student competition

This year, local and international students were invited to submit short films that respond to the theme of the festival: Transfigura. Ten films were selected from the many submissions. The chosen films touch, among other things, on change and transitions, rituals, connections between the physical and the spiritual, and between the spiritual and the physical place. While the student films were selected before the outbreak of the global pandemic, the current perspective seems to underscore another layer in the chosen films, like a prophecy of sorts, calling for connection, touch and material in a time dominated by a digital universe and distancing.

The jury selected two of the ten films in the program, who  awarded prizes of 500 euros for first place and 200 euros for second place. The winning film featured in the festival’s main program.

The first-place winner is Danielle Alhasid with “The Song of the Stones.” In her work, Alhasid produces a unique language consisting of stop motion animation and sound. The work draws delicate and precise, and at the same time mysterious lines between the geographical and the physical and the digital and the fabricated, and between nature and human constructs.

The second-place winner is Hara Shin with “Mouthless Dialogue.” In her work, Shin points to artificial elements in contemporary technology that aim to provide a substitute for natural elements like the sun and nature. She does this while also reflecting on the medium itself and revealing the technological illusion by exposing the mechanism of the work itself.

Arhun Aksakal

Beads of Time

2-channel video, 07:07 min. 2018, Germany
The video installation shows a male hand using a black/white Islamic prayer bead – Tesbih – with 99 stones. Since the beads are fingered in an automatic manner, they allow the user to keep track of how many prayers have been said with a minimal amount of conscious effort. In various cultures prayer beads are used to mark the repetition of chants, meditation or for passing time.

Hara Shin

Mouthless Dialogue

Video art, 06:07 min. 2019, South Korea
Technology and digital imaging allow us to optimize alternative experiences to ‎satisfy a certain absence in reality. The optimized state is simulated in the ‎scope of artificial alternatives such as artificial sun-lighting for light therapy, ‎machine-made nature sounds to relax the body and mind, ASMR and cosmic ‎and natural images, screensaver-like, on the computer screen. The human ‎psyche encounters the vulnerable and subtle tension of reality surrounded by ‎technical illusions.

Aitan Ebrahimoff and Florent Venet


Video art, 05:00 min. 2019, United Kingdom
Commander is a performance art film exploring poetic ecology and ‎control. Set in a time space where historical past meets speculative future, ‎Colonel Pike encounters hybrid beings in a shingle inter zone. He observes ‎their bio culture. Paralyzed by naivety, Pike becomes the subject of perverse ‎ritual.‎ Credits: Film – Aitan Ebrahimoff Art Direction – Florent Venet Starring – Florent Venet & Colin Burnicle Sound Record – Laure Monrozier Original Soundtrack – Max Liefkes

Faten Abo Ali


Video art, 02:39 min. 2019, Israel
My works mostly focus on rituals, on material as action, and on identity. For example, the exploration of my status as a woman who took part in religious ceremonies at my wedding leads to personal introspection alongside the examination of the social complexity of my surroundings, and the thoughts ingrained in us from childhood well into adulthood. The video features a ritual in which I use salt as a purifying substance. My mother rubs my body with salt for purification, but this action leaves burn marks on my body.

Maya Ella


Video art, 02:17 min. 2019, Israel
According to Carl Jung, the individuation process consists of two parts: First, the young person begins to distinguish between things that are him and things that are not him. At a later stage comes the desire for integration – uniting the internal contradictions in one’s personality. The work focuses on the attempt to shed the personal, private skin, and join the general movement, the cycle of nature’s growth and decay. Alongside these, the work offers an alternative to the Western mindset that places man at the center. So much suffering could have been avoided if we would let go of the isolated ego and agreed to acknowledge its limitations.

Avigail Shklovsky

Starost Ne Radost

Video art, 07:27 min. 2019, Israel
In Western society, old age triggers anxiety and alienation. The fear of death does not allow us to see it as part of life. In ancient or neo-pagan communities, every passage in a woman’s life is marked by a ritual: birth ritual, puberty ritual for girls who start menstruating, and finally a ritual for women who has stopped menstruating – the woman becomes a teacher, and the ritual marks the transition to a time of wisdom and visions. In her work, Shklovsky decided to create and document such a rite of passage. She created the ritual for her grandmother and her friends, as part of a shared process of conversations and sessions, and inspired by women’s rituals in different cultures in Israel and around the world. In this ritual, the women shed their old identity, give up the need to act in order to leave a mark on the world, and dedicate themselves to their power and spirit. Taking on the identity of the “bird-woman,” they spread their wings so they can observe life from a broader perspective.

Danielle Alhassid

Song of the stone

Video art, 02:17 min. 2019, Israel
The protagonists of the video animation are stones that mumble a recurring mantra, trying to transmit a hidden secret. The magic of stop motion animation gives a voice to the stones, which hold hidden memories of the city. The work focuses on the ritualistic experience of the encounter with the stones, the “eyes of the oracle,” which reveal fragments missing from collective memory. Old maps emerge from beneath the stones, only to be swallowed once again by a new grid. The video was created as part of a series of short animation films that explore the past of Tel Aviv.

Uri Kloss


Video art, 02:59 min. 2017, Israel
Standing still breathing, flame, wax, mouth, light, candle – a silent scream.‎ Both symbolic and as a traditional act of lighting a candle for transforming,‎ memorializing, and gathering people around. I decided to focus on locating the candle on the border between outside to inside of the body, marking the gap between shadow to light, inside and outside.‎ For things we wish to say and the power of words.‎

Omer and Amitay Cohen

A Dream in Tokyo

Video art, 06:12 min. 2019, Israel
A Dream in Tokyo was inspired by our trip to Japan. The power and madness of Tokyo fascinated and frightened us. Growing up in Jerusalem, we never experienced city intensiveness of this sort. The work sets out to explore the relationship between the individual and the city through the human consciousness. The piece explores the interactions between the images of the awakening city, its topography, and the inanimate elements that come alive. All these reflected through the individual’s consciousness, which appears to emanate from him. The structure of the work also seems to try and capture a timeless condition, transcending day and night in order to reflect a more general state or stream of consciousness. Walking between the worlds – the familiar city and the one that moves on a different plane of consciousness – we embark on a journey with the man who wishes to transcend his boundaries.

Eden Bezalel Habas


Video art, 06:04 min. 2019, Israel
Over 40 years of operation, thousands of castings, and 500 square meters of production floor. Hamiffal (Hebrew, lit. “The Factory”) is a mysterious portrait of a long-standing and tired foundry, specializing in artistic bronze castings and working in the lost wax method. In an independent, hidden and cut off territory, we are witnessing the everyday life of the sculptural figures that were left behind. These sometimes also serve as the mirror reflections of the factory workers themselves. Using a variety of documentary styles and experimental editing, the video challenges the cinematic language of the genre, capturing the sense of the place during the day and at nighttime.