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!
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • 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.