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!
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • 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.