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The New Cinema South

From its beginning, the Graduates Films Program of Sapir College has been a central component of Cinema South Film
Festival, its very raison d’être. In our view, the students’ film competition is the backbone of the festival, a concrete realization that the Cinema South Film Festival is the first stage for our graduates into the real world of filmmaking.

Our graduates’ films, whose quality and professionalism improve every year, express the immense energy and the vibrant creative spirit at Sapir College. The films display a broad, rich range of experiences, voices and worlds, and effectively reflect the lives of our students, the complex society in which we live and the spirit of our times. Not only is there an exciting heterogeneity in subject matter, the films also represent a wide range of forms and genres: animated films, documentaries, feature films, television pilots. Our ambition to encourage collaboration among our various filmmaking programs has yielded impressive results this year. It has reached new heights with the joint project of Sapir College’s School of Audio and Visual Arts and the Israel Andalusian Orchestra, which has composed and performed the music for five of the films created by our graduates in our animation, television and cinema programs. This is part of a project initiated and produced by Yonatan Bar Giora, Head of our Soundtrack Program. In addition, many films created by our animation, television and cinema program graduates have benefited from soundtracks and professional musical compositions created by students in our school’s Soundtrack Program.

Despite the richness, variety and uniqueness of our graduates’ films, they share a common denominator that expresses the spirit of the School of Television and Film: Each film is deeply human and personal, and, in an insightful perspective, each expresses a search for a highly personal path. Our students connect themselves to their selfhood, to their inner truth, to their personality, to their unique world. They are part of a family and part of a community, but they are also part of the wider circle of Israeli society. Moreover, the films faithfully reflect our graduates’ problems and hopes. In their films, every student is constantly searching for the most effective way to express his or her various affiliations through a unique cinematic voice that is suited to the subject of the film and which presents itself as an alternative to the dominant mainstream in cinema. However, no matter how experimental their films are, our students always  aspire to a high level of professionalism and

Our location on the periphery, in the desert, along with the ethnic and cultural heterogeneity of our students and instructors generates a lively ongoing dialogue between student and teacher. It creates the unique atmosphere that characterizes the School of Audio and Visual Artsand which is expressed in our graduates’ films that are being shown in this year’s festival. 

As in last year’s festival, we have this year decided not to create a shortlist of films to present in the graduates’ film competition but rather to enable all films to participate in the festival’s central competition. This year, the competition will consist of a single stage, judged by a single panel of judges for all four separate categories: dramatic films and documentaries from our television and film programs, animated films, television pilots and soundtracks. In all of the films selected in the category of soundtrack, the music and soundtracks were created by students and graduates of our Soundtrack Program.

We warmly wish all our graduates much success as they prepare to enter the wide world of professional filmmaking.

Professor Aner Preminger
Head, Cinema Program
School of Audio and Visual Arts, Sapir College

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