Tourist Tip #363 / Tantras in Tel Aviv: The SPIRIT Cinema Festival

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Tel Aviv, our very own sin city, is not the first place that comes to mind when one looks for spiritual elevation in Israel. Jerusalem is normally the one stop shop for the religious-minded, of whatever creed or denomination. And if you're after a New Age experience, you're much more likely to find it in an ashram deep in the desert or a vipassana course on a remote Galilee hilltop than amid Tel Aviv's hustle and bustle.

But the coastal city that never sleeps - but often meditates - has decided to put up a fight. For the past seven years, SPIRIT, Tel Aviv's international spiritual cinema festival, has brought together self-proclaimed as well as world-renowned maharishis, transcendental meditators, mantra utterers and just sympathizing folk to a collective soul-searching extravaganza, on the screen and beyond.

This year's festival, from this Wednesday October 23 to Saturday night October 26 at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, features 21 films (short, documentary and full-length feature films), complete with workshops, lectures and an open-air New Age fair, covering a broad array of topics ranging from chakra to tantra - we hope you know the difference – and from meditative introspection to healing.

Most films are foreign, either with an English soundtrack or subtitles. A few workshops are led by international guests, and are therefore in English.

Call in advance or visit the festival's website at to learn more. 

Address: 2 Sprinzak Street, central Tel Aviv
Phone number: 03-606-0800

Tel Aviv is usually considered to be business-oriented, but it has its meditators too.Credit: Marina Zlochin

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