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US Premiere

Director: Yahav Winner

Israel, 2023, 25 min

Shooting Format:Digital

Festival Year:2024

Category:Narrative Short

Cast:Yoram Toledano, Nimrod Peleg

Crew:Writer: Yahav Winner. Producer: Yahav Winner.


Avinoam and Barak, father and son from Kibbutz near Gaza strip, are each facing another round of combat in their own way. While Avinoam insists on continuing his routine and his work in the field, Barak finds it difficult to close his eyes and continue as usual. One night, Barak reaches a boiling point and Avinoam is forced to absorb the flames.

About the director

Yahav Winner - Yahav was an Israeli filmmaker, actor, producer and cinematographer.

Graduated from the Nissan Nativ Acting Studio in 2014 and also a graduate of the film department at Minshar School of Art.

Between 2014 and 2018 he was an actor in theatre (Habima and Kibbutz theatre) and in television.

"Faith" (short) - Winner of Best Student Film, Solidarity Human Rights Film Festival 2020, Winner of Best Screenplay at the Little Wing Film Festival.
"Neurim" (short, producer) - Screened at Cinefondation in Cannes, Palm Springs Shortfest.

The Boy (short) - Winner of Best Cinematography at Tel Aviv International Students Film Festival, Winner of Best Screenplay and Prix Interculturel awards at Filmschoolfest Munich.

At the time of his death he completed filming and began editing his first feature-length film, which he directed, wrote and acted. The film was made in Kfar Aza with Winner's guidance as director of fellow local residents, many of whom were murdered with him in the events of 7 October.

Yahav was murdered by Hamas terrorists after attempting to stall them in order to allow Shaylee Atary, his wife and a filmmaker as well, to escape with their newly born daughter Shaya. We take comfort in celebrating Yahav's life and contributions. His impactful short film THE BOY has been showcased in over 100 communities, festivals, and organizations globally, accompanied by heartfelt gestures honoring his memory. We express gratitude to all who are interested in screening this exceptional and significant film, contributing to the enduring presence of Yahav's artistic spirit.

Filmmaker's note

I was born in Kibbutz Kfar Gaza in 1986. The eldest son of two urban parents who chose to come to Kibbutz to fulfill the dream of a house with a garden. My father, a handsome, strong and tough man, decided to give me the name Yahav - security, hope. From the moment I was born, I felt the yoke of God on my shoulders, because in my head there were dreams, reflections and high sensitivities that made me cry from almost every situation. I grew up in the kibbutz as an alpha male blessed with blue eyes and an athletic body, one who was prophesied to be an elite officer or even, if he really succeeded, a pilot. But I, for as long as I can remember, have felt split. A boy who fails to grow up. Trying to be serious and concentrate on the "important" things in life like cars, business and money, but I couldn't. Instead I grabbed a guitar and sang. Or I told stories. Life in the kibbutz as a child I remember as heaven on earth. Green lawns, a pool, paths you can walk on barefoot. I only remember the nights as scary. I sleep in a bunk bed with my little brother under me, unable to fall asleep because of the sounds of the muezzin coming from Gaza. My father was angry with me for not falling asleep. In 2006, Paradise started to become less magical. Israel-Gaza relations began to heat up and souvenirs from Gaza in the shape of exploding pipes began to fall on the kibbutz. One day an exploding pipe fell on my neighbor Jimmy, my best friend's father, and I was the first to see him. This event carved a hole in my heart and from that moment I embarked on a path from which the return was long. Shortly after the incident, I left the army on my own accord. My father, my beacon, took it very hard. His child went crazy, and the whole kibbutz knew. Chronic knee pain began to develop for him. But instead of being angry with me, he internalized it and did an act of his that I will cherish to this day - he took me to work with him in the field, so that I would be close to him. We would drive in silence, father and son on the tractor, yellow wheat fields to our left, Gaza to our right. We didn't talk much, but in those days it was a lifeline for me. He was my hero. I remember that somewhere I developed an awareness of wars, as absurd as they are but inevitable. The tanks and jeeps that used to travel in our fields, trampling the farmers' work without recognition because everything is kosher when it comes to a military operation, would travel on the way to small and cunning Gaza, "to show them what it is" and who knows what kind of life they will harvest there. There were days when I couldn't digest the thought that whole families were being wiped out three kilometers from me and we have another cooking show on TV. In my film I try to capture a tragic and human triangle of the therapist, the patient and the absurd. My father - the therapist, I - the patient and the impossible and endless situation of the envelope and the Gaza Strip - the absurdity.

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