‘Weekend of Female Directors’ Coming to Tel Aviv Cinematheque

First of its kind event will be devoted to cinema created in recent years by Israeli women. Development grants totaling $77,000 will be distributed to local female filmmakers.

From 'Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me.'
Vered Adir

A Weekend of Female Directors, a first of its kind event taking place this weekend at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, will be devoted to cinema created in recent years by Israeli women.

The many films will include four new full-length features: “Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me” by Hadar Morag; “End of the World” by Roni Keidar; “Valley” by Sophie Artus; and “Once There Was a Girl” by Natalie Kaplan.

Development grants totaling 300,000 shekels ($77,000) will be distributed to local female filmmakers.

The opening event, A Meeting of Female Artists, will take place on Friday at 2 P.M., at which the winners of five development grants of 60,000 shekels each will be announced.

Immediately afterward there will be “Speed-dating with female filmmakers,” with short TED-style lectures on critical stages of creativity. Among the speakers: Dvorit Shargal on independent distribution and raising money, Lee Gilat on tools for writing a synopsis, Yael Abecassis about successful production, Sari Turgeman on editing a script, Roni Keidar on choosing a crew.

“Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me” screened at the Venice International Film Festival and won the prize for outstanding debut film at the Haifa Film Festival. It tells about a Palestinian boy, the son of a former collaborator, who lives on the margins of society and is attracted to a lone urban horseman who makes a living from sharpening knives. “Valley,” which won the prize for best debut film at last year’s Haifa festival, tells about three sensitive teens from Migdal Ha’emek who are forced to deal with violence at home and in school.

“End of the World” is about eight friends who decide to spend their last day on earth together at a quiet party at home, but the uncertain situation and accessible alcohol force them to deal with the substance of life, with painful regrets and ambitions that will never be fulfilled. “Once There was a Girl,” Natalie Kaplan’s debut film, follows a lost girl-woman whose life is spent in the narrow space between fear of serious illness, loneliness and insomnia.

The event is the initiative of Cinema Po, Women in Film and Television-Israel Forum, and Women in the Picture.