The South Festival`s Documentary Treasures Program 2016 is continuing its unique and uncompromising line of documentary filmmakers, who contribute an alternative and significant voice to the Israeli creative landscape. Our ambition is to give a platform to films which touch, both in content and aesthetics, on social- political-cultural moments in a novel, original and surprising manner.
The filmmakers in this program, each in their own way, aim the camera towards moments and situations in which it captures boundless curiosity, deep anguish, longing and passion, revealing and contemplating them. It is cinema which more than once saves the directors` lives while simultaneously documenting the death of those closest to them. It is about brave voices which penetrate our consciousness and remind us of the importance of documentary cinema in understanding and deciphering the world around us.

This year, five films, which together create a versatile tapestry of worlds, have been selected. The Jerusalem Dream, directed by Meni Elias presents the tormenting journey of the Ethiopians to Israel. The film is scheduled to be screened on Jerusalem Day, which is also Memorial Day for the members of the Ethiopian community, who were not fortunate enough to realize their dream of coming to Israel. In her film Poetics of the Brain, the filmmaker and director Nurith Aviv`s childhood photos bring on memories and contemplations, which lead her to encounters with neuroscience researchers. Tal Avitan`s film Out of Frame, tells the story of a profession in crisis- the print media. The film revolves around three leading news photographers, all from the south of Israel, who each in their own way struggles to survive and hold on to their sanity. Roman Shumunov`s film Babylon Dreamers, is an intimate documentation of a group of youths from Ashdod, who face the struggles of immigration from the former soviet union and their goal to win the international Break-dance championship. JeD Aisens film Matters of the Heart, follows Dr. Ami Sheinfeld, a chief cardiologist who volunteers in Sderot torn between his personal life and his ideal of fair public health care.

The Cinema South Festival`s documentary treasures program is dedicated to Juliano Mer-Khamis, murdered April 4th 2011 by masked men outside of the “The Freedom Theatre”, a theater he founded with youths from the Jenin refugee camp. Together they hoped to have an “Intifada in pen, brush and camera”. With his enchanting charisma he led those young adults of Jenin who chose art over extremism and violence, although the spirit of freedom and equality, which ran through his veins, turned the extremists in his city against him, and they murdered him in cold blood. “South Treasures” wishes to remember and continue his legacy.