The Film Class

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The Film Class

Filmmaker Uri Rosenwaks arrives to Rahat, a Bedouin town down in Israel’s Negev Dssert, to teach a group of Black Bedouin women a class in filmmaking. Rahat, partially populated by Black Bedouins who were originally brought to the Negev as slaves, is afflicted with pessimism, unemployment, poverty and violence. Kidnapped in Africa by Arab slave traders, they were auctioned-off in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Zanzibar. Until fifty years ago, the Black Bedouins were enslaved by the White Bedouins. Only after about 18 months of working and making short films together did the director work up the nerve to suggest that they make a film telling the history of the Black Bedouins. Suddenly, a small and modest course in filmmaking becomes a place in which a great taboo is aired. The women, who still confront discrimination to this day, unveil a story which has rarely been told.

Festivals and Awards:

The Art of Cinema Award – The Israeli Science, Culture and Special Commendation Mention by SIGNIS at the Zanzibar International Film Festival,  Africa, 2007; Special Mention by UNESCO Jury Breaking the Chains at the Zanzibar International Film Festival, 2007; Best One Hour Documentary Award at the Israeli Annual Documentary Awards, 2007; Cape Town Israeli Documentary Film Festival, South Africa, 2009;  Maine Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2008; Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2009;  San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2008;  Israeli Showcase, Vienna Film Archive, Austria, 2008;  Film Is Real Festival, The Netherlands, 2008; 16th Annual Pan African Film Festival, L.A., USA, 2008; Conference about Anti-Slavery at the Arizona State University, USA, 2007;  Boston Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2007;  PSBT Open Frame International Film Festival, India, 2007;  Other Israel Film Festival, NY, USA, 2007; International Documentary Film Festival CRONOGRAF, Chisinau, Moldova, 2007; Prix Visionica Int'l TV Festival, Poland, 2007; Toronto Jewish Film Festival, Canada, 2007; Israel Film Festival in Brussels, Belgium, 2007; The Hungarian Film Archive, Budapest, 2007; Palm Beach Int'l Film Festival, USA, 2007; Nazareth International Human Rights Film Festival, Israel, 2006; Vienna Jewish Film Week, Austria, 2006; The Wolgin Award Competition at The Jerusalem International Film Festival, Israel, 2006

Director: Uri Rosenwaks

Producer: Uri Rosenwaks, Majid Alkamalat

Cinematographer: Nagah Abu Zaeila

Editor: Boaz Leon

Original Soundtrack: Avi Belleli

Supporter(s): The New Fund for Cinema and Television, Channel 10

Script: Uri Rosenwaks

Distributor: Ruth Diskin Films

Subtitles: English

Film Name in Hebrew: החוג לקולנוע

Filmmaker Uri Rosenwaks arrives to Rahat, a Bedouin town down in Israel’s Negev Dssert, to teach a group of Black Bedouin women a class in filmmaking. Rahat, partially populated by Black Bedouins who were originally brought to the Negev as slaves, is afflicted with pessimism, unemployment, poverty and violence. Kidnapped in Africa by Arab slave traders, they were auctioned-off in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Zanzibar. Until fifty years ago, the Black Bedouins were enslaved by the White Bedouins. Only after about 18 months of working and making short films together did the director work up the nerve to suggest that they make a film telling the history of the Black Bedouins. Suddenly, a small and modest course in filmmaking becomes a place in which a great taboo is aired. The women, who still confront discrimination to this day, unveil a story which has rarely been told.

Festivals and Awards:

The Art of Cinema Award – The Israeli Science, Culture and Special Commendation Mention by SIGNIS at the Zanzibar International Film Festival,  Africa, 2007; Special Mention by UNESCO Jury Breaking the Chains at the Zanzibar International Film Festival, 2007; Best One Hour Documentary Award at the Israeli Annual Documentary Awards, 2007; Cape Town Israeli Documentary Film Festival, South Africa, 2009;  Maine Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2008; Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2009;  San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2008;  Israeli Showcase, Vienna Film Archive, Austria, 2008;  Film Is Real Festival, The Netherlands, 2008; 16th Annual Pan African Film Festival, L.A., USA, 2008; Conference about Anti-Slavery at the Arizona State University, USA, 2007;  Boston Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2007;  PSBT Open Frame International Film Festival, India, 2007;  Other Israel Film Festival, NY, USA, 2007; International Documentary Film Festival CRONOGRAF, Chisinau, Moldova, 2007; Prix Visionica Int'l TV Festival, Poland, 2007; Toronto Jewish Film Festival, Canada, 2007; Israel Film Festival in Brussels, Belgium, 2007; The Hungarian Film Archive, Budapest, 2007; Palm Beach Int'l Film Festival, USA, 2007; Nazareth International Human Rights Film Festival, Israel, 2006; Vienna Jewish Film Week, Austria, 2006; The Wolgin Award Competition at The Jerusalem International Film Festival, Israel, 2006

Director: Uri Rosenwaks

Producer: Uri Rosenwaks, Majid Alkamalat

Cinematographer: Nagah Abu Zaeila

Editor: Boaz Leon

Original Soundtrack: Avi Belleli

Supporter(s): The New Fund for Cinema and Television, Channel 10

Script: Uri Rosenwaks

Distributor: Ruth Diskin Films

Subtitles: English

Film Name in Hebrew: החוג לקולנוע

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