Special focus at ShorTS IFF on film productions from Israel

Every year the ShorTS International Film Festival turns a special spotlight on film productions from a particular geographical area. Starting from this year, and continuing up until 2025, the Festival is to map out a way through the regions that culturally, geographically and cinematically offer a route and journey from Trieste to Jerusalem. The country chosen for the start of this journey is Israel, whose culture has a strong link with Trieste: the city in fact not only has one of the largest synagogues in Europe, but also the centuries-long presence of a lively Jewish community that has left its indelible cultural, commercial and philosophical mark on the history of the Friuli Venezia Giulia regional capital.

In collaboration with Tel-Aviv University’s Steve Tisch School of Film and Television, the leading film school in Israel which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary, and T-Port, a non-profit online platform aimed at promoting emerging talent and facilitating the distribution of shorts within the professional film industry, 16 shorts, both recent and otherwise, will be shown, strongly representative of the prolific creativity of this country so rich in stories.

The ten award winning works from the Steve Tisch School of Film and Television include Layla Afel/Dark Night by Leon Prudovsky (Israel, 2005), a drama about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which in the same year of production took home a special mention in the Corto Cortissimo section at the Venice Film Festival; Audition by Eti Tsicko (Israel, 2010), a short that shifts between reality and fiction; and the Italian premieres of Barbie Blues (Israel, 2011), the debut work of Adi Kutner, winner of the Best Short Film Award at the Jerusalem International Film Festival, and Maf’ila/Operator by Ben Hakim (Israel, 2016), the story of a single mother who works as a war drone pilot to earn a living.

The remaining six short films – the selection of which is curated by T-Port – present the best and most recent films from the Israeli film industry, works that are a mix of animations, comedies, hybrid documentaries and dramas, dwelling on the different situations of Israeli life, from the sizzling metropolises to the silent desert. Whether teenagers coping with conflict or immigration, a girl grappling with disability or an elderly woman’s journey towards the end of her life, all the films are about trying to deal with a complex reality through fantasy, humour and the forming of human relationships.

This Focus on Israel will at the same time be enriched by a visit to the Museum of the Jewish Community of Trieste Carlo and Vera Wagner and to the Synagogue, via a tour that will touch on the most significant places in Jewish Trieste and a concert by the Klezmer instrumental and vocal group The New Original Klezmer Ensemble.

Under the patronage of the Cultural Office of the Israeli Embassy, the Jewish Community of Trieste and with the support of the Associazione Italia Israele of Trieste.

Download the press release here.

Download the poster here.