The concept that cinema has the power to stimulate thought and action toward a more just reality is the very essence of the Solidarity and Human Rights Film Festival, running December 9-18 at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque.
The festival, in its 11th year, will screen more than 80 Israeli and international films, from 30 countries, including award-winning features and documentaries seen at major festivals around the world, dealing with a wide range of issues and struggles.
There are films dealing with democracy, globalization, refugees, occupation and nationality law, discrimination, racism, the status of women, the LGBT community, children and youth, people with disabilities, freedom of expression, workers’ rights, hunger, poverty, food security, environmental justice and the climate crisis.
For the first time, the festival will include a competition for international films dealing with human rights, with a number of films that are being screened for the first time in Israel.
The Israeli portion of the film festival includes a competition for Israeli films about human rights, with categories for full-length films, short films, and student films. There is also a separate competition for films created by high school students, in order to support their interest in political and social issues.
There will additionally be screenings of select Israeli films about issues of human rights, with discussions with filmmakers about cinema and the search for social justice and human rights.
One of the events is with acclaimed director Amos Gitai, marking his 40 years of films about human rights.
“We’re bringing social and political topics to the Israeli public in order to awaken peoples’ thoughts and actions for a more just and better Israel,” said festival co-founder Danny Wilensky.