Freedom, justice and tolerance should be the pillars of any society. We believe Israel must guarantee full social and political equality to all, regardless of religion, race, sex or sexual orientation.
As committed members of the Israeli LGBT community, we struggle for equality and respect by creating a serious, often controversial discourse through the medium of queer cinema. The Tel Aviv International LGBT film festival is the manifestation of this struggle.
The only LGBT film festival in the Middle East, TLVFest is a fixture of Tel Aviv pride week. MovieMaker Magazine chooses TLVFest to one of the 25 Coolest 2018 Film Festivals in the World. Selected twice (2014 & 2015) by INDIEWIRE as one of the 10 LGBT film festivals not to be missed, the festival offers a fascinating look into international and Israeli queer cinematic art. It is also an industry hub of activity. We take pride in the many collaborations and creative work that evolved from TLVFest meet-ups, seminars and workshops over the past decade.
We have come a long way since our 2006 launch. Held in the cramped quarters offered by Ha’Ozen Hashlishit (Hebrew for “third ear”) record store, the first festival opened with a show of Greg Araki’s Mysterious Skin. The venue was fully booked throughout the five-day event; it was clear we had created something that had to continue and grow.
A year later we moved into the Tel Aviv Cinematheque. The only openly and committed gay-friendly cinema in Israel, it has been our home ever since, and an important partner in all of our endeavours. Since then, each pride week sees TLVFest growing, reaching more audiences, diversifying its program and exposing more local and global LGBT issues. And we make it a point to support the more disadvantaged members of our local community – transgender people and LGBTs belonging to ethnic and cultural minorities – by giving their daily experiences and struggles a visible spot on the silver screen
TLVFest has had the pleasure to host many of the queer cinema industry’s most innovative minds. Over the years our guests have included Alan Cumming, Lea DeLaria, Producer Christine Vachon (Boys Don’t Cry, Carol, Far From Heaven), Bruce La Bruce, Mink Stole, Wieland Speck (Berlinale Panorama curator), Lorenzo Vigas (From Afar), Marcio Reolon, Filipe Matzembacher (Tinta Bruta/Hard Paint), Martín Rodríguez Redondo (Marilyn), Jay Brannan (Shortbus), Jamie Babbit (But I’m a Cheerleader), Angela Robinson (D.E.B.S.), Joey Arias, Cheryl Dunye (The Watermelon Woman), Mark Christopher (Studio 54), Alanté Kavaïté (The Summer of Sangaile), Daniel Ribeiro (The Way He Looks), Melanie Mayron (Snapshots), Gigi Gorgeous, Miss Rosewood, & RuPaul’s Drag Race stars: Peppermint, Alexis Michelle, Jinkx Monsoon, Sharon Needles and many, many more filmmakers and artists.
TLVFest must stand firm against violence, corruption, and intolerance, and fight for the freedom of speech and civil rights of the LGBT community and of minorities living in Israel. We are here to continue spreading LGBT culture and cinema across the country, provoke thought, bring down walls, and build Bridges between different cultures.
The TLVFest team is already hard at work on 2019 edition. Help us to continue celebrating local and international queer cinema and promote a more tolerant and respectful Israeli society.
We invite you to join our Friends Association
The TLVFest team.