Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Breakthrough Jew – Guy Davidi

Davidi is the director of 2013’s Academy Award nominated documentary feature ‘5 Broken Cameras’

By: Sarah Bauder

Published: February 20th, 2014 in Culture » Film » News

Hot, hip, and heady, the next wave of Jewish artists and influencers has already arrived. This is Breakthrough Jew, your weekly showcase of those on the verge of discovery and ready to be a regular figure in pop culture; setting trends, redefining genres, and simply getting it done-whatever ‘it’ is. These days, it’s not enough to know what’s hot now; you need to catch someone when they’re just starting to simmer.

Featuring those in film, fashion, food, and beyond, we’ll find the story before substance is obscured by style, before hype meets backlash, and before talent and purpose gets lost in a maze of Internet chatter. See an artist in the cozy bar before they hit the amphitheater, dine at a chef’s new restaurant before the line begins, and catch a young writer’s work before the demands of ratings and longevity encroach.

Follow our lead and we’ll follow yours – send us tips or suggestions via email, comment below or tweet us @ShalomLife, as we explore the Jewish landscape for pop culture pioneers.

Name: Guy Davidi

Age: 35

Hometown: Jaffa, Israel

Breakthrough Cred: 2013 Academy Award-nominated documentary ‘5 Broken Cameras’

At the age of 16, Guy Davidi took a film class in high school – that essentially solidified the trajectory of his life. Davidi began making short films, and realized the power of visual storytelling. At 19, he commenced his obligatory military service in the Israeli Army, but after three months refused to continue.

In 2000, Davidi enrolled in Tel Aviv University, studying cinema. However, after a year he decided to drop out. From 2000 to 2002, Davidi paid the bills by working as a film teacher at a local Tel Aviv secondary school. Yet, feeling restricted and creatively unfulfilled, he lit off to Paris for a year as many a young person has done.

Feeling inspired, he returned to Israel and pursued a career in his country’s film industry, working as a cameraman for documentary filmmakers. He filmed many Video Reports and short docs for the Israeli branch of Indymedia, focusing on social and political issues, with many stories filmed in the Palestinian Occupied territories.

In 2005, he spent 3 month living in the West Bank village of Bil’in while working on his first feature-length documentary. In the same year, he began teaching cinema and video to Israeli artists and activists in private workshops.

After achieving success as a cinematographer on several Israeli documentaries including ‘Interrupted Streams’ and ‘Women Defying Barriers’, Davidi decided to take the helm of a project he was impassioned by, 2011’s ‘5 Broken Cameras’.

Davidi and Burnat

‘5 Broken Cameras’, directed, edited, produced, and written by Davidi and Palestinian filmmaker, Emad Burnat, follows a Palestinian villager (Burnat) who films the daily struggles of his best friends, family, and community as a separation barrier is being built in his village of Bil’in.

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