Sapir College’s School of Audio & Visual Arts operates the annual Cinema South International Film Festival in association with the Sderot Municipality, Cinematheque Sderot, the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Negev Development Authority.

Cinema South, a unique film festival, focuses on social and cultural perception of the ‘South’. The ‘South’ as a narrative… a language… a worldview…. in Israel and worldwide.

Cinema South offers Sapir film graduates, national and international platforms for their movies. For many, the festival jump-starts their projects to produce full-length feature films.Each year in June, Cinema South International Festival runs for one week, with overseas and Israeli filmmakers, presenting their films in Sderot and nearby Gaza border communities. In addition, Cinema South operates programing throughout the year in the south to empower communities and offer exposure to a wide range of movies films by Israeli and international directors.

Our vision is to be a center for creativity in film and culture in the South. It is unusual in that the festival views its work in an international context and not just a counterweight to Israel’s cultural center – Tel Aviv. Cinema South attract a diverse and multi-generational audience that includes  people from  urban and rural areas, Bedouin villages, Gaza Border Communities kibbutzim and  moshavim, filmmakers and film lovers from all over the country.

The Cinema South Festival provides a stage and screen for the sounds and sights of the Southern discourse, its pain and joys, revealing the complex reality of our lives.  In the words of the late great Justice Louis Brandies, Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”  Daring, investigative and challenging cinema is our special southern sunshine, illuminating neglect and prejudice. Our students’ films and the festival’s rich and varied program include features, documentaries, animation, television and net series, reveal and explore these stories. International directors are chosen to screen their films at Cinema South Festival, based on their narratives of the disregarded and underserved.

We see the Cinema South Festival as a cultural institution that generates change. Through annual activities, collaborations with community and business organizations – our aim to increase awareness, to engage in dialogue and to encourage young and groundbreaking innovation.