Past Festivals - 2019 Guests

Ramy A. Katz

Ramy A. Katz was born in Jerusalem, 1976. Graduated from the Steve Tisch School of Film & Television, Tel Aviv University  2004 .His student  film Alaska, fiction 16mm, Ferrand Claremont Film Festival official selection was broadcasted on national TV.  His award winning documentary film “Free Flow”, 2011, had participated in human rights film festival around the world, broadcasted on CH2,Ch10,HOT VOD. “Cause Of Death” is his second documentary

Suzie Afridi
Suzie was born and raised in Jericho, in the West Bank. Her dad was a welder and her mom was a farmer.  When she was fourteen her family immigrated to San Jose, California. She attended San Jose State University then pretended to be a tax professional until her husband decided on a whim to move to Dubai.  She lived in Dubai for three years doing random jobs, none of which made her Pakistani in-laws proud. In 2007, she delivered a boy in a government hospital in Dubai, she misses their food to this day. In 2008, the little family of three moved to NYC.  In 2013, she started doing stand up because no one read her blog. Last year she toured a story with The Moth and it aired on Valentine’s day this year. When she is not doing stand up, she pretends to exercise and is very busy not writing. Her long term goal is be able to entertain from bed. She is available for any kind of event, seriously, anything.  @SuzieSaysSo

Mira Awad

Singer, songwriter, actress, artist and content creator.

​Born in Rameh, a Palestinian village in the Gallillee, north of Israel, to Palestinian father – Dr. Anwar Awad, and Bulgarian mother – Snejanka Izvorska, between two brothers – Ala’a and Sinan. She grew up in a politically involved family with high humanitarian values. From an early age she spoke out for women’s rights, for equal citizenship for Palestinians living in Israel, a two state solution and for environmental awareness. She continues to be an activist for these causes, and a big believer in dialogue and co-existenc

Michelle Divon
Michelle Divon is an Israeli journalist and TV host living in NYC. Michelle anchors for News12 and writes for different publications including Times of Israel and The Forward.

Mor Efrat

Mor Efrat currently participates in the Obama Foundation Scholar Program, in Columbia University. Until July 2019 she was the director of the Occupied Palestinian Territories Department at Physicians for Human rights Israel, an NGO promoting the right to health in Israel and the Occupied Territories.

Mor has worked with PHRI more than seven years, after graduating with a master’s degree in human Rights from Essex University, UK. She has a BA in International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies from the Hebrew University and a wide range of experience in human rights and feminist organizations, including her work for the Rape Crises Center, Minerva Center for Human Rights and as the Head of the Human Rights and Social Injustice section of the National Union of Israeli Students.

Beth Elise Hawk
Beth Elise Hawk executive produced the MTV television series Eye Candy, based on the book by best-selling author, R. L. Stine.  She produced the award-winning documentary, Fan-Demanium, and co-produced the feature documentary, I’m Rick JamesBreaking Bread is her directorial debut. Her next project as producer is the feature narrative What Josiah Saw, starring Robert Patrick, which begins production in November 2019.

Hani Furstenberg

Hani Furstenberg is an American, Israeli actress who has starred in numerous films, TV series and theatre productions in both countries. She received the Israeli Academy Award for best supporting actress in Joseph Cedar’s CAMPFIRE and the Israeli Tony award for best supporting actress in Joshua Sobol’s GHETTO. She made her Broadway debut 4 years ago as Frauline Kost alongside Alan Cumming in CABARET. Her off-Broadway credits include the leading role in Adam Rapp’s premiere of THROUGH THE YELLOW HOUR and Lucy Thurber’s STAY.   Hani starred opposite Gael Garcia Bernal in THE LONELIEST PLANET and opposite David Oyelowo in FIVE NIGHTS IN MAINE. She just wrapped shooting leads in two Israeli high profile television series, FALSE FLAG (Season 2 on Hulu) and ASYLUM CITY.  She portrays the leading character in The Paz Brothers THE GOLEM and Noga Ashkenazi’s SAINT’S REST which were both just recently released. She can also be seen on the new season of the Starz series AMERICAN GODS.

Michelle Herrera

Michelle Herrera is the Task Force Specialist at the Inter-Agency Task Force on Israeli Arab Issues. Before joining the Task Force, Michelle worked with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) on the Resource Development Operations team, overseeing donor acknowledgment and communication, database management, and programming. Prior to that, she worked with The Child Center of NY and Shared Interest, focusing on communications, social media, board coordination, events, and program development; and at BOBO, developing their marketing and communication strategies and increasing their online viewership. Michelle attended St. John’s University, where she published a paper on minority land ownership and government relations and received a BA in Global History and an MA in Socio-Economic Development with a focus on under-developed minority populations.

Barak Heymann

Barak Heymann was born in 1976 in Yedidia Village in the north of Israel. He has been directing and producing documentaries for TV and cinema for more than a decade. Barak’s, and his brother Tomer’s, independent film company, Heymann Brothers Films, has produced over 20 documentaries, and some as international co-productions. Their films have premiered in numerous festivals worldwide, such as Berlinale, IDFA and Hotdocs, where they have won prestigious awards. Barak teaches in several films schools in Israel and is currently engaged in a number of ongoing projects.

Dorit Inbar

Adv. Dorit Inbar has served as the Executive Director of the New Fund for Cinema and Television (NFCT) since 2008. In addition, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Israeli Opera, the Board of Directors of Beit Berl College and the Board of Directors of the Jerusalem Cinematheque. Her previous roles include: chairing the Council for Cable TV and Satellite Broadcasting (the Israeli regulatory bodies for commercial multi-channel television in Israel); Vice-Chairperson and a Member of the Executive Committee of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, the Israeli public broadcaster; CEO of Tel-Ad, a commercial television broadcaster. Earlier in her career, she practiced law and was a partner in a firm specializing in various aspects of civil and commercial law.

Tuvia Israeli

Born in Romania in 1955 to a family of Holocaust survivors, he immigrated to Israel in 1962. A graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he joined the Israeli Foreign Service in 1978. Cultivated a diplomatic career of 38 years in which he focused on two major issues: Participated in the establishment of the Department of Human Rights in the Foreign Ministry and assimilated the human rights component in the diplomatic work and in the Israeli government activity in general. A second major area was the strengthening of the Middle East peace process.
From 2009 to 2013, he served as Israeli ambassador to South Korea.
After retiring from the Foreign Service in 2016, he joined the center for international Migration and Integration (CIMI), and currently serves on the organization’s executive committee.

Dov Khenin

Dov Khenin, born 1958 in Tel Aviv, is a celebrated Israeli lawyer, political scientist, and former member of Knesset for Hadash and the Joint List.
The three major tenets of Dov’s political philosophy and activism include the quest for Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab peace and a dramatic eco-socialist sea-change in inequitable social and economic systems.
During his tenure in the Knesset, Dov has initiated and succeeded to pass through dozens of bills related to human, women’s, workers’, LGBTQ, animal protection, and environmental rights. He also published a number of articles and books on social, environmental, economic, and political issues in Israel and around the world.
In 2019, along with various social and political activists and academics, Dov has established “Place for Change”, a hub for strategizing and enacting transformative progressive change in Israel.

Libby Lenkinski

Libby is the Vice President for Public Engagement at the New Israel Fund, where she leads all aspects of NIF’s public efforts in the United States – including communications, digital, programs, events, leadership, community partnerships and engagement, New Generations and our fellowships. Prior to joining NIF, Libby lived and worked in the Israeli non-profit field for almost a decade.

Yuval Lion

Yuval is a filmmaker, who also had a 15-year career as an international news producer, working for the AP, NBC News, and PBS, mostly covering Middle East affairs. He was twice nominated for a News Emmy, and in 2003 won a Silver Remmy Award for his China-based documentary film, “My Cousin, the Chinaman.”
In 2010, Yuval co-founded MYLKmedia, a production company located in NYC that produces films for nonprofits, foundations, educational organizations, and others.
Yuval, who was born and raised in London to Israeli parents, is a member of the J Street Finance Committee and sits on J Street NYC’s Executive Committee. He holds a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University, and is a long- suffering supporter of Tottenham Hotspur FC.

Emmanuelle Mayer

Emmanuelle Mayer was born in 1980 in Paris, France. After finishing her BFA in Photography at Bezalel academy of arts and design in Jerusalem, she continued her studies of MFA in Cinema and Television at the Tel Aviv University. Since 2009 She Has filmed over 15 feature length Documentaries as well as documentary television series In Israel, USA, Poland, France, DRC, UK, Italy and Switzerland. The films she has shot have been broadcasted in: POV|PBS, Yes Docu, Israeli Chanel 8, 2, 1 and they have been screened in film festivals: Hot Docs, AFI Docs, IDFA, Docaviv and Jerusalem Film Festival. Emmanuelle Mayer works as a DP mainly in documentary films.

Julien Menanteau

Julien Menanteau holds Master’s degrees in “Film studies” from the University of Montreal and in “Screenwriting, direction, and production” from University Panthéon-Sorbonne Paris I. In 2016, he directed his first short film “Rikishi”, broadcasted on TV5 Monde and BE TV.  In 2018, he achieves his first documentary “Samaritan”, produced by Gloria Films and broadcasted on Arte. He is currently developing his first feature film.

Elad Popovich

Elad Popovich (Attorney at law). Adv. Popovich is the Executive Director of the Center for International Migration and Integration (CIMI), a non-profit organization based in Israel. He also serves as CIMI’s Asylum Seekers and Refugees Program Director. Elad is an Ethics Associate at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and previously served as a Representative to the United Nations for the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (IAJLJ).
Adv. Popovich is a member of the Israel Bar Association and serves on its Military and Security National Committee. He is a lecturer in the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) and in the Israeli Air Force’s School of Aerial Warfare.

Najla Said

As an actress, Najla has performed Off-Broadway, regionally and internationally, as well as in film and television. Favorite theatre credits include Heather Raffo’s Nine Parts of Desire (Seattle Rep), the London and New York premieres of Karen Malpede’s Prophecy, and Naomi Wallace’s The Fever Chart: Three Visions of the Middle East (Central Square Theater). In April 2010, Najla completed an eight-week Off-Broadway run of her solo show, Palestine. That same year, she was named one of “Forty Feminists Under Forty” by The Feminist Press. Since her off-broadway run ended, Najla has performed “Palestine” in over 25 high schools, colleges, and universities around the country and the world.

Lea Tsemel

Lea Tsemel defends Palestinians: from feminists to fundamentalists, from nonviolent demonstrators to armed militants. As a Jewish-Israeli lawyer who has represented political prisoners for five decades, Tsemel, in her tireless quest for justice, pushes the praxis of a human rights defender to its limits. As far as most Israelis are concerned, she defends the indefensible. As far as Palestinians are concerned, she’s more than an attorney, she’s an ally.

Ruth Walk

Graduated from Sam Spiegel Film School (1993) & Hadassah College, Jerusalem (1988). Her documentary films earned international acclaim, airing on various international broadcast stations and winning awards.

She has earned the Art of Cinema Prize 2003-4, as well as The Landau Prize 2007-08, for Excellence in Documentary Cinema.