A Future in Friendship

The joint project “A Future in Friendship” set 16 German and Israeli film students out on a creative journey into the future. How will both countries relate to one another down the road? This was the theme that encouraged both a shared filmic and personal experience.

After the introductory seminar, the German-Israeli teams went looking for clues in Berlin and Sderot. A number of questions guided the search process: who are we, who are you, what will connect us in the future – and what kind of visual language or innovative forms of expression are suitable? The first cut process included discussions about experiences and filming on site before the teams headed home to continue postproduction work. The result is nine one-to-two minute short films: documentary impressions and experimental clips, holiday videos and fictional scenes, animation, and clips with cartoon elements all shot with high definition and DV-standard camcorders or mobile phones. Most importantly, the end product generated encounters, conversations, and reflection.

It was in these ways that “A Future in Friendship” outlined subjective visions of tomorrow, visions that observe, pose questions, and are both witty and thoughtful. Moreover, these visions captured in particular images that mirror the society as a whole. In “Listen!” children playing use their hands and ears to experiment with sound against the backdrop of church bells and muezzin calls. This clip plays with the notion of identities as do “Tangled Up,” “Turning Point” or “To Be.” Other clips make use of certain clichés as their subject: With the call “Like Austria,” a young couple traveling through mountainous, southern part of Israel proclaim with excitement how much the landscape resembles the Austrian Alps. The past and its visibility in the present play a central role in “Thin Ice” and “Peeping Wall.” “Completion” and “Leviathan’s Belly Ache” create an atmosphere somewhere between the absurd, a menace and a dream.

Here we have nine statements that can stand alone but together are snapshots of a shared journey that reveal a fascinating kaleidoscope of what inspires young filmmakers today.

“A Future in Friendship“ is a joint project of the Film and Television Academy “Konrad Wolf” in Potsdam and the Film & TV Department at the Sapir Academic College in Sderot in cooperation with Eikon gGmbH and the German-Israeli Future Forum. Sixteen film students from both schools worked together on nine short films from September to December 2009 in Berlin and Israel. Three instructors from each film school worked alongside the students. The end products were shown both in Germany and Israel. Several of the students also had the opportunity to show their joint efforts at a meeting between Israeli President Shimon Peres und German President Horst Köhler in Berlin in January 2010.