In their dynamic documentary â€™Forerunnersâ€™ film makers Pazeet Ben Hayl and Galit Shaked tell the story of three women who try to live their dreams and play football in Israel. The film makers follow the lives of Salwa, a young Arab woman, Inna, a new immigrant from the Ukraine and Sylvie - Israelâ€™s only football heroine who played for a team from Norway but due to a family tragedy, returned to Israel. With tremendous talent, extraordinary footwork and determined ambition in the world of sport, the women survive family pressure, unsure employment prospects, as well as the threat of their football matches being a flop due to poor public attendance.
After the showing of the film at the Lesbian Film Festival, AVIVA interviewed Pazeet Ben Hayl (director), Galit Shaked (director/composer) and Amir Feingold (producer):
Foto: Christine Kisorsy
AVIVA-BERLIN: What was your intention when you decided to make the film?
Pazeet Ben Hayl: My intention was to make a documentary like a feature film with no interviews. We tried to spend lots of time on the field to get the scenes. Real time. We tried to do a feature as if we were filming a documentary.
AVIVA-BERLIN: The film won a prize, didnâ€™t it?
Pazeet Ben Hayl: Yes, it won a prize at the Womenâ€™s Film Festival in Israel.
Amir Feingold: It was the first time, they had a womenâ€™s film festival in Israel. The prize was for a â€™first-time directorâ€™. The prize money is actually for the next project.
AVIVA-BERLIN: What is the next project?
Pazeet Ben Hayl: A feature film about two religious women who fall in love. Itâ€™s called: Identity. It was in a Berlinale project last year. In Jerusalem it is forbidden for women to be with women, it is implied that you shouldnâ€™t do it. One of the women believes in God and she has to choose what she wants to be.
AVIVA-BERLIN: Could you say something about lesbian life in Israel today?
Pazeet Ben Hayl: There is one, of course. Itâ€™s a hidden community, itâ€™s not like in Europe.
AVIVA-BERLIN: How did the audience in Israel react after they saw the film â€™Forerunnersâ€™?
Pazeet Ben Hayl: It depends. Most of the people who saw the movie really liked it, but there was one guy, a bit macho, who criticised it, he didnâ€™t liked the film. He said that women shouldnâ€™t do films and shouldnâ€™t play football.
AVIVA-BERLIN: You said, that before the film, that you werenâ€™t a real football-fan. Can you say something more about that?
Pazeet Ben Hayl: Iâ€™m not a football-fan. I really liked the characters that I found. I really liked Sylvie, Salwa and Inna - they touched my heart. I did a film which is not about football, the film is about strangers and women in Israel. That is very important for me to do these things.
Foto: Christine Kisorsy
AVIVA-BERLIN: What is the national sport in Israel?
Amir Feingold: Itâ€™s soccer.
Pazeet Ben Hayl: We have women who play basketball. That is the main thing. But if the countries sit and see basketball or soccer, itâ€™s a menâ€™s sport. Not womenâ€™s. No one will see it on television.
AVIVA-BERLIN: Why did you choose this particular soccer-team from Tel-Aviv and not the Haifa team who actually won in the end?
Pazeet Ben Hayl: We didnâ€™t know that they would win. And we didnâ€™t know that there is a league in Israel. When we heard that there is a league in Israel, we were so emotional about it that we wanted the first team we found. Me and Galit, we were shocked, the first time we came to the field: it was a rainy day and they were playing in the rain, there was no grass, and they were playing.
AVIVA-BERLIN: Why did you choose this kind of guitar-music for the film?
Galit Shaked-Shaul: When there is a game, there is more happy music and sometimes, it is melancholic. We tried to imply something with the music - music has also a story. We wanted that the music tells also the story. Also the characters: they wanted specific music for each character. Inna has the music of an immigrant, accordion, the Arab has her music, and Sylvie is the emotional one, you know. We wanted to tell the story of each character with their own special music.
AVIVA-BERLIN: How can sport help break down barriers between cultures - people from different nations or religious backgrounds?
Pazeet Ben Hayl: You can see it: the Arab is playing with the Israeli and the immigrants.
Galit Shaked-Shaul: You donâ€™t have to speak, it doesnâ€™t matter, the language is not important. Itâ€™s just the motions: itâ€™s playing together, playing a game, playing music, itâ€™s the same.
AVIVA-BERLIN: How do you think the media could help to attract more attention concerning female sports?
Pazeet Ben Hayl: They should get more time on television. No one knows, that there is a game or that there is a league! They donâ€™t write about it in the newspapers.
Galit Shaked-Shaul: If they are supported with money by sponsors, the people would come.
Pazeet Ben Hayl: An Australian soccer team did a calendar, they were all photographed naked. This is how they got famous. How do women get famous: they have to take off their clothes.
Foto: Christine Kisorsy
AVIVA-BERLIN: Can you tell us something about your background?
Pazeet Ben Hayl: I finished my studies at university 5 years ago in Tel Aviv, was a producer in my beginning, did some TV shows, then directed two short films. This is my first feature film. Working in this field in Israel is not so easy for women. Most of the people who get money with directing, especially feature films, are men.
Women should do this. Should be. They have a lot to say in a very different way to men. Itâ€™s important to do it.
Galit Shaked-Shaul: Also music, it is my contribution to this work. There is no female conductor in Israel.
Pazeet Ben Hayl: I donâ€™t think that we are more than anyone, but we are. They have a lot to say and we have a lot to say and we have to get a stage which is equal to the men. Men rule the world, you can see it all over, in politics... The situation could be better. The men come from the army and become prime-ministers. The people who sit in the government in Israel are all men. They decide, they donâ€™t find other ways. Women have other ways. Men use strength to get things, but it doesnâ€™t help. To do things together, to do films, to play music together, that helps!
Forerunners (Hebrew with English subtitles)
Regie: Pazeet Ben Hayl, Galit Shaked
Executive Producer: Amir Feingold
More information about the Forerunners film project at http://www.forerunnersdoc.com
Homepage of the filmâ€™s directors Pazeet Ben Hayl and Galit Shaked (also the filmâ€™s composer who will bring out a new album - â€™Red Horseâ€™ - 2004 Horse" at the end of 2004) at www.ronitrolland.com