The Sapir College presents:
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The film ”Ofakm” is part of the “In the Desert” project, a vast and long term art project created by the artist Joseph Dadoune in 2008, for the cultural and social empowerment of Ofakim and the Negev. The project resulted from Dadoune’s understanding of the social and environmental importance of the Southern cultural landscape and the necessity that the local identity and culture make its mark on Israeli culture. The production of the project in Ofakim, in collaboration with the city’s residents, requires a cultural vision that supports the existence of a multi cultural space and the formation of a society that does not reject its roots and diversities.
The film centers upon a group of teenagers who carry a missile through the town’s farming areas, adjacent landscapes and sites, on the backdrop of an unknown threat and mounting sense of fear. The group carries the missile on what seems to be a Sisyphean march, without purpose and no end.

In the film, Dadoune seeks to depict a social – cultural portrait of the modern day working class, through the story of Ofakim, a town on the peripheral edge of the country, a microcosmos of the fragile Israeli identity and an image of reality comprised of life in a threatened space. The film was shot, among others, in the abandoned “Of-Ar” (Ofakim-Argentina) textile factory that was shut down in 1986, an event that marked the economic decline of the unemployment stricken town.
The actors, young men and women from Ofakim, are third generation immigrants from North Africa and India and second generation immigrants from the former USSR. Sons and daughters of laborers, some of whom worked at “Of-Ar”. The group underwent a five month process during which they took part in tours of the areas surrounding the town, cinema workshops, an acting master class with actress Evelyn Hagoel, yoga workshops, lectures and trips to contemporary art exhibitions.
“In the Desert”  was created in close collaboration with the Department of Film and Television and the Dean of Sapir College. It is a unique project whereby students were active in the community and took part in the artistic enterprise, in the spirit of the College’s vision to lead the core of a young community that seeks to reshape the cultural agenda in Israel and its surroundings. The project, the film and the screening event were managed and produced by Anna Somershaf, a student in the Film Dept., with the support of fellow students Vered Rosenblatt and Idith Wechter.
The premiere of the artistic film “Ofakim” will take place on May 26th, in the Patish cave in Ofakim (Ofakim Park). Later in the evening, a trio ensemble comprised of the leading musicians in world music and Eastern classical music - Peretz (Piris) Eliyahu, Mark Eliyahu and Gil Hameiri, will perform in the cave. They will play original music by composer Peretz (Piris) Eliyahu, winner of the Prime Minister’s award for composers, as well as select traditional music pieces.

Click here to access the map – the cave is located inside Ofakim Park.

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