In recent years we witness an increase in the percentage of feature films directed by women in Israel. From one or two feature films a year until 2000, to almost a third of the films in 2016, and almost 20% of the films in the last three years. This increase in numbers has led film critics and others to declare an “Israeli Female Wave” – a term which implies an arbitrary phenomenon, without roots or historical base, and framing of the films made by women as a specific genre.
In this presentation, I argue that this is not the case. In a male-oriented gendered industry, where men control the significant recourses, receive more considerable funds, and outnumber women on the set, I argue that women filmmakers are social agents, influencing the field and not only influenced by it. This presentation deals with Israeli women filmmakers’ activism: creating organizations and institutions, networking, and other various initiatives to promote their status in the industry battle existing power-relations, challenging gate-keepers, creating leadership, and maybe even a movement.
The research field dealing with women in the film industry is vast, but it is mostly European and western-centered, and never before dealt with the Israeli case. Judging by recent years, there is much to explore. In this presentation, I aim to embark on this empowering quest, creat roots, and challenge the current atmosphere.