The Tel-Aviv Cinematheque Is An Israeli Cultural Institution Since 1973

The Tel-Aviv Cinematheque at dusk

Cinematheque in Tel-Aviv is a must see!

The Cinematheque is also an important art gallery. Paintings in this picture and the next are by the talented Israeli artist Danielle Wexler.

It’s very popular in Israel nowadays to hold art exhibitions not only in galleries and museums but also in public spaces and buildings. The most well-known and trendy space is Tel-Aviv’s Cinematheque, also called the Doron Cinema center. The Cinematheque was opened on the 12th of May, 1973 and is now the biggest center of Israeli cultural life and the venue for the largest international film festival in the country. The Cinematheque located at 2 HaArba’a Street in the very center of the city has 5 screening halls that show mostly modern feature films, but also documentaries and art-house creations.

Film festivals that are held annually at the Cinematheque include the TLV Fest, a festival that is focused on LGBT themed films from around the world, which was founded on January 1st, 2006, “Doc Aviv” – a documentary festival, “Moments of French Cinema”, an Australian festival, Comics and Animation Festival, among others. The festivals are supported by groups such as the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, itself a venerable municipal institution that has a variety of programs that support the Cinematheque.

The Cinematheque lobby hosts photo exhibitions by Israeli artists.

The Cinematheque also publishes a film journal called “Cinematheque”. The current building that houses the Cinematheque was designed by Israeli Architect Salo Hershman, and was opened in 1989.

In September 2011 the Israel Cinema Center opened in a space adjacent to the Cinematheque. The new wing is three times the size of the original space and contains three new theaters, offices, a library and a restaurant. Like the original building, the new wing was designed by Salo Hershman.

Doc Aviv is the largest film festival in Tel Aviv and the only festival in Israel dedicated to documentary films. It is an Oscar qualifying festival, and is considered “one of the most prestigious documentary festivals in the world” (Variety, 2018). Over the last several years it became so big that promoters opened regional branches: Doc Aviv Galilee and Doc Aviv Negev.

A nighttime scene outside of the Cinematheque

Doc Aviv runs for 10 days and includes a rich line-up of more than 120 films, special screenings, curated programs, seminars, outdoor screenings, artist talks and more. The festival has the following competitive sections: the International competition, the Depth of Field competition for films exhibiting exceptional cinematic language and exploring genre conventions, short film competition, the Israeli competition, and the Israeli student competition.

The next Doc Aviv will be held from May 23rd through June 1st, 2019.

The artistic director and selection committee prioritize new and innovative films with strong artistic vision for all the competitive sections.The festival screenings of competition films must be Israeli Premiers (never been screened in Israel, broadcast on television, or had been available online).

The Cinematheque is not only a film center, it is also a space for art exhibitions. The most interesting recent ones like the recently completed Moti Sagiv art exhibition, or the Aaron Kravits and Natali Veitsman exhibition. Soon, the exhibition dedicated to the favorite movies of the artists “Auditions” will open.

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