Machsom is an AFI Thesis film, shot in March 2012 and delivered on 35mm film in Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound.
-American Film Institute - *WINNER AFI Conservatory "Franklin J. Schaffner Fellow Award"
-Beijing Film Academy Film Festival (Nov, 2013; China) - *WINNER "Huayi Bros. Special Award"
-Bermuda International Film Festival (April, 2013) - *WINNER “SPECIAL JURY PRIZE”
-Boston Jewish Film Festival (Nov, 2013) - *WINNER "JURY PRIZE"
-Caucus for Producers, Writers & Director’s Foundation - *WINNER “GOLD CIRCLE AWARD”
-Cleveland International Film Festival (March, 2014) - *HONORABLE MENTION
-Ojai Film Festival (Nov, 2013) - *WINNER "LIMELIGHT AWARD"
-Irvine International Film Festival (Jan, 2014) - *WINNER "JURY PRIZE"
-War on Screen Film Festival (Oct, 2013; France) - *WINNER “BEST SHORT FILM”
-Woods Hole Film Festival (Aug, 2014; Massachusetts) - *WINNER "AUDIENCE AWARD FOR SHORT DRAMA" & "JURY AWARD FOR SHORT NARRATIVE"
Additional Festival Official Selections:
-Boston Film Festival (Oct, 2013)
-Caracas International Jewish Film Festival (Nov, 2013; Venezuela)
-Catalina Film Fetival (Sep, 2014; Catalina Island, CA)
-Champs-Elysées Film Festival (June, 2013; France)
-Cinegear Expo Film Series (May, 2013; Paramount Lot)
-Cleveland International Film Festival (March, 2014)
-Global Peace Film Festival (Sep, 2013; FL)
-Festival of Tolerance - Zagreb Jewish Film Festival (May, 2014; Zagreb, Croatia)
-Hollyshorts Film Festival (Aug, 2014; Los Angeles, CA)
-Palm Beach International Film Festival (April, 2014)
-SLO Jewish Film Festival (Jan, 2015; San Luis Obispo, CA)
Bermuda Arts Council
Deluxe Laboratories/ AFI post production grant
The premiere was on March 2nd, 2013 on the AFI campus in Los Angeles, CA. It was great to see so many friends enjoy the film we shot!
“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." -M. Gandhi
Salfit, The West Bank
“Machsom”, the Hebrew word for “Checkpoint”, tells the story of Yaniv Greenblatt, a barely 19 Israeli soldier stationed at one of the most dangerous such checkpoints along the West Bank. Yaniv has just one more year to finish his mandatory service in the Israel Defense Forces. He would like to be a pacifist and struggles to be fair to the Palestinians, but has to contend with the prying eyes of Sgt. David Melamed, and his other superiors. The problems Yaniv faces at home are no easier. His mother is a wheelchair bound hard-right-winger due to the same terrorist attack that killed her husband. Avi, Yaniv’s younger brother, seems to be drifted in the same direction.
The story centers on the day Yaniv goes to pick up his brother at school but finds Avi and several other kids bullying Mohammed, an Arab Israeli boy who lives with his Palestinian father across the green line. Mohammed’s father, Khalil, cannot cross the checkpoint due to a curfew that has been imposed that day. Unable to help Mohammed get home that evening, Yaniv decides to take Mohammed to his own home.
Yaniv and Mohammed must contend with both Avi and Amalia, neither of whom want Mohammed to be there. Yaniv manages to speak up against his mom’s prejudices, and Mohammed and Avi find common ground. The following day, a troubling incident at the checkpoint leaves all involved to reconsider their previous resolve.