Docaviv Festival unveils select films and events from its international program

Upcoming festival highlights include films by great masters, events with acclaimed guests, and the music doc section
With the festival’s 24th edition almost around the corner, Docaviv is proud to announce the highlights of this year’s international program: outstanding films, special events, and select guests from around the world. The festival will take place from May 26 to June 5. The full program will be unveiled on May 2nd, with the opening of ticket sales.

The festival will feature world premieres, Q&As with local and international filmmakers, and industry events held throughout Tel Aviv–Yafo: at the Tel-Aviv Cinematheque, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and The Romano. Many events will also be streamed on the festival’s website. This year, for the first time, Docaviv comes to the Lighthouse with an outdoor screening near the Yarkon estuary, overlooking the Mediterranean sea.

films by master documentarians and special guests

The festival will feature films by master documentarians, some of whom will be present at the festival as its honored guests. The guest list includes Italian filmmaker Yuri Ancarani, who will attend the festival with his much-talked-about film Atlantide and hold a masterclass on his unique work, which oscillates between documentary and fiction; Julie Cohen and Betsy West (RBG), who will attend the festival with three of their latest films, all of them about larger-than-life women: US congresswoman Gabby Giffords, Pauli Murray, a non-binary Black activist and poet who influenced both Ruth Bader Ginsburg among others, and renowned chef Julia Child; Polish filmmaker Paweł Łoziński with his heartwarming festival hit The Balcony Movie; American filmmaker Nina Menkes with her film Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power, a look at how the language of film shapes the viewers’ minds; Austrian filmmaker Ruth Beckermann with her provocative documentary, in which she announces a casting call for a film based on a well-known pornographic text—Mutzenbacher; Brazilian filmmaker Karim Aïnouz with his film Mariner of the Mountains, in which he embarks on a lyrical and eye-opening journey of self-discovery to his father’s homeland, Algeria; and Sergei Loznitsa, who will present his IDFA winning film Mr. Landsbergis, a historical epos about how Lithuania gained its independence from the USSR thanks to the charismatic leader of its independence movement.

The festival will also feature Ron Howard’s We Feed People—about Chef José Andrés, who goes out into the world to cook for and feed humanitarian disaster survivors; and The Exiles, in which Chinese-Korean-American filmmaker Christine Choy revisits a film she had shot in 1989, about the leaders of the Tiananmen Square student protest. Her Oscar-nominated 1987 film Who Killed Vincent Chin? will also be screened at the festival.
This year’s International Shorts Competition lineup will feature docs by Jafar Panahi, Tsai Ming-liang, and Jay Rosenblatt. The winning film will be eligible for Academy Award consideration.

Docaviv and ACRI

Docaviv is proud to present a unique, first-time collaboration with the ACRI (Association for Civil Rights Israel), Israel’s first, largest, and leading human rights organization, which marks its 50th anniversary this year. Over the years, the Association for Civil Rights has amassed a number of impressive achievements that changed the face of Israeli society and led the struggle for protecting democracy and human rights in Israel. As part of the new collaboration, the festival will screen films that deal with human and civil rights, and hold several panels and events revolving around these films, with the festival’s distinguished guests. Films featured in this section include Navalny directed by Daniel Roher, My Name is Pauli Murray, and Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down, both directed by July Cohen and Betsy West.

Yad Vashem Award

This year, for the first time, Docaviv and Yad Vashem will be presenting the Yad Vashem Award for an Outstanding Holocaust-related Documentary. A $3,000 prize will be awarded to Bianca Stigter’s film Three Minutes: A Lengthening, produced by award-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen and Floor Onrust, with narration by Helena Bonham Carter. The Award Committee stated: “This meditative and visually and narratively rich film brings three forgotten minutes filmed in 1939 in the Polish village of Nasielsk back to life, as a result of the comprehensive and profound research that focused on the circumstances of the film’s production. The film tells the story of the village and its Jewish residents, who held a variety of world views, and lived together side by side, while reviving several of the names and voices that belonged tosome of those who appear in the film.” The award will be presented during the festival at a special screening.

Docaviv spotlights Ukraine

This year, Docaviv spotlights Ukraine in a special program featuring films from and about Ukraine, including: Trenches by French filmmaker and military journalist Loup Bureau (one of this year’s guests), who spent months in the trenches with Ukrainian soldiers as war loomed over them, even though the ceasefire was still in effect; A House Made of Splinters, Simon Lereng Wilmont’s heartwarming film about a halfway house for kids whose families fell victim to the harsh reality of Ukraine; (his previous film, the Oscar-nominated winner of Docaviv 2018, The Distant Barking of Dogs, was also about children in Ukraine); Oleksiy Radynski’s Infinity According to Florian, in which a building in central Kyiv known as “The Flying Saucer,” a renowned architectural magnum opus, is threatened and has its creator, 90-year-old Florian Yuriev, go to war; and Fragile Memory, in which, as the memory of an elderly cinematographer slowly fades, his grandson, filmmaker Igor Ivanko, pores over his crumbling old film rolls.

The Music Selection

This year’s music doc selection includes: Meet Me in the Bathroom, a film by Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace about the last great romantic age of Rock and Roll, when The Strokes, LCD Soundsystem, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Interpol re-imagined New York City and kick-started a global musical and cultural revolution; Nothing Compares, a deeply thoughtful, intimate look at Sinéad O’Connor’s life, work, protest, and political struggles; cinematographer Ed Lachman’s Songs for Drella (1990), a masterful digital restoration of Lou Reed and John Cale’s one-off intimate performance; Cesária Évora—the rocky life story of the Barefoot Diva, who touched millions of hearts around the world; Getting It Back: The Story Of Cymande—about the influential band’s unexpected comeback; The Computer Accent by Sebastian Pardo and Riel Roch-Decter—about what happened when American dance pop trio YACHT decided to run a daring experiment and entrust an AI with the task of composing their new album; Love, Deutschmarks and Death—about the artistic, social, and political permutations of the Turkish music scene in Germany; Anonymous Club, which follows Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett on and off the stage, accompanied by a personal audio log she recorded over a 3-year period; and Oeke Hoogendijk’s Licht: Stockhausen’s Legacy—about radical German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, and the preparations for the Amsterdam performance of his larger-than-life opera, “Licht.”