel-Aviv, and Three Times Divorced – which won to the First Prize at the “Doc-Aviv” Film Festival Competition.

Dani Menkin

Dani Menkin is an award winning writer, director and producer of the feature film “Je T’aime, I Love You Terminal” (Israel, Czech 2011), and the creator of the Israeli Academy Award winning film which was also short listed for the Oscar HBO/Cinemax documentary, “39 Pounds of Love”(USA, 2006). Dani collaborated with Ilan Heitner as supervising director of the cult film “The Wisdom of the Pretzel” (Israel, 2002). Among his other success are the documentary “Like Aroesti” (1998), and episodes for The National Geographic Channel and UVDA (1994-2004), which won him awards and increased his popularity. Most recently, Dani collaborated with filmmaker Yonatan Nir on the documentary film “Dolphin Boy”, which premiered at the 2011 hotDOCS Film Festival.

Ilan Peleg

Dr. Ilan Peleg earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from Tel Aviv University, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Northwestern University. He has been teaching “Israeli Politics, Society & Culture” at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College for 21 years, has been the Charles A. Dana Professor of Social Science at Lafayette College for 37 years, and is an Adjunct Scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC. Dr. Peleg has held appointments as a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School Human Rights Program, a Research Fellow at Princeton University, and Fellow-in-Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, a Skirball Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, and an Associate Member at St. Antony’s College at the University of Oxford. Dr. Peleg is the author or editor of eight books, including Begin’s Foreign Policy 1977-1983: Israel’s Move to the Right (1987); The Emergence of a Binational Israel: The Second Republic in the Making (1989); Patterns of Censorship Aro

Judith Manassen Ramon

Manassen-Ramon’s work as Director / Producer includes THREE STORIES AND A HOUSE (2005), and RING (2002) which was aired on the Israeli Documentary Channel. She was Manager and Director of the annual Tel Aviv/Los Angeles Master Class in Creative Filmmaking between 2005-2007, working with actors, directors and producers such as Alfred Molina, Jon Avnet (FRIED GREEN TOMATOES) and Cathy Schulman (CRASH) to teach and mentor Israeli and American filmmakers. Over the last few years, Judith has developed a method which employs film as a tool to aid self expression and problem solving for adolescents. Notably, she has worked with young Ethiopian immigrants and various women’s groups. Currently, Judith is doing her PhD in Media Psychology.

Ella Shohat

Professor Ella Shohat teaches in the departments of Art & Public Policy and Middle Eastern studies at New York University. She has lectured and published extensively on issues having to do with dislocations and diasporic identities, and is well-known for her work on Arab-Jews and Mizrahi culture, as well as on the representations of Palestinians. She is the author of the groundbreaking Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation (1989; New Edition was recently published by from I.B. Tauris). Her award-winning books include: Taboo Memories, Diasporic Voices (Duke Univ. Press, 2006), entitled in its Hebrew version as “Zichronot Assurim” (Bimat Kedem, 2001); Talking Visions: Multicultural Feminism in a Transnational Age (MIT 1998); Unthinking Eurocentrism (co-authored with Robert Stam, Routledge, 1994); Flagging Patriotism: Crises of Narcissism and Anti-Americanism (Routledge, 2006); Multiculturalism, Postcoloniality and Transnational Media (Rutgers Univ. Press, 2003); and

Rabbi Michael Strassfeld

Rabbi Michael Strassfeld is the rabbi of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism, a Reconstructionist synagogue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. He has been prominent in the American Jewish community for nearly forty years, dating from his involvement as co-editor of the first Jewish Catalog in 1973. He is also the author of The Jewish Holidays, A Book of Life:Embracing Judaism as a Spiritual Practice and co-author with Rabbi Joy Levitt of A Night of Questions: A Passover Haggadah. He also has a cd of Hassidic music entitled: Songs to Open the Heart: Contemplative Niggunim. He is on the faculty of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. He is involved in a project to preserve ephemeral material reflecting popular American Jewish culture and religious life especially related to synagogues, Jewish children’s books and food. His collection includes over 300 signs from synagogues that have closed. His hobbies also include being a Jewish papercutter and book artist. He is currently writ

Dov Waxman

Dov Waxman is an associate professor of political science at Baruch College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He specializes in International Relations, Middle East politics, Israeli politics, and Israeli-Palestinian relations. He received his Ph.D. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, where he also received an M.A. in International Relations and International Economics. He has a B.A. degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University. He has been a visiting fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA) at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, a visiting scholar at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, and a visiting fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University, Israel. He has also worked at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. He is the author of The Pursuit of Pe

Regina Weinreich

Regina Weinreich is a co-producer/ director on the award-winning documentary Paul Bowles: The Complete Outsider and a writer on The Beat Generation: An American Dream. The author of the critical study, Kerouac’s Spontaneous Poetics, she edited and compiled Kerouac’s Book of Haikus. A leading scholar of the Beat Generation, she has contributed to numerous essay collections and literary journals includingThe Paris Review and Five Points. As a journalist, her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Village Voice, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Talk Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, American Book Review, Hamptons Magazine, The Forward, The East Hampton Star, among others. She is a Professor in Humanities & Sciences at The School of Visual Arts in New York. Visit her blog, Gossip Central, a diary of the arts.

Tamar Zandberg

Tamar Zandberg, Tel Aviv Yaffo City Council Member (Meretz). Chair of the committee of Women Rights, Member of Finance Committee and Affordable Housing Committee. Involved in local issues of sustainable planning, affordable housing and rent, bicycle transportation. Active in the Israeli Tent Protest and in the Israeli movement to support Palestinian Statehood. Former Parliamentary Assistant to Member of Knesset Ran Cohen. PhD candidate for Politics and Government in Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva, researching issues of spatial planning and human rights; Graduated from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (Psychology and Economics) and from Ben Gurion University (Social Psychology); Lecturer in Sapir College, Sederot and in Interdisciplinary Center, Herzelia (IDC); Member of Housing and Transportation expert committee advising the Israeli social protest; Writes regular columns in local newspapers and websites, and Member of broadcast panel in a political radio show on the IDC radio stati

Eitan Zur

EITAN ZUR graduated from the University of Tel-Aviv ( Cinema & Television ) in 1992 and quickly established himself as one of the most popular TV directors in Israel. He designed and directed “Chamber Music” (1993-1997 ) and “The Bourgeois”, (1999-2003 ). He directed and co-wrote episodes of the TV series and movies. Among others, Eitan directed episodes of the series “Betipul” of which remake rights are sold all over the world. “Hitpartzut X” will be his first cinema feature. He collaborated in writing the script with Edna Mazia, author of the book, best-seller in Israel and was accompanied by the experienced team at July August Productions.