The 9th Other Israel Film Festival has selected two highly acclaimed documentaries for its opening and closing night films; Censored Voices is set to open the festival on November 5 and Women in Sink is closing the festival on November 12. Censored Voices director Mor Loushy and Women in Sink director Iris Zaki will both be in attendance and participating in Q&As and panel discussions. The festival takes place November 5 to 12, 2015 at JCC Manhattan on 76th St and Amsterdam Ave, as well as at Cinema Village and other locations throughout the city.
“The Other Israel Film Festival was created to give cinematic voice to those rarely heard from in Israel,” commented festival founder Carol Zabar. “CENSORED VOICES and WOMEN IN SINK realize our driving mission statement perfectly. Though very different films – one presents unguarded conversations with Israeli soldiers in 1967 and the other the uninhibited conversations of Arab-Israeli women in a Haifa beauty parlor – together these films provide an incisive window into the history and progression of the Israeli/Palestinian experience.”
Recognized with the award for Best Documentary at yesterday’s Ophir Awards (Israel’s equivalent of the Academy Awards), Censored Voices makes its New York premiere as the festival’s opening night film, following screenings at the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals. The film presents, for the first time ever, the uncensored recordings of intimate conversations between Israeli soldiers and renowned author Amos Oz immediately following the 1967 Six Day War in which Israel captured Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank. Originally censored by the Israeli army, the recordings provide an unfiltered lens into the Israeli zeitgeist as the country turned from David to Goliath. Censored Voices will be released theatrically via Music Box Films on November 20.
Closing night film Women in Sink was previously recognized with a Special Mention for Best Documentary at the prestigious Karlovy Vary Film Festival. In the short film, director Iris Zaki investigated Arab-Jewish social coexistence by documenting the uninhibited conversations amongst employees and patrons of Fifi’s, a beauty salon in Haifa owned by a Christian Arab. Positioning her camera above one the sinks, Zaki captures the opinions of a diverse group of women on politics, history, love and life.
Both films were granted completion funds by the Other Israel Fund, which since 2009 has been encouraging creative cinematic work bringing the other Israel to the big screen and to audiences Launched in 2007 by the Israel Film Center at JCC Manhattan, the Other Israel Film Festival annually presents an array of narrative and documentary films highlighting the experience of minority populations in Israel, as well as series of panel discussions with special guests. The JCC’s Film Department also presents ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival and Israel Film Center Festival in March and June respectively, as well as year-round film screenings and other cultural events.