Docaviv NPO acts at the heart of one of the most innovative, vital, and surprising creative arenas – that of documentary filmmaking. The non-profit organization provides a wide variety of unique stages throughout Israel for documentarians and their work, exposing new audiences to the field, and encouraging the making of creative documentary films that examine and expand the boundaries of the genre.
Docaviv, the Tel Aviv International Documentary Film Festival, is the largest film festival in the city of Tel Aviv, and the only festival in Israel dedicated in its entirety to documentary films. It is considered one of the leading documentary festivals worldwide. Each year, the festival screens over 100 new documentary movies from Israel and from around the world, and its program includes four competitive frameworks: The Israeli Competition, the International Competition, the Depth of Field Competition, and the Student Competition. The festival also features a special tribute program dedicated to the work of esteemed filmmakers, as well as special programs dedicated to the themes of music, art, society, and others. One of these programs focuses on alternative documentary cinema and works that make use of new technology–including Virtual Reality–in order to tell stories in new and challenging ways, and to shed light on those hidden corners of reality that the cinematic medium cannot always reach.
As a festival that aims to encourage the creation and dissemination of influential, moving, powerful movies, Docaviv hosts a range of multi-faceted workshops and meetings with the world’s leading documentary filmmakers, including Michel Gondry, Alan Berliner, Ondi Timoner, Brett Morgen, Nikolaus Geyrhalter, and others.
Throughout the festival’s ten days, the celebration of documentary cinema overflows the building of Tel Aviv Cinematheque, where most of the screenings are held. In 2016, Docaviv Festival’s films were screened, admission free, at twelve venues across the city. The public is invited to watch movies and take part in cinematic happenings at Tel Aviv Port, Jaffa Port, on select city rooftops, in public gardens, at Habima Square, and at additional locations.
In order to expose as wide an audience as possible to documentary work, the NPO also organizes two regional festivals: Docaviv Galilee, held in Ma’a lot Tarshiha, and Docaviv Negev, held in Yeruham, as well as dozens of documentary film screenings at cultural centers located throughout the country.
Each year, Docaviv NPO awards Israel’s largest prize for an original Israeli documentary production, and alongside it, prizes for the Best International Film Award, prizes for outstanding student filmmakers, and an additional prize within the Depth of Field framework, for innovative, inspiring documentary films from around the world.