Eight women, Arab and Jewish, take part in a video workshop hosted by Rona, young filmmaker. With each camera take, the group dynamic forces the women to challenge their beliefs as they get to know one other.
01 Sep, 2022 | Theatrical Limited (4 locations)
Other Key Dates
May 18, 2022 - Cannes Film Festival Premiere
May 19, 2022 - London Premiere
A group of Arab and Jewish women attend a video workshop at a small town community center run by
Rona, 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
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 generated by this unlikely group of
Winner of five Ophir Awards including Best Picture and Best Director and Israel’s Official Submission to
the 95th Academy Awards.DIRECTOR – Orit Fouks Rotem
Orit 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; worked as a filmmaking
teacher of 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”, that was a part of the Abraham Heffner tribute “Voice Over” and
premiered in Sarajevo and Jerusalem Film Festival 2018 and The MOMA, and “Veil” that that was selected
to various festivals around the world including The Oslo Short Film Festival, Jerusalem Film Festival and
Brussels Short Film Festival.
Cinema Sabaya, Orit’s Debut feature film, won 5 Ophir (Israeli Film and TV Academy) Awards for Best
Picture, Best Director for Rotem, and Best Supporting Actress for Joanna Said. The film also received Best
Picture Award and audience Award at the Jerusalem International Film Festival. Cinema Sabaya is the
official Oscars® entry for Israel.
A young filmmaker teaching a workshop in a community center puts cameras into the hands of eight women, Arab and Jewish, and asks them to film their lives. As they share their footage, barriers are broken down, beliefs are challenged, and the women learn more about each other… and themselves.