Reel life

After COVID break, documentary film festival returns to north

DocAviv to once again run in Ma’alot-Tarshiha in Galilee

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

View of the northern Israeli city of Ma'alot-Tarshiha, on February 7, 2019. (Courtesy Hadas Parush/Flash90)
View of the northern Israeli city of Ma'alot-Tarshiha, on February 7, 2019. (Courtesy Hadas Parush/Flash90)

DocAviv Galilee, the northern region’s documentary film festival, returns to the theaters of Ma’alot-Tarshiha with its 13th edition, on November 3-6.

“It’s just important,” said festival director Galia Bador. “We’re doing it no matter what. If not through the door, then through the window.”

Last year, the annual festival was screened online, with the pandemic preventing in-person showings. This year, five films will be screened digitally for those who prefer to stay away from crowds, but most of the festival events will be inside and in person.

A total of 31 local and international documentaries are included in the festival, including some that were screened at DocAviv in Tel Aviv as well as the Jerusalem and Haifa film festivals.

There are many films related to the environment and nature, a hefty smattering of culinary-focused films, tours and films that will be screened with their directors present.

“We’re always looking for a few different things,” said Bador. “We want the newest and the best films so that filmgoers in the north don’t miss out. That means original Israeli films that haven’t been screened yet, and all the Israeli films and documentaries that are meaningful for the local community.”

The festival opens with its usual premiere that celebrates local talent, Project Knafayim (Wings). The opening event presents four films by filmmakers from Ma’alot Tarshiha, made at the DocAviv Galilee and Apter Barrer Art Center filmmaking workshop and supported by The Rabinovich Foundation. The workshop is mentored by filmmakers Yael Kipper and Ronen Zaretzky.

“Born to Be Free,” an event featuring films by and about people with disabilities, will be screened at the Ma’arag Center in Kfar Vradim.

The festival will also host a seminar for film students, held in partnership with the Israeli Documentary Filmmakers Forum, along with film screenings for the students of Ma’alot-Tarshiha’s schools, from elementary through high school.

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