Filming a Masterpiece, in Five Days or Fewer

Take One: Films submitted to the unusual competition will focus on a topic connected to Tel Aviv.
GETTY IMAGES
Take One: Films submitted to the unusual competition will focus on a topic connected to Tel Aviv.

By Nathan Burstein

Published April 15, 2009, issue of April 24, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

It will be a race to the editing room.

Israeli filmmakers will face off next month to claim an honor given neither at the Oscars nor at the Golden Globes: the distinction of having made the best documentary in five days or fewer. Organizers of DocAviv, Tel Aviv’s annual documentary film festival, are currently accepting applications from filmmakers for the unusual contest, which starts to unfold — presumably frantically — on May 4. On the first day of the competition, the 15 selected filmmakers will learn the shared subject of their films, which they can explore via such genres as biography and investigative reporting. The directors’ only advance clue about the topic is that it will relate to DocAviv’s host city — and may be connected with Tel Aviv’s 100th anniversary celebrations this year.

Contest organizers will supply the filmmakers with all the equipment they’re allowed to use and with editing facilities. Each of the finished films is expected to run between four and seven minutes, and up to 12 finalists will be screened during the festival, scheduled to take place between May 7 and 15. Following the event, the winning films will air on Israel’s Yes Docu cable channel, online and at Tel Aviv’s Cinematheque movie theater. Organizers will also arrange screenings overseas.

The inspiration for the contest comes from American community media organization KDHX, which this year is hosting a similar competition for the third time.

Ari Davidovich, a documentary filmmaker and organizer of the Israeli contest, said he had high hopes for the new films, despite the severe time constraints placed on their makers.

“I think the story is the key,” he told The Shmooze in a phone interview from Tel Aviv. “You don’t have to have a big story for five minutes; even small stories can fit such a short film. But if you have the story and you believe in it, you can do it in five days.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.