This is a complicated and challenging time to organize a film festival. The events of October 7 have left us, as a documentary film festival, with many questions and thoughts about the need for documentation, its meaning and methods of coverage, and how the products of documentation are used and presented (and when and to whom)—all this while a war rages on around us. More than six months have passed, which feel like an eternity. Writing these lines, the difficult and complex event is ongoing. The hostages have yet to return home, and the fighting in Gaza has not ended. We have chosen to mark this time of crisis at this year’s festival by discussing and examining it from several local perspectives. Over the ten days of the festival, we will screen four short films made in the immediate aftermath of the horrific events and the pain that befell us all, hear from the people of the Edut 710 initiative about the meaning and purpose of creating a comprehensive archive of testimonies, discuss the connections between historical documentaries and present-day reality, hold a special gathering of journalists to talk about war and truth in a time of mobilized media, and screen a film about one family from Kibbutz Be’eri whose world has been shattered.
The trauma of the deep crisis in which we now find ourselves and the need to push for change will continue to occupy filmmakers and film researchers in the coming years. The impact on Israeli filmmaking will be profound.
As a festival, we believe in the power of filmmaking to scrutinize the difficult and complex processes Israeli society is currently going through, as well as in its ability to help us heal and rebuild.

Ilana Tsur
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