October 2019 Online Short | Oshri — Filmmaker Q&A with Lihi Sabag

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Q: What inspired you to make this film?

My movie “Oshri” is based on a true story.

During my work on my graduating documentary short “Keren Or — A Ray of Light”), I met single moms with very hard stories. One of them had had to give away her child because she wasn’t capable of raising him. After a few years of searching she located him, and using the same cover story used by the mom in the film, she went to see him while he was playing in the kindergarten yard.

This story caught at my heart and I decided to make movie out of it.

Q: What was your greatest challenge during the filmmaking process?

The biggest challenge was to find the perfect child actor to work with. It is amazing working with small children on a set and it gives you a lot of energy, but for obvious reasons it can be difficult and you have to creative while directing them. You have to connect with them on quite a deep level to get the very best acting that you can from them.

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Q: Any thoughts you’d like to share about screening this film in a Jewish context?

We just had YOM KIPPUR, where we speak about regret and about forgiveness When I look at these women, I wonder if they are getting the rights and opportunities they deserve. Will they be made to pay for errors in judgment, or for the disadvantages they were born with, for the rest of their lives? Who will be the first to believe in them? How will society judge them and “forgive” them? And how will they forgive us?

Q: What film/media has inspired you lately?

Lately I had the chance to watch VR movies in progress- I find the variety of ways we can direct and watch a movie, amazing. VR movies are a whole new way of making films and as artists and creators they give us an entirely new perspective.

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Q: What do you do when you’re not filmmaking?

Nowadays I’m establishing together with my movie editor- Shira Meishar, a brand new women’s film festival that will be opening in Jerusalem 16–19 December, 2019. This is an exciting new project that Shira and I have dreamed about and are now making into a reality. Come join us!

Q: Lastly, gefilte fish: delicious, or disgusting?

Oh gosh… I’m from a Sephardic family so I never touched it. Perhaps I need to be more adventurous!

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Inspiring communities to expand their understanding of Jewish life through film, media and dialogue. Presented by the Jewish Film Institute! www.jfi.org

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