Home > Uncategorized > A 48-hour cinematic challenge captivates Israeli youngsters

A 48-hour cinematic challenge captivates Israeli youngsters


Seated in front of the Sderot Cinemateque the youngsters are, from left, Liron, Liraz, Gal, Dror and Elay

By Ulla Hadar

Ulla Hadar

SDEROT, Israel -I was seated comfortably in the Sderot Cinemateque surrounded by quite a large crowd consisting mostly of students from the Sapir College cinema department.

The reason for this outing was the screening of the movies from the Sderot area that had taken part in the “48hour” project.

The project “48hours” started in New Zealand in 2003 and  since then has evolved into to a World Wide event with teams from all over competing
against each other.

The “48Hours” is a cinematic boot camp– a serious challenge for first time filmmakers and even experienced directors. The teams have just one weekend to make a short film. Before the start the filmmakers don’t know what genre (thriller/romance/science fiction/drama etc) they will be shooting. All the teams’ creativity, writing, shooting, editing or adding a musical soundtrack must be accomplished within the 48- hour window beginning Friday evening at 7pm and ending Sunday at 7pm.

This year the competition started on the 17th of June and finished on the 19th. Each team is provided an object, a name and a sentence that have to be incorporated in the filming. This year they got a glove as an object, Michelle/Mike Ferrera was the name and the sentence was “I have an uncle who can organize people…”

In Israel, the competition is held in Sderot, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. From each area one movie goes to the finals and competes against the other two.  The one winning overall competes world wide.

In Israel, 88 teams submitted their movies in time, 18 handed them in too late and 10 teams did not present their final movie to the jury. In the Sderot area 21 teams participated, with 19 handing their films in to the judges. Four of these team were late and were disqualified . The announced winner received a 5000 shekel price. Entry was open to anyone from first timers to professional film makers.

I think I had vaguely heard about this competition in latter years so why my involvement this year? Well my eighteen year old daughter Liraz Hadar decided together with six of her class mates — Gal Maron, Shirel Kol, Dror Eliad, Elay Skutelsky, Liron Shilton and Shira Siebsetzner —  to enter as a team along with Tal Aloni a cinema teacher from the Sapir College.

Young filmmakers confer on location in Israel

The whole event and all that’s involved suddenly became more alive and vivid to me. I think the challenge of participating in this project is huge and stretches the borders for these young people’s creativity. Their team called “Sweet Biscuits” was the youngest and the most unexperienced among the 21 teams,  with only three of the participants having any knowledge of film making and cinema.

What is it to be young today? Like it was to be young when I was young, with many decisions, many choices to choose between, vulnerabilities, insecurities and a lot more. When I look at my children these thoughts always sweeps my mind.

I was amazed this week when my youngest daughter at 18 found the power to join the project “48hours.” amongst her final exams, taking lessons for her drivers license, getting ready to move out and getting ready to enlist the Israeli army. It shows us “grown-ups” the guts these teenagers have.

Although they look tired and worn out, sometimes they have a lot will power,  striving to succeed and to accomplish more than we sometimes give them credit for.

As a mother I am proud of all my children and happy when their creativity shows. I think Liraz – my youngest daughter — has been taught some valuable lessons in this process: how to cooperate, to divide work tasks, to work under pressure, to compromise and to accept other peoples viewpoints.

The creativity was one of the aspects emphasized by Benny Cohen, director of the Sderot Cinemateque, when he introduced the evening as the one thing that should be valued by young cinema makers.

Liraz team “Sweet Biscuits”, was the only team made out of high school teenagers. The group decided towards the finish of their filming not to hand in their movie, mostly because of technical problems that occurred during their filming. Nevertheless, they were part of the whole process and acquired a lot of experiences.  I personally hope that my daughter will find the time some day to do something similar as this project.

Something that is sure is that she will value and remember this experience, and it will be something to tell her grandchildren.

Hadar is Sha’ar Hanegev bureau chief for San Diego Jewish World

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