DOC NYC 2022 Female Directors: Meet Tal Inbar – “Closed Circuit” – Women and Hollywood | Episode Movies

Tal Inbar is an independent filmmaker based in Tel-Aviv, Israel. During her studies, Inbar directed The Home Front, a short documentary about the Sarona terrorist attack, for which she won first prize for student documentary at the Indian Cine Film Festival. Inbar has also been a guest speaker at a number of universities as part of the MGSDII art residency in San Diego.

“Closed Circuit” will be screened at the 2022 DOC NYC Film Festival, taking place from November 9th to 27th.

W&H: Describe the film to us in your own words.

TI: Two men in suits are sitting in a popular coffee shop in the heart of Tel Aviv. Moments later, they open fire on the shocked guests around them. A customer fights back. Others flee to safety. No one escapes unscathed, whether from actual bullets or the traumatic memories of that night.

“Closed Circuit” deconstructs the infamous attack on the Sarona market in 2016, when an ordinary Wednesday turned into an uncontrollable hell. Through surveillance camera footage and interviews with eyewitnesses who survived the attack, the film reveals the complex reality in which we live.

W&H: What attracted you to this story?

TI: One day in 2017, a year after the attack, I visited Sarona Market for the first time in my life with the intention of buying a book. As soon as I entered the place I had a strong sense of deja vu. It was my first time at Sarona Market and although I lived a few hundred meters away I never went. I immediately remembered seeing bits and pieces of filming that took place there a year earlier via social media. I looked up and noticed the many surveillance cameras around me. When I realized how amazing the images captured by these cameras are, I decided to take care of the footage myself.

I thought, “There must be a story behind this footage that has yet to be uncovered.” With luck, I got the full police file and all security footage of the tragic event. I discovered that there are many stories, not just one, that need to be told and heard. A Muslim family looking to break the Ramadan fast, a young girl who manages to escape only to find out later that she has lost her father, a police officer who unknowingly saves one of the fleeing terrorists – she and many others will get through this violence changed forever encounter with reality.

I met so many inspirational people during the making of this film and I’m so excited that you can now meet them for yourself.

W&H: What should people think about after seeing the film?

TI: I would love to create more awareness of trauma and its endless impact on our lives: awareness of other people who are going through their own trauma and awareness of those around them so they have more understanding and therefore more compassion for themselves and others around them around. I think it’s relevant outside of Israel and outside of the Middle East as well.

Sadly, with mass shootings and other traumatic events happening around the world, I believe that just about anyone, anywhere, can relate to “Closed Circuit”.

W&H: What was the biggest challenge in producing the film?

TI: The biggest challenge I faced in making this film was patience, which is certainly true for anyone working on a large project, but patience might be even more necessary for documentaries. It takes time for people to build trust with you, work with you, and tell you their incredible stories.

Also, I needed the time to listen and understand myself. The story, the materials. What I finally want to share with the audience. Another big challenge was finding my way as a young director for the first time. The dynamics in this area are not always easy, even behind the scenes. Luckily I had a strong, smart and creative editor at my side, Sharon Yaish, who used all her experience to support me in this process. Sharon is an experienced and well-known editor who understood the difficulties of the industry and stood by my side.

W&H: How did you get your film financed? Share some insights into how you made the film.

TI: I contacted whoever I could without shame and honestly explained why this story needed to be told, and it needed to be told now.

I felt submissions and presentations were just as important as the production of the film itself. I started researching who was relevant and who might have resources for us. Even if it’s “just” good advice, rewriting, editing and rehashing. I asked people whose work I admire to listen and review my ideas.

And of course patience. There are many no’s along the way. don’t let them break you

W&H: What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

TI: I’ve loved going to the cinema and the theater since I was a child. I love telling stories myself and I see the engagement and change a good story can bring.

In the beginning I tried to be an actor. While I wasn’t accepted into drama school, I decided to write my own story and went to film school. I enjoyed the process of creating a story through a variety of means and possibilities and surprisingly got accepted to the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School as well. It was almost a mistake. But ever since I started I’ve been hooked.

W&H: What is the best and worst advice you have received?

TI: “Trust me, don’t worry” — that can be both the best and the worst advice, depending on who is giving it.

W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?

TI: Work with more women. They are as good as the boys and can understand you on so many layers. It’s so crucial. In the film making process, you have to be understood and to understand as much as possible. Help your crew to help you. And built it strong, both sensitive and feminine. I am honored and fortunate to have many key crew members who are brilliant ladies and great lifelong friends: Sharon, the magic editor; Nehara Malkin, talented photographer and my close friend since film school; Nancy Spielberg, the only one who gave me the air and perspective as a producer without which I couldn’t make a film. Hedva, Ariel, Keren and more.

W&H: Name your favorite film directed by women and why.

TI: “Honeyland”, directed by Tamara Kotevska and starring Ljubomir Stefanov. It is an intelligent and beautiful work of art. The film shows a world, our world, and its complexities and delicate balances that are at risk. All presented through beautiful landmarks and unique characters that we fall in love with instantly. Poetic, intelligent, humble, “Honeyland” is a portrait of life and love alongside the chaos and conflicts we have within ourselves and between those around us.

W&H: What responsibility, if any, do you think storytellers have to confront the turmoil in the world, from the pandemic to the loss of abortion rights and systemic violence?

TI: To reflect and shed light on these conflicts, corruptions and misunderstandings. This must be done to raise awareness, engage people, and transform any situation in the way we see best. This applies to climate change, women’s rights and all other difficulties facing humanity.

W&H: The film industry has a long history of underrepresenting people of color on screen and behind the scenes, and of reinforcing – and creating – negative stereotypes. What actions do you think need to be taken to make Hollywood and/or the doc world more inclusive?

TI: I think as people in the film industry become better informed and more aware of these issues, of course that’s changing. It is gradually changing as I write these lines. Serving the industry with more engaging stories will make all the difference. Perhaps there could be a kick in appreciating more stories that are well told and contribute to those values.

I believe it is important that our efforts are organic and sincere. Forced, inauthentic movements can lead to disinterest, boredom, and even hostility to these important issues.

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