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Dorit Naaman


On location
I am a filmmaker and a film theorist from Jerusalem. After finishing a BFA in film and TV production from Tel-Aviv University, I came to the U.S. to get an MFA in art filmmaking (Syracuse University), and continued for a Ph.D. in film theory at the University of Alberta, Canada.

In the past ten years I lived in five different cities in two countries. My nomadic experience influences my academic and my artistic work, as well as my sense of what it is like to be in this world. During my second year in the U.S., I tried to make a film that compares the new (and foreign) winter landscape, with the familiar landscapes of Jerusalem and the Judean desert, where I spent much time as a nature guide. I shot some footage in Israel on my first summer visit, and when I came back I filmed the upstate NY landscape from a driving car throughout the fall and the winter. All the NY images returned from the lab upside down. It turned out that as I was breaking down 16mm film to fit on smaller spools for the electronic Bolex, I forgot to rewind the film. I had to laugh; it was such a perfect metaphor for my life at that point: hanging in the air with no ground under my feet, fretting over a cold winter.

Dorit's garden I have since mastered winter survival, and I love skiing, so a snowfall is a blessing. I still, though, struggle with the lack of sun in the winter, and every time I see the shot where I am doing the sun salutation in an autumn park filled with golden leaves, my heart twinges.

One of my main areas of research is Middle Eastern cinemas, and I examine it mostly from post-colonial and feminist perspectives. I am interested in identity politics, and in the effects of global economy (co-productions, international film festivals) both on aesthetics, and on ideological formations. As a filmmaker I have developed a video diary format, in which personal and political observations are intertwined. Having been away from filmmaking for the duration of my doctorate work, I am now finding my way back to production in a new technological environment.

Some highlights of my achievements/experiences/roles/work:


"Unruly Daughters to Mother Nation: A Palestinian and an Israeli First person Films." Hypatia vol. 23 issue #2, Spring 2008.
"Brides of Palestine/Angels of Death: Media, Gender and Performance in the case of the Palestinian Female Suicide Bomber" in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Summer 2007.
"Elusive Frontiers: Borders in Palestinian and Israeli Cinema." Third Text, Vol. 20, issue 3/4 May-June 2006. pp. 511-521.
"The Silenced Outcry: A Feminist Point of View from the Israeli Checkpoints in Palestine." National Women Studies Association Journal, 18:3, Fall 2006, pp. 168-180.
"In The Name of the Nation: Images of Palestinian and Israeli Women Fighters" in Killing Women (ed. A. Burfoot & S. Lord, Wilfred Laurier U. Press, 2006. pp. 273-291.
"DiaDocuMEntaRy" an essay with video links. Public #31, 2005.
"Old Wine in New Bottles: Tekumakh, an Israeli Resurrection of Social Change?" Jerusalem Quarterly Files, issue 19, 2003, pp. 37-48.
"Minding the Gap: Visual Perception and Cinematic Gap Filling" Style 36:1, Spring 2002 PP. 131- 145.
"The Things You Can See From There: Notes on Liminality in Israeli and Palestinian Cinema," Theory and Criticism #17, Spring 2001, PP. 215-221. In Hebrew.
"Orientalism as Alterity in Israeli Cinema," Cinema Journal 44:4, Summer issue, 2001, PP. 36-54.
"Woman/Nation: A Postcolonial Look at Female Subjectivity," Quarterly Review of Film and Video 17:4, Fall 2000, PP.333-342.


Qatamon in Colour (currently in production)
An online and video installation project. Israel/Canada, for completion in 2014.


Two Houses and a Longing (2008)
This video tells the story of two Palestinian homes whose owners fled during the 1948 war and the houses now serve a museum and a daycare centre. The video tackles the question of the right of return of Palestinian refugees, the workings of public and private memory and erasure, and the unearthing of these two houses' story by the Israeli videomaker. Recipient of the Ir-Amim "Jerusalem Moments" production grant, and group screening at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2008. Jerusalem/Canada, 2008. 12 min.
Jerusalem Walls: A Guided Tour (2006)
A slow and circular camera pan movement takes the viewer from Yemin Moshe, the first neighborhood outside the old city, to the walls built by Suleiman the Great, to the new cement wall Israel has erected in Abu Dis as part of its separation barrier. Set like a tourist guided tour, the video asks questions about Israel's journey outside and inside various walls. Jerusalem, 2006. 4min.
The Silver Platter (2005)
A video meditation about martyrdom in both Palestinian and Israeli societies. Filmed in Sawahra, at the Wadi Nur checkpoint in the West Bank. Palestine/Canada, 3:30 min.
The Market's Song (2004)
A visit to the Jerusalem farmer's market is at once a song of praise for beloved homeland food, and a questioning of nostalgic lamentation as a result of political immigration. Israel/Canada: 4.30 min.
Home, Bitter/Sweet Home (2003)
A video project on the idea of home for a Palestinian, Salim Shawamareh, whose house has been demolished 4 times by the Israeli authorities, and for the filmmaker, until recently an oblivious bystander to politics in jerusalem, and now an immigrant to Canada. In progress. Sponsored in part by Trinity Square Video. Screenings: Tranztech Video Festival, Toronto, October 2003; Optic Nerve film and video festival, Peterborough, May 2004.
Salem/Jeru (2003)
Road #1 in Jerusalem is an invisible border separating the Palestinian and Israeli Jerusalems. This short video travels on road #1 and deals with liminality, belonging, and national narratives. This piece is part of a political diary format DiaDocuMEntaRY. 8:30 min. Israel/ Canada. Screenings: Artists Against the Occupation, MAI gallery, Montreal, October 2003.
O' Canada, E.T. and Me (2003)
A short video diary piece on immigrating to Canada post 9/11/01. This piece is part of a political diary format DiaDocuMEntaRY. 7min. Canada. Screenings: Trinity Square Video, Toronto, September, 2003.
Dreams of Olive Groves (1995)
A video documentary about the identity of a North American Jewish community. 38 min, Canada, USA.
Senses, Sensuality, 6th Sense and other Sensations (1994)
Film, narrative. A psychologist researches 'party line' callers, but gets emotionally involved with a man on one particular call. Thesis film project. 15 min, USA.
Absurdly Normal (1994)
Video, documentary. AIDS health care through the lens of one patient and one nurse. 23min. USA.
A Fetish is a Story Masquerading as an Object (1994)
Video, Experimental. Feminism and self portraits. 1min, USA.
High Wire (1992)
Film, narrative. A married couple whose relationship skirts dangerously close to the boundary between reality and fantasy. 12 min. USA.
Radio: A Spin On The Globe, (1997-98).
Producer and host of a weekly radio show designed to introduce listeners to a variety of world cultures, as represented by the faculty and students of the department of Modern Languages and Comparative Studies, University of Alberta. CJSR, Edmonton, Canada


Organizer, a symposium on Walid Ra'ad's work, Agnes Etherington Art Center, Queen's University, February, 2005.
Co-organizer, Digital Poetics and Politics, a summer institute at Queen's university, August, 2004.
Editor, a special issue of Framework on Middle Eastern Media Arts. The issue includes academic and artistic essays. October, 20002.
Co-organizer, Film workshop, an interdisciplinary forum for faculty and graduate students, SUNY Binghamton, 2000-2001.
Organizer, a symposium on Middle Eastern Media Arts (in conjunction with special issue of "Framework"). In collaboration with "Cultural Disorder: Processes of Change in the Aesthetic Field" a project of the University of Bergen. Norway, March 2000.
Co-Chair, Middle Eastern Caucus at the Society for Cinema Studies, 1998-2002. Organizer of the caucusÕ panels for the SCS conferences in 1999-2001.
Curator, Middle Eastern and North African Film Series, SUNY Binghamton, Spring 2000 -2001.
Organizer, Film/Media Studies Colloquium, University of Alberta, 1998-99.
President, Film and Video Arts Society of Alberta (FAVA), 1996-97.

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