Established in 1972, the Tel Aviv University Department of Film and Television is the largest Israeli film school, with 1000 enrolled students and 100 films produced annually.
The department is renowned for its crucial impact on the Israeli film and television industry. Amongst the department’s graduates are Ari Folman (Waltz with Bashir), Dover Koshashvili (Late Wedding), Hagai Levi (In Treatment), Eytan Fox (Walk on Water, The Bubble), Yaron Shani (Ajami), Tawfik Abu Wael (Atash), Yoav Shamir (Checkpoints, Defamation), Rafi Bukai (Avanti Popolo), Shemi Zarhin (Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi, Aviva, My Love), Savi Gavizon (Nina’s Tragedies, Love Sick), Gideon Raff (Homeland), Dror Moreh (The Gatekeepers) and Avi Nir (Keshet CEO).
Films by TAU’s students are recognized by nearly five hundred international film festivals annually, winning countless awards. Moreover, the films have gained a place of honor in the world’s top three short film competitions: Cinefondation, Cannes’ student film competition, has selected TAU’s films for screening 13 times, thus making TAU the world’s most widely represented film school in this prestigious section. Six TAU films have reached a finalist status in the Student Oscar competition. Finally, CILECT, the International Association of Film and Television Schools, has awarded TAU’s films World’s Best Student Film for 3 consecutive times.
Students at TAU are encouraged to take an active role in the production of various professional projects. As a part of an ongoing connection with the Israeli film and television industry TAU has been producing and broadcasting in Israel’s main TV channels such series as “Acting Studio” and “Twenty Four Hours With…”. Other TAU projects put an emphasis on cinematic social awareness. In the past ten years TAU’s students have been producing collections of short social documentaries which focus on Tel Aviv. Starting 2010 TAU has been producing a biyearly Jewish-Arab cinematic collaboration, the first titled “Coffee – Between Reality and Imagination”, the second “Water” and the upcoming one “Sport”. All of these series go on to tour the international festival arena to great acclaim and are purchased by international TV channels.
TAU puts an emphasis on bringing up whole creators. A combination of theory and practice anchored in the fundamental values – quality, creativity, innovativeness and independence – is what leads the department’s graduates to become people of substance, spirit, knowledge and vision.