Documentaries about gay Palestinians hiding in Tel Aviv and a facility for men who have abused family members are among the 12 films that will contend in the Israel competition of the Docaviv International Documentary Film Festival in May.
The 14th annual festival, which will take place May 3-12 in Tel Aviv’s Cinemateque, will focus on political conflicts and gay issues. More than 80 films will be screened, and there will also be discussion panels, special events, artists’ master classes and workshops.
The Israeli contestants, chosen from over 70 entries, include Yariv Mozer’s “The Invisible Men,” which follows a gay Palestinian couple hiding in Tel Aviv after being persecuted and threatened in the West Bank.
In Eyal Goldberg’s “Powder,” the filmmaker, a leftist gay activist, is shown doing reserve duty as a tank commander. Omer Yifman’s “All the Happy Mornings” documents his conflicts as a bisexual man, and Zohar Wagner’s “Days of Splendor” shows what happens when an old videotape shakes a man’s faith in his partner.
Yael Sherer’s “Dirty Laundry” focuses on a woman who files a civil lawsuit against her father, who was convicted and jailed for sexual abuse.
Miri Laufer’s “One Day, After Peace” is about a woman who must face the possibility that the sniper who killed her son while he was serving in the territories may be released from prison as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap.
Other contenders include Irit Gal’s “White Night,” about a group of Palestinian women who take the the long, treacherous journey from their village to crawl through a hole in the fence into Jerusalem illegally every night, so they can support their families by working as cleaners.
Marcus Vetter’s “Cinema Jenin” is about a German-Palestinian group that sets out to rebuild an abandoned movie theater in Jenin, hoping to prepare the ground for social, cultural and economic independence in Palestinian society.
Noam Pinchas’ “The Cripple and the Buddhist” focuses on the filmmaker’s return to his childhood kibbutz to save a crippled friend who has become a recluse, and Amit Goren’s “Dangerous Children” is about an institution for men who have abused family members.
Two other contenders are Dan and Noit Geva’s “Noise,” about a man who decides to go to war against the noise invading his Tel Aviv home and Reuven Brodesky’s “Home Movie,” documenting the last phase in the disintegration of the filmmaker’s family.
In the course of the festival, Israeli movies that are not contending will also be screened, as will seven films that are running in the student competition.
By Avigayil Kadesh
“We are Ariel Berko and Yoav Levi from Rogozin High School in Kiryat Ata, Israel. In our experiment, that was chosen to be in the big final of the SpaceLab competition, we want to examine the effect of gravity on the mating process of baker’s yeast, which multiplies via sexual reproduction. We think that the yeast will not do sexual reproduction in space because in this process there are many changes in the cells of the yeast and we think that they are affected by gravity.”
That’s how two Israeli 10th-graders described their proposal for YouTube Space Lab, a worldwide competition that challenges 14- to 18-year-olds to design a science experiment that can be done in outer space. The concept was born at a marketing brainstorming session at Google, YouTube’s parent company, and is co-sponsored by Lenovo.
Based on popular votes received by thousands of applicants, the Israeli boys’ yeast experiment made it to the finals. Now the finalists’ ideas are being scrutinized by an international panel of judges including NASA officials, former astronauts Leland Melvin, Frank De Winne and Akihiko Hoshide, and Cirque du Soleil’s founder, Guy Laliberté.
Six regional winners to be announced February 21 will go to Washington, DC, in March to experience a Zero-G flight and receive other prizes including a Lenovo ThinkPad. Two global winners from this group, representing ages 14-16 and ages 17-18, will have their experiments performed 250 miles above Earth in the International Space Station (ISS), live-streamed on YouTube.
The global winners will get a trip to Tanegashima Island, Japan, to watch their experiment blast off in a rocket bound for the ISS. Alternatively, winners may wait until they turn 18 to train with cosmonauts in Star City, Russia.
Yeast and humans
Fifteen-year-old Yoav explains that he and Ariel (16) heard about the competition through the program for gifted young scientists that they attend for two days, three times a year, at the Davidson Institute of Science Education at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot. “They asked us if we wanted to take part, and we did,” says Ariel.
Their first idea was to see the effect of gravity on human reproductive cells, but that would have necessitated a microscope, which is against the rules of the competition. “So we searched for something in the same model but bigger,” says Yoav. “The Davidson Institute offered us to try it with yeast, and one of the PhD students there helped us plan the experiment.”
Ariel describes yeast as “a very interesting creature from which we can study about humans. We are more developed creatures, but with a lot in common.”
Yeast exists in two varieties: one reproduces asexually and the other sexually, through a complex mating process called “shmooing.” If yeast can reproduce in zero gravity, perhaps humans also could – and vice versa.
Their biology teacher at Rogozin also helped them ready their project, and they described the proposed experiment to all 1,500 students in their school. Kiryat Ata Mayor Yaakov Peretz encouraged everyone in town to get onto the website and vote for the local boys.
If they win, it will be Ariel’s first trip to America. Yoav was there in 2010 as part of a World ORT youth ambassadors program to Atlanta. “They wanted to let us get to know each other,” he explains. “When I came there [kids my age] still thought there are camels in Israel.”
Who is Kathleen Reiter ?
I am 23years old, born and raised in Montreal and I’ve recently decided to make aliyah
Have you always wanted to Sing ?
Yes, i think its the only thing I’ve ever been sure of in my life. It’s always been my passion.
What would you say your singing style is ?
I would say my singing style is Soul definitely.
Which artists would you say influenced you most ?
Obviously I am a huge Adele fan, so she’s had alot of influence on me for sure.
I’ve grown up listening to Michael Jackson so he’s definitely been a huge part of my musical influences.
I also write and so bands like Kings of Leon and Mumford and Sons are huge influences on me as well.
How does a Montrealer make it on The Voice Israel ?
Funny story! Ever since I was very young I would spend almost every summer here in Israel with my family. I had decided over this last trip that I would stay in Israel and I found out about the auditions around the same time. I was like fate! I knew about the show and it’s format and i Ioved it so I just had to audition.
Adele was your choice for the audition… will we hear you sing in Hebrew?
Im so happy that I’ve made it into Sarit Hadad’s group. It very importants for me to show people that I can sing in hebrew and that I want to sing in hebrew. I certainly hope that I do get that opportunity sing in hebrew!
You were crowned ‘Jewish Idol’ in Montreal in 2004, tell us about that
What can I say, I was 15 years old and I got the chance to sing at the Spectrum in front of 1000 people! I was living out my dream!!! I think i will always hold a special place in my heart for the Centre Hillel because they really helped me push my career forward and have always really been supportive. It was an amazing opportunity and I have only great memories from it!
Do you see any similarities between Montreal and Tel Aviv ?
Yeah I do, I think that’s why I love this city so much! Its vibrant and has an amazing nightlife just like Montreal! I’m still in the process of discovering Tel Aviv but so far I’m in love!
Any favorite spots?
Yeah sure there’s a place called Haezor, its probably the coolest bar I’ve ever been to! It has the most amazing ambiance and live musicians and you can just go up and Jam with them it’s amazing!
Maccabi Tel Aviv became Israel’s first volleyball team to reach a European quarterfinal after defeating Greek champion Olympiacos yesterday at home.
Marcelo Mendes Sacchi, Maccabi’s 39-year-old wing-spiker from Brazil, was the catalyzer, while fellow wing-spiker Shon Faiga and middle-blocker Genadi Sokolov provided crucial plays to propel the team to victory.
Having lost last week in Greece, Maccabi needed to win both the match and then a tie-breaking set.
The evening started off poorly as the hosts looked unfocused. Olympiacos dominated to take the set 25-20, and it looked like yet again the Israeli side will fail to reach the quarterfinal stage.
Instead, the fiery Sacchi applied all his experience to rally the team even as it trailed midway through the second set. Where the team faltered in the first set last week, which it had dropped 30-28, Maccabi steeled its nerves and took the hotly contested set 26-24.
By the third set Maccabi looked firmly in control. Olympiacos made a myriad of unforced errors, serving into the net several times, allowing Maccabi to win the third set easily 25-19 and then go on to take the match 25-21 in the fourth set.
That win set up the tie-breaker, played to 15 points. Olympiacos won the first two points and almost broke Maccabi with a third straight point, but Sacchi saved the situation and Maccabi surged back into the lead. The lead switched twice more, but Faiga, Sokolov and Sacchi each scored down the stretch to secure a 15-12 win and book their place in the quarterfinals.
“For me it’s the best emotion of my life,” an excited Sacchi said after the game.
The indie-rock band Izabo will represent Israel in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest with its song “Time,” the Israel Broadcasting Authority announced on Tuesday. The competition will take place in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, on May 22.
Izabo was founded in 1989 by musician and musical producer Ran Shem-Tov, who provides vocals and guitar for the group. Its other members are Shem-Tov’s partner Shiri Hadar (keyboards ), Jonathan Levy (bass ) and Nir Mantzur (drums ).
The band sings in English, and it has made some inroads on the European music scene. Despite its 20-plus years in existence Izabo has released just two albums, “Fun Makers” (2003 ) and “Super Light” (2008 ). A third album is set for dual release soon by both the Israeli company Anova Music and the British label 100%.
“We were very surprised and happy to hear of the decision,” Shem-Tov said after the IBA announcement, adding, “We definitely intend to prepare and to give the performance of our lives.”
The representative to this year’s song contest was chosen by a committee rather than the traditional pre-Eurovision contest on Israel Television, for budgetary reasons.
“In the name of the committee I would like to congratulate Izabo and the song’s creators,” the chairman of the selection committee, Yaakov Naveh, said on Tuesday. “I have no doubt they will represent the broadcasting authority and the State of Israel with great honor.”
The composition of the committee remained confidential until after its members made their selection. In addition to Naveh it included IBA plenum member Yitzhak Sonnenschein, Channel 1 television Program Division head Rina Hachmon, Channel 1 Entertainment and Culture producer Tal Argaman, the musicians Nimrod Lev, Mira Awad, Gilad Segev and Roni Yedidia, the music editors of a number of popular-music radio stations, the head of Israel’s Eurovision song contest and a representative from the Education Ministry.
Shem-Tov produced the most recent album of Israel’s representative to the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, Harel Skaat.