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Stuck at home? This film school wants you to make a movie about it

Creators from around the globe encouraged to send in films of up to two minutes

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

Ma’aleh Film School wants everyone to take a brief break from Netflix and make their own short films about home, now that everyone’s spending so much time there.

The Jerusalem film school launched “Homeward,” a home movie competition, soliciting creators to make movies of up to two minutes about home.

Movies must be received by Sunday, October 18 and the three best films will win prizes of $1,000, $2,000 and $3,000. Five audience favorites will win $500 each.

“We’ve never had a situation before in which the entire world is dealing with the same condition,” said Neta Ariel, Ma’aleh’s director. “We’re all in the same boat, all dealing with this pandemic, and all stuck at home.”

The school created a competition that is open to anyone and any kind of film, said Ariel, given that they can make a two-minute film on their phone.

Ma’aleh joined forces with other organizations with which it works on a regular basis, including the Joint Distribution Committee, Nefesh b’Nefesh and the Jerusalem municipality, while getting a boost from local celebrities, including writer David Grossman, singer Yehoram Gaon, local chefs and a comedian.

The judging panel includes Hollywood producers Zvi Howard Rosenman and Nancy Spielberg, actress Ayelet Zurer, and “Shtisel” screenwriter and creator Ori Elon, who is a graduate of Ma’aleh.

There are difficult films too, said Ariel. Some of the films submitted were from women nervous about domestic abuse given all the time spent cooped up at home. One woman sent three films, finding that the process of filming helped her get through the pandemic.

Three weeks ago, said Ariel, she received a film from a creator in Iraq, filmed in the black-and-white style of 2019 Oscar-award-winning film “Roma,” about kids building bikes in order to return to their homes after fleeing from ISIS.

The films will all be gathered on the Ma’aleh YouTube page, which already has several available for viewing.

“It’s just fun to make and to watch,” said Ariel.

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