The 23rd edition of Docaviv, the Tel Aviv International Documentary Film Festival, which will take on an up-to-date hybrid format running July 1-10, has confirmed its Israeli lineup. The festival will stage both in-person and online screenings, all in compliance with social distancing guidelines.
Docaviv is the largest film festival in Tel Aviv and the only festival in Israel dedicated exclusively to documentaries. More than130 films are screened each year, with the festival also featuring a special tribute section as well as strands dedicated to art, music, social issues, virtual reality and new technologies. Events will take place indoors at Tel-Aviv–Yafo’s cinemas and outdoors throughout the city and on the festival’s website.
The festival has announced the Israeli titles competing. The winner of the Frank Lowy Best Israeli Documentary award will receive a $21.474 (NIS 70,000) prize, plus a $30,675 (NIS 100,000) grant from Docaviv to be used towards promoting the winning film in its Academy Awards campaign. This is the biggest cash prize offered in Israel for documentary filmmaking.
Other honours include the Mayor’s Award for Best Debut Film, Honourable Mention, the Yossi Kaufman Best Director Award, and the Editing, Cinematography, and Research awards. The festival’s international titles will be announced in June.
Artistic Director of Docaviv Karin Rywkind Segal was quoted as saying: “It is a great pleasure to know that the23rd edition of Docaviv will take place on the big screen allowing the magical encounter between the audiences, the films and their creators. What used to be the most natural experience to us film lovers has become something to look forward to.”
Thirteen documentaries - of which nine are world premieres - screen in this year’s Israeli competition. World premieres include Queen Shoshana from actor/writer/director Kobi Farag and Morris Ben-Mayor, the story of the first Israeli diva, Shoshana Damari; Nelson’s Last War, directed by Avi Maor Marzuk; Riding With a Spy, which sees filmmaker Shlomi Eldar accompanying Israeli whistleblower Anat Kamm on a road trip through the United States; All The Trees Are Blowing In The Wind by Tomer Heymann, about a boy with Asperger’s Syndrome who heads off on a journey for his biological parents in Guatemala, and Shir Newman’s How to Say Silence, about how an old photograph launches a cross-generational journey and painful sharing of her grandmothers’ stories.
The festival’s Beyond the Screen Award is now named after and presented in memory of Docaviv’s founder Ilana Tzur, who served as the festival’s director during its first decade and passed away last year. The nominees for this award are Israeli and international films whose subjects work to change our political, social and ecological reality.