Sapir's School of Audio and Visual Arts, launched in 2001, the Cinema South Film Festival in collaboration with the Sderot Cinematheque. It has grown from a small event that screened student films to a weeklong international film festival. The region's leading cultural event, Cinema South it is the only film festival in the western Negev, Israel's southern periphery in close proximity to the Gaza border. Annually, some 20,000 people participate in movie screenings, music performances and events on Sapir's campus, at the Sderot Cinematheque and in local communities.
Known for its focus on authentic, independent, edgy and creative films, Cinema South screens Israeli and international films that feature people and places on the margins. The Festival highlights filmmakers that utilize cinema as a powerful tool to explore significant issues in society.
Prestigious Stage for the Next Generation of Artists
Cinema South offers our students, alumni and other independent artists a significant national and international platform to premiere their films, meet with leading Israeli and international artists, producers and distributors. They participate in advance showings, workshops and master classes with industry experts, gaining insight and tools.
Annually, the Festival screens students' documentaries that sensitively illustrate local stories and resilience, reflecting life in Israel's south.
Cinema South has premiered the best of award winning Israeli films including: Shiva and Gett (Ronit & Shlomi Elkabetz), Waltz with Bashir (Ari Folman), Footnote (Yosef Cedar), Ajami (Yaron Shani & Scandar Copti), HaMashgichim (Meni Yaish), That Lovely Girl (Keren Yedaya), Beyond The Mountains and Hills (Eran Kolirin), Turn Left at the End of the World (Avi Nesher), Zero Motivation (Talya Lavie) and many more.
Among the prominent international artists hosted in recent years are: Marcel Ophuls Carlos Reygadas, Kirsten Johnson, Richard Gere, Albert Maysles, Mania Akbari, Sergei Loznitsa, Anocha Suwichakornpong, Bruno Dumont, Pablo Larraín, Dominga Sotomayor, Denis Côté, Natalia Alameda, Brillante Mendoza and Bing Wong.
Cinema South Awards: Each year, alumni and independent artists submit their films for Cinema South Film Award Competitions for Best New Artist and Best Short Film.