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  • Talma Gotteiner

Docaviv: The 21st Tel-Aviv International Documentary Film Festival 2019

Hi there,

I am happy to share with you information about 10 superb days of a cinematic documentary fest.

WHEN: 21 May 2019 - 1 June 2019 at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque and eight other venues.

The Docaviv Festival is returning for the 21st time with approximately 130 new docs and over 260 screenings. The festival is a chance to witness the political, social, and environmental changes in today’s complex world through the eyes of top documentarists.

The new Docaviv lineup features this year’s most prominent documentaries, including: They Shall Not Grow Old by Peter Jackson; Honeyland, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance; Apollo 11 by Todd Douglas Miller; Amazing Grace, a live recording of Aretha Franklin, released 46 years after its filming; Putin’s Witnesses by Vitaly Mansky, winner of Best Documentary at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival; National Geographic’s Sea of Shadows, winner of the Audience Award at Sundance; Meeting Gorbachev, about the meeting of two giants: Werner Herzog and Mikhail Gorbachev; XY Chelsea, about Chelsea Manning; Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, about Leonard Cohen and his muse Marianne Ihlen; and Suede: The Insatiable Ones.

The winners of the Israeli, International and Short Film competitions at Docaviv will be eligible to compete for the Best Documentary Feature/Short at the Oscars!

Docaviv, The Tel-Aviv International Documentary Film Festival 2019

Above: PR Festival Poster

This year, Docaviv will be arriving at Hilton Beach for the first time with a screening of the surfing doc Momentum Generation, directed by brothers Jeff and Michael Zimablist and produced by Robert Redford. Other screening venues include the Romano, Tel Aviv Port, Bialik Square, Habima Square, HaPisga Garden in Jaffa, and The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History at Tel Aviv University. Additionally, the film Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation will be screened at the Drive In.

This year’s festival will host acclaimed director Kazuo Hara as a special guest, screening three films by one of the most provocative and influential voices in Japanese documentary cinema: Extreme Private Eros Love Song 1974, The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On and Goodbye CP. This year’s guest list also includes Macedonian directors Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska with their film Honeyland; acclaimed director Vitaly Mansky, returning to Docaviv with his latest film Putin’s Witnesses; director Rob Garver with his film What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael about the legendary film critic; French director Callisto McNulty with her film Delphine and Carole; director Beniamino Barrese with his film The Disappearance of My Mother, and others.

The international jury members of the festival’s competition sections will include Basil Tsiokos, Director of Programming for DOC NYC and Nantucket Film Festival and Programming Associate for Sundance Film Festival; Andrea Prenghyová, founder and project director of DOK Incubator, an international rough-cut documentary workshop; Anne Georget, president of FIPADOC, a documentary film festival taking place in Biarritz, France; visual artist and filmmaker Barbara Visser, Former Artistic Director of The International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA); and curator and art historian Marta Ponsa from Jeu de Paume National Gallery (Paris). 11 films have been selected for the International Competition, including: Midnight Traveler, about an extraordinary family of filmmakers fleeing the Taliban threat; Mike Wallace Is Here, a poignant portrait of the influential US newsman and television personality; Dark Suns, an investigation into decades of systematic murder of women in Mexico; Shooting the Mafia by acclaimed director Kim Longinotto, about the brave photojournalist who documented the Sicilian mafia; an international premiere of 17 Blocks; and others. The Depth of Field Competition will recognize films of outstanding artistic vision. This year’s lineup includes Black Mother, a mesmerizing lyrical journey across Jamaica, filmed and directed by Khalik Allah; African Mirror, a provocative reflection of Africa, as seen through western eyes; The Hidden City, a journey down into the rumbling bowel of a big metropolis; and others.

Nine music docs will be screened this year, including: David Crosby: Remember My Name, about the unexpected comeback and amazing life of the great folk-rock singer, guitarist, activist, protest-rock pioneer; Mystify: Michael Hutchence, the touching, turbulent story of the charismatic lead singer of INXS; Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, about the beautiful and tragic love story of Leonard Cohen and his Norwegian muse Marianne Ihlen; and others.

This year, once again, the Tel Aviv Port will host open-air screenings of music docs, featuring DJ sets by KZRadio. The films screened are: Amazing Grace; John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky, about the couple’s collaborative work on Imagine; and Suede: The Insatiable Ones, about one of the most intelligent, sexy, and daring Britpop bands. Admission to all open-air screenings at the port is free. This year’s Arts & Culture section includes Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint, about the pioneer of abstract art, whose works were recently rediscovered and revolutionized the history of modern art; Nureyev, about the classical ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev; The Proposal, about the provocative art project of artist and filmmaker Jill Magid, who wanted to make the archives of famous Mexican architect Luis Barragán accessible to the public; Up the Mountain, about the studio of artist Shen Jianhua, located in a picturesque village in China; and others.

The festival will also feature a section about film art, including: The Great Buster by Peter Bogdanovich, about the genius of comedy and star of the silent film era; The Ghost of Peter Sellers, about a never-released crazy pirate comedy he had starred in; What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael, about the legendary film critic; and Delphine and Carole, about the activist, feminist films of Delphine Seyrig and Carole Roussopoulos in 1970s France.

The Bauhaus meets the big screen to celebrate its centenary. An evening titled Bauhaus, That Which Remains will feature the films of Bauhaus artist László Moholy-Nagy, and filmmakers Maya Klar, Ofir Feldman, and architect Zvi Efrat.

The Masters section features films by great directors, including: Monrovia, Indiana, the 44th film of acclaimed director Frederick Wiseman; Penny Lane’s Hail Satan?; films by Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Tsai Ming Liang, and a restored copy of the Ross McElwee masterpiece, Sherman’s March.

This year’s festival will focus on the relationship and interactions between man and the environment. Films on this topic include award-winning festival hit The Biggest Little Farm, about a successful couple who chose to leave Los Angeles to build a sustainable organic farm; Aquarela by acclaimed director Victor Kossakovsky; and Earth, a visual delight exploring the way humans are altering planet Earth. This year’s Shorts Competition will feature a world premiere of ButoHouse, the new film by artist-architects Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine (Barbicania, The Infinite Happiness), as well as 2001 Sparks in The Dark, a return to the timeless interview with Stanley Kubrick from 1968, following the release of 2001: A Space Odyssey. This year’s VR360 screenings will be held in the Cinematheque’s New Media room, featuring Israeli premieres of six unique projects, each with its own take on the subjects of home and identity, experienced through a VR headset. Admission to all VR screenings is FREE!

Docaviv Festival hosts professional events, aiming to provide Israeli documentary filmmakers with new and useful tools. This year, for the first time, Docaviv will hold a seminar on International Marketing and Distribution: From PR to the Oscars, with Tom Oyer from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (the Oscars), and Mirjam Wiekenkamp from Berlin-based agency Noise Film PR, in collaboration with Copro, and The Israeli Documentary Filmmakers Forum. UK producer Poppy Dixon (The Imposter, American Animals, and Untouchable), and Orestis Andreadakis, Director of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival and Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, will join the mentors of DOC LAB TLV, the festival’s rough cut workshop, in collaboration with The New Fund for Cinema and TV. In the new WebiDocs section, the festival will shine a spotlight on the emerging field of web documentaries, featuring filmmakers and industry officials.

TICKETS: are available on the English Website

Best, Talma

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