Past Festivals - 2014 Films

Life Sentences
2013 | 92 Minutes minutes | Themes: Documentary, Family
Director: Nurit Kedar & Yaron Shani

An Arab man and Jewish woman marry and give birth to a girl and a boy. They live in quiet harmony in an Arab-Jewish community. So when dozens of mysterious terror attacks tremble the state of Israel in the late 1960s, no one suspects the Arab father. When he is caught, the mother flees the country with her kids and settles in the heart of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Montreal, Canada. The boy and the girl study shoulder to shoulder with other religious Jewish kids, ignorant of their origins. But in a surprising twist to an already shocking story, the siblings confront their roots as the grow up and take opposite roads—one becoming ultra-Orthodox, the other becoming Muslim.

New Voices 2014
2014 | 56 Minutes minutes
Director: Various Directors

A riveting compilation featuring diverse stories across generation.

2014 | Short
Director: Mohammad Bakri

2013 | 80 Minutes minutes | Narrative | Themes: Narrative
Director: Mushon Salmona

A Ma’an Network and Common Ground Production. Co-presented by Aytzim: Ecological Judaism.

Newly discharged from the Israeli Army, Ra’ed, a Bedouin from an unrecognized village in the Negev desert, is determined to save his family’s failing herd of sheep, about to be sold. He plans to live off the herd by starting a roadside Bedouin hospitality restaurant

Fire Lines
2013 | 42 Minutes minutes | Themes: Documentary
Director: David Viola & Avi Goldstein

The story of the historic cooperation between firefighters of the Palestinian Civil Defense and the Israel Fire and Rescue Services during the tragic Carmel fire in December 2010. The blaze that began on Mount Carmel and swept through hills around the coastal city of Haifa was the deadliest in Israeli history, claiming 44 lives. It was also a cultural historic moment—producing unprecedented cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian firefighters.

East Jerusalem, West Jerusalem
2014 | 80 Minutes minutes | Themes: Documentary
Director: Henrique Cymerman & Erez Miller

Legendary singer/guitarist David Broza journeys to East Jerusalem to record his latest album with Israeli, Palestinian, and American musicians. Broza hopes that bridging cultures through music can be one small step toward peaceful coexistence. The film weaves together soulful music and personal conversations of hope in a time and a place where hope is most needed.

The Dove Flyer
2014 | 108 Minutes minutes | Themes: Narrative
Director: Nissim Dayan

Based on a novel by Eli Amir, this celebrated film tells the story of the most ancient Jewish community in the world in Iraq, just before they leave for Israel after living there for close to two thousand years. Against the background of Jewish life in Bagdad of the 1950s, we witness the coming-of-age of 16-year-old Kabi. Transformed from a studious child to one of the central activists in the Zionist underground, he enables the immigration of the Jews of Iraq to Israel at a time when most Jews did not want to leave.

Arab Labor
2013 | 48 Minutes minutes | Themes: Narrative
Director: Shay Kapun

Created by renowned Israeli-Palestinian journalist Sayed Kashua, Arab Labor focuses on the hilarious escapades of Amjad and his attempts to fit into Israeli-Jewish society. Poking fun at the cultural divide, Kashua and his characters daringly play on religious identity and political differences that make up the mixed society that is Israel. These new episodes find Amjad on his way to become the perfect husband, an exemplary father, and a promising member of the Knesset—but Amjad yet again manages to get into trouble.

Almost Friends
2014 | 60 Minutes minutes | Themes: Documentary, Education, Family
Director: Nitzan Ofir & Barak Heymann

Only 67 kilometers separate Lod and Tlamim, but the residents are a world apart, divided by vast national, cultural, and ideological differences. Through an education and technology school program aimed at bridging gaps in Israeli society, sixth grade students from a secular school in the impoverished city of Lod and a religious school in the settlement of Tlamim are paired as online pen pals. Samar, an Arab girl from Lod and Linor, a settler who lived in Gush Katif, represent the extremes of these differences. Still, a spark is ignited in their online relationship and a friendship is formed. But when the two girls have the opportunity to meet, their families enter into a profound and complex experience.

Director: Ziad Bakri

Enta Omri
Director: Adiya Imri Orr

Write Down, I’m An Arab
2014 | 73 Minutes minutes | Themes: Documentary
Director: Ibtisam Mara'ana Menuhin

An intimate portrait of the Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish, from an unexpected perspective: the women who influenced his work. Darwish’s tumultuous life story is brought to screen by an Israeli-Jewish lover, his first wife, personal interviews, and rare archival material. Through these components, the film aims to understand Darwish’s inspiration for some of his most provocative songs, and the passion behind his work.

Villa Touma
2014 | 85 Minutes minutes | Themes: Narrative
Director: Suha Arraf

A masterful drama from the writer of The Syrian Bride and The Lemon Tree, about three sisters, the last of the bourgeois Christian minority who did not leave after 1967, living in old manor in Ramallah. Time has stood still for the sisters until their young orphaned niece comes to live with them and becomes subject to their routines and delusions of social stance. Their late brother’s daughter gives the sisters hope for a future of pride for the family, as she shakes up the power structure in the old house.

2013 | 132 Minutes minutes | Themes: Narrative
Director: Joseph Pitchhadze

A cinematic masterpiece, which reflects on Israeli society through the extended metaphor of rivaling candy businesses. Salah, an Israeli-Arab enterpriser, strives to bring happiness to the children of the Israel’s Arab sector by opening a new chain of candy stores. An Israeli corporation that controls the Israeli candy market sees the new business initiative as a real threat, for business as well as culturally and politically. The struggle for control of the candy market is deteriorating rapidly into a brutal violence. Where will it end?

2013 | 93 Minutes minutes | Themes: Documentary
Director: Hannah Espia

The Philippines’ most celebrated film of the year takes on Israel’s 2009 law that allows children of foreign workers to be deported back to their parents’ country. Transit dramatizes the struggles of an extended Filipino family that has lived and worked in Tel Aviv for years. Janet’s work visa has expired and she may be deported back to the Philippines. Her teenage daughter Yael, born of an Israeli father from a past relationship, wants to stay, and Janet’s brother Moses hides his four-year-old son at home for fear that if he is found, the child will also be deported.

On The Left
2013 | 59 Minutes minutes | Themes: Documentary
Director: Ron Cahlili

The story of the Israeli left—Zionist and non-Zionist, Marxist and non-Marxist—from the founding of the state of Israel in 1948 to today. This series investigates, among other things, how Israel evolved from a nation that was built by a leftist majority into a proud right wing majority nation, and how the previously complimentary term “Leftist” has turned into a curse word. The first installment follows the founders and the early days of the State and the messages that still echo today.

Mirror Image
11 minutes | Short
Director: Danielle Schwartz

Jewish Israeli grandparents are challenged by their grandchild to compose an agreed-upon version of the untold story of a large crystal mirror, taken from the Palestinian village of Zarnuqa during the Nakba – the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians by the new Israeli state in the 1948 war. An intimate discussion that reflects on the presence of the Nakba in the lives of Jewish Israelis and addresses its silenced remnants, located at the very center of our lives

The Village Of Peace
2014 | 63 Minutes minutes | Themes: Documentary
Director: Ben Schuder & Niko Philipides

A fascinating look at the community of African-Americans from Chicago, who in 1967 began a migration to Dimona, Israel. The founders of The Village of Peace recount their epic journey from the backdrop of oppression to what they now call home in the Negev Desert. Today, over 5,000 African-Hebrew Israelites live in Israel. The stories of four villagers are woven together to portray a community unlike any other. Inspired by ancient scripture, it includes polygamy, natural birth, veganism, and a rigorous emphasis on health. The community struggles with their immersion into Israeli society and the challenges of passing their traditions to future generations.