CINEMA SABAYA, Starring Dana Ivgy

Israel's Official Entry to the 95th Academy Awards

Kino Lorber is pleased to present Orit Fouks Rotem’s Cinema Sabaya, a richly textured narrative portrait of a group of Arab and Jewish women taking part in a documentary filmmaking workshop and Israel’s official entry to the 95th Academy Awards.

A group of Arab and Jewish women attend a video workshop at a small town community center run by Rona (Dana Ivgy, Zero Motivation), a young filmmaker from Tel Aviv, who teaches them to document their lives. As each student shares footage from her home life with the others, their beliefs and preconceptions are challenged and barriers are broken down. The group comes together as mothers, daughters, wives, and women living in a world designed to keep them apart, forming an empowering and lasting bond as they learn more about each other… and themselves. Inspired by writer-director Orit Fouks Rotem’s own experiences as a teacher, Cinema Sabaya presents a deft and heartfelt portrait of art’s capacity to unite disparate communities, moving effortlessly between the gravity of their conversations and the genuine joy of this unlikely group of friends. 

Israel’s Official Submission to the 95th Academy Awards and winner of five Ophir Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actress (Joanna Said).

Written & Directed by Orit Fouks Rotem

Winner of 5 Ophir Awards including  Best Film, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actress

Cinema Sabaya will open in New York on February 10 at the Quad Cinema and in Los Angeles on February 24 at the Laemmle Royal, with national expansion to follow.

“Understated, powerful... Rotem’s light, authentic touch
makes it an engaging journey... paint[s] a colorful picture of
life as a woman in modern Israel."
- Nikki Baughan, Screen Daily
“Cinema Sabaya shows what engaged Israeli filmmaking can achieve,
dealing with Jewish and Arabs lives in a deep and precise way,
and showing the possible realities within Israel.”
– Eitan Nechin, Haaretz

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WHO
About the Director
Orit Fouks Rotem was born in Israel in 1983. She graduated from the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel School with honors in 2012, winning her class’ ‘Promising Director’ Award. Her diploma film "Staring Match" was screened in festivals all over the world, including San Sebastian, Montreal, Munich, and won the Grand Prix award at the Hangzhao Festival in China, Best Screenplay Award at Tel Aviv Student Film Festival, and an Honorable Mention at the Jerusalem Film Festival.
After graduating, Orit co-directed a documentary series for the Israeli Channel YES Doco; worked as a film facilitator and director for Israeli NGO, making films with at-risk youth; and worked as a filmmaking teacher to groups of women in Acres and Givat Haviva. She also conducted research for a documentary by the Oscar-award-winning director Alex Gibney, and wrote and directed two short fiction films – "You Remain Silent", which was part of the Abraham Heffner tribute "Voice Over" and premiered in Sarajevo, Jerusalem Film Festival 2018 and the MoMA, and "Veil", which was selected to various festivals around the world including the Oslo Short Film Festival, Jerusalem Film Festival and Brussels Short Film Festival.
Cinema Sabaya, which won Best Picture Award and Audience Award at the Jerusalem International Film Festival, as well as Best Picture at the Ophir Awards, is Orit’s debut feature film.
WHEN
Starting On:
February 10, 2023
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