The 10th TLVFest is scheduled to take place June 6–15, 2015 at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, and just before Rosh Hashana the festival organizers announced that they are now beginning to accept submissions.
With Tel Aviv becoming a top LGBT tourism destination, and with the festival taking place the same week as Tel Aviv Gay Pride, TLVFest gains more and more recognition and exposure around the world and each year the festival receives more and more submissions, counting in the hundreds. “Last year our offices received over 400 films, and according to the amount of submissions we’ve received so far, it looks like we’re going to accept the same amount this year,” Festival organizer Yair Hochner says. ”This year we decided to take a hand in stopping environmental pollution, so the only way to submit movies is through digital registration, no DVD copies and no papers.”
Out of the hundreds of movies submitted, relatively few get to screen at the festival, as organizers set the bar higher each year and take viewers’ feedback into consideration. “A year ago we decided to change the concept of the festival,” explains Hochner. “In 2013 we screened more than 80 films and over 120 short films at four different venues. The audience complained that there were too many selections which was confusing for them, and they couldn’t choose where to go. At the Festival last June, we decided to reduce the number of movies by more than half. We presented 40 films and 50 short films at only two venues and tried to be accurate in the selections and not to compromise on quality.”
According to Hochner, there’s no specific genre that automatically gets selected for the festival, and there’s no “winning formula.” “Each topic has potential, but we are not accepting a movie just because it’s on a specific topic,” Hochner says. “Having said that, it’s pretty obvious that sex always sells. It always surprises me that every film that we specify as limited to ages 18 and over, due to the bold sex scenes, will always be full. The most successful short collections every year are “short and bold”, shorts dealing with sexuality and pornography.”
“Beyond sex, and it’s important for me to say this, not every movie involving sex is accepted. It is important to note that we are first and foremost a film festival, and then an LGBT community event, so it is important for us that the films we select will be quality and worthy for the public to view. “