Docaviv announces 16 titles for Israeli Competition

Docaviv announces 16 titles for Israeli Competition

Rain in her Eyes by Dan Hadani 


Sixteen films, of which 12 are world and two are Israeli premieres, will form the Israeli Competition of the 22nd edition of Doc Aviv, set to take place in Tel Aviv September 3-12 following its May postponement due to coronavirus. In total, the festival will screen 120 new international and local docs.


Highlights of Israeli competition include the world premieres of Kings of Capitol Hill by Mor Loushy (Censored Voices) about Jewish lobby organizations in the United States;  Yael Abecassis’ Ma Mère Raymonde, about the director’s mother and singer Raymonde Abecassis; ‘Til Kingdom Come by Maya Zinshtein (Forever Pure), a film that exposes the controversial fellowship between Evangelical Christians and Israel; A Valley’s Lullaby by Ben Shani, an artistic documentary about the painter Eli Shamir, that was transformed when Shamir was diagnosed with Parkinson’s; Yael Kipper and Ronen Zaretzky’s The Three Yossi, a sociological journey back in time that begins over twenty years ago when several families were evicted from their homes and squatted in an abandoned building in Jaffa; and And I Was There by Eran Paz, who, as a young soldier, documented his unit taking over Palestinian homes. Now, 18 years later, he confronts his past and returns to where it all began. See below for full list.


This year’s festival will take in a hybrid format, with both online and physical screenings – all in compliance with social distancing guidelines. Audience events will take place both indoors and outdoors throughout the city, as well as on the festival’s website, whereas industry events are planned to move entirely online. At the time of writing, no date has been announced to reopen cinemas in Israel. The decision to open them on June 14 was withdrawn on June 8 due to a new rise in COVID-19 cases in the country.


Docaviv’s Artistic Director Karin Rywkind Segal comments: “The decision to plan a hybrid festival was made after realizing that the safety restriction that may apply once the cinemas in Israel reopen could limit the capacity of the large crowds that the festival usually enjoys. As a big audience festival, we want to accommodate our loyal audiences who may not be able to attend cinema screenings. Other festivals that went online and a successful curated online program we launched in May, proved that an online program is a wonderful way of reaching people that reside outside of Tel Aviv as well as audiences with disabilities that will not allow them to attend physical screenings. We cannot predict the future but we are working towards the best and safest solutions to showcase the wonderful films we have curated for this year’s programme.”  


The winner of the Best Israeli Documentary Award will receive a total of 170,000 ILS (approx 43,000 EUR), Israel’s largest prize for documentary filmmaking: a 70,000 ILS prize, courtesy of Frank Lowy, and a 100,000 ILS grant from Docaviv, to be used for promoting the film in preparation for the Academy Awards campaign. 


Other awards in this competition include the Mayor’s Award for Best Debut Film, Special Jury Award, the Yossi Kaufman Best Director Award, as well as Best Editing, Cinematography, and Research awards.


Additionally, the festival introduces a new award category this year called Beyond the Screen. The nominees for this award are Israeli and international films whose subjects work to change our political, social and ecological reality. Anchored in current events, these films have the power to transcend the screen and generate real change. Two Israeli films are nominated for this award: A Waste of Space by Noam Demsky and Ido Bahat, about children in foster care during their first year of independence, and Marry Me However by Mordechai Vardi, a look at the lives Orthodox-Jewish LGBTQ men and women who willingly choose to marry against their sexual orientation.


About Docaviv 

Docaviv is the largest film festival in the city of Tel Aviv, and the only festival in Israel dedicated exclusively to documentary films. Last year’s festival saw an all-time high with 67,000 visitors. It is among the world’s leading documentary festivals, with around 120 new local and international documentaries screened in both competitive and non-competitive sections. 


In 2018, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences listed Docaviv as one of the leading festivals whose winners automatically qualify for Oscar consideration. The winners of the Israeli, International and Short competitions are eligible to compete for an Oscar in the documentary category.

Israeli Competition

A Valley’s Lullaby 

Director: Ben Shani 

Production: Shula Spiegel 

Israel 2019, 75 min, Hebrew, Hebrew subtitles

World Premiere 


And I Was There

Director: Eran Paz 

Production: Zafrir Kochanovsky, Miri Ezra 

Israel 2020, 65 min, Hebrew, Arabic and English, Hebrew & English subtitles 

World Premiere


Director and Production: Shirly Berkovitz

Israel 2020, 75 mins

World Premiere


Four Mothers 

Directors: Rephael Levin, Dana Keidar 

Production: Adi Bar Yossef 

Israel 2020, 70 min, Hebrew, Hebrew & English subtitles 

World Premiere


Honorable Men 

Director: Roni Aboulafia 

Production: Yoav Leshem, Associate Producer Assaf Peretz 

Israeli Competition 

Israel 2019, 110 min, Hebrew and English, Hebrew & English subtitles

World Premiere


Kings of Capitol Hill 

Director: Mor Loushy 

Production: Daniel Sivan 

Israel 2020, 90 min, English, Hebrew subtitles

World Premiere 


Love It Was Not 

Director: Maya Sarfaty 

Production: Nir Sa’ar, Kurt Langbein 

Israel / Austria 2020, 86 min, Hebrew, English and German, Hebrew & English subtitles

World Premiere


Ma Mère Raymond 

Director: Yael Abecassis 

Production: Hillel Roseman, Yael Abecassis 

Israel 2020, 77 min, Hebrew, French and Moroccan, Hebrew & English subtitles 

World Premiere


No Hard Feelings 

Director: Arthur Abramov 

Production: Osnat Trabelsi 

Israel 2020, 70 min, Hebrew and Russian, Hebrew & English subtitles 

World Premiere


Rain in Her Eyes 

Director: Ron Omer 

Production: Shula Spiegel 

Israel 2019, 63 min, Hebrew, Hebrew subtitles

World Premiere


Rockfour: The Time Machine 

Director & Production: Gad Aisen 

Israel 2020, 90 min, Hebrew and English, Hebrew & English subtitles

World Premiere


The Human Factor 

Director: Dror Moreh 

Production: Dror Moreh, Sol Goodman, Teddy Leifer 

Israel / United Kingdom 2019, 110 min, English, Hebrew subtitles 

Israeli Premiere


The Prophet and the Space Aliens 

Director: Yoav Shamir 

Production: Tanya Aizikovich, Yoav Shamir, Steven Markovitz, Ebba Sinzinger, Vincent Lucassen 

Israel / Austria 2020, 86 min, English, French, Japanese and Different Languages, Hebrew subtitles

Israeli Premiere


The Three Yossi

Directors & Production: Yael Kipper, Ronen Zaretzky 

Israel 2020, 85 min, Hebrew, Hebrew & English subtitles

World Premiere


The War of Raya Sinitsina 

Director: Efim Graboy 

Production: Yahaly Gat, Efim Graboy 

Israel 2020, 85 min, Hebrew and Russian, Hebrew & English subtitles

World Premiere


‘Til Kingdom Come 

Director: Maya Zinshtein 

Production: Maya Zinshtein, John Battsek, Abraham Troen 

Israel / United Kingdom 2020, 90 min, Hebrew, Arabic and English, Hebrew & English subtitles

World Premiere