Tickets: 02-565-4350
Jerusalem Film Festival




The Second international conference on Israeli documentary cinema


Monday, July 8, 2013 •  Mishkenot Sha'ananim •  Entrance is free and is open to the general public. •  Advanced registration at
Lectures will be delivered in English and Hebrew. Simultaneous interpretation into both languages is available.


The 30th anniversary of the Jerusalem International Film Festival is also an opportunity to celebrate the remarkable achievements of Israeli documentary cinema. Within this framework, we would like think jointly, academics and filmmakers, of one of the key questions that preoccupy us at the present, namely, of the place and function of the documentary protagonist or hero (in Hebrew the word is one and the same). No doubt, Israeli documentary cinema and its protagonists stand at the forefront of contemporary political and cultural debates. Whereas the documentary films of the first half of the twentieth century sought to represent the emerging Jewish nation and hallowed their protagonists, contemporary documentary films challenge Zionist myths and set all types of “others” as protagonists. Alongside these transformations, documentary filmmakers also deal with the revolution brought about by digitization, new media, and reality shows. These force us to redefine the protagonist, a redefinition that is tied to the redefinition of such terms as authenticity and facticity and of the relationship between ethic and aesthetics. Who is the contemporary protagonist? How does the protagonist mediate between image and reality, between myth and history? In the absence of a protagonist, who fulfills that function? How does the documentary protagonist compare with the protagonist of feature films? These are some of the questions we will consider at the conference. Looking at Israeli documentary cinema simultaneously from within and from without promises to focus the discussion about one of the most powerful centers of identification for us all – the protagonist.

Our guests are among the most renowned international scholars of documentary cinema:
Michel Renov, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Robert Sinnerbrink, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.
Brian Winston, Lincoln University, UK. .

The conference is organized by: Raya Morag, Shai Ginsburg, Orna Raviv and Gili Mendel.

10:00 Gathering and registration
10.30-10.45 Greetings  
Alesia Weston Executive Director, Artistic Director and Festival Director, the Jerusalem Cinematheque
Gili MendelJerusalem Cinematheque
Uri Rosenwaks Chairperson, the Israeli Documentary Filmmakers Forum
10.45- 12.15 Session I  
Shai Ginsburg Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Duke University: No Country for Heroes
Robert Sinnerbrink
the Philosophy Department, Macquarie University Sydney, Australia : Doers and deeds: On the idea of the protagonist in documentary film
12.15-12.45 Coffee Break
12.45-14.15 Session II  
Raya Morag Department of Communication & Journalism, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem : Loss in Translation: The Director and the Protagonist in Current Israeli Documentary
Michel Renov
School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California: Subjectivities at Stake/Souls in Crisis
14.15-14.45 Lunch Break
15.15- 14.45 A conversation with Neil Barsky, director of the documentary KOCH
15.15-16.45 Session III  
Orna Raviv Department of Philosophy, Tel-Aviv University: The Face of the Protagonist - an Ethical Reading
Brian Winston
Lincoln Chair, Faculty of Media Humanities and Performance, Lincoln University, United Kingdom : The Question Is: What Must We Film Now?
16.45- 17.00 Closing Statements


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