Traces of Emigration in Tel Aviv und Berlin

While it’s one thing discovering Jewish themes in Berlin and exploring traces of Germany in Israel, it’s quite another, or maybe just something else, to grasp what you’ve seen in moving images. It is exactly this challenge that the participants of the BACK AND FORTH project are faced with. Two students from the dffb in Berlin and two from Tel Aviv University all studying directing each carry out research and shoot in the other, as yet unknown city. Who will they meet there, what will the daily rituals or traditional ceremonies tell them about life and the state of motion in the other society and how can they use the camera to relate these ideas? The search for identity is a key theme here – both their own and that of their respective counterparts – with religion, language and concepts such as “home” also playing a key role.

These four students do not make their way through Berlin and Tel Aviv alone, but are supported by student teams from both universities. Teamwork is also the order of the day when it comes to putting together the films: editing in Israel, post production in Berlin. The result is four documentary shorts, each of which represents four personal perspectives on the respective other society, which also answer the question of how migration has left its mark in both societies. The films then receive their joint world premiere in Berlin and Tel Aviv and are shown on German television; for these budding filmmakers, it is the first introduction to the world of film outside film school. Yet it’s also about so much more: about the opportunity to incorporate other ways of thinking and working into one’s own creative process; about building on the existing contacts between the participants and film schools and allowing new ones to be created; about gaining insights into the respective other (film) culture. While film itself is all about the moment, long-lasting networks, experiences and encounters come to the fore as far as filmmaking is concerned.

The documentary film project BACK AND FORTH is an initiative by the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (dffb) in collaboration with the Film & T.V. Department of the Yolanda and David Katz Faculty of the Arts at Tel Aviv University taking place from September 2012 until October 2013. Two German and Two Israel students all studying directing take part in the project, accompanied by student teams from both universities. The production and post-production for the four films made as part of the project are carried out in Berlin and Tel Aviv. Afterwards, the films receive a joint premiere in both cities and are shown on television (RBB), with the projects also being publicised on the internet and via social media.