The Speed Of The Distance Between Us

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: Documentary Short
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Production


The Speed of the Distance Between Us provides an unflinching look into the lives of ten bereaved parents as they journey through grief and parenthood to make sense of their loss.


Providing an unflinching look into the lives of Israeli bereaved parents as they journey through grief and parenthood to make sense of their loss, the film explores universal existential anxieties while highlighting the potential for bereavement in every Israeli household. All while displaying communal relationships as a sign of hope.


?The Speed of the Distance Between Us" is a short documentary that follows ten parents who lost their children during their army service. The film delves into the themes of parenting, bereavement, and loss of meaning through the lens of the parents' ongoing struggle with the growing distance between them and their deceased children: the parents' lives continue, thus getting further and further away from the moment of their children's departure. The film also "measures" another growing gap the parents face: between themselves - as the true bearers of their loss, and those who can only observe their pain from the outside - be complete strangers or the people closest to them. "Only the heart knows its own grief" (Proverbs 14, verse 10): The film's subjects, their hearts, know and remember the loss and endure it in solitude. Through the film, the parents invite the viewer into their homes, linger in rooms filled with memories and pain, glimpse into their hearts, and share their sorrows. The film's core is a series of interviews with the bereaved parents. The starting point of the conversation with the parents was asking them to explain that which cannot be understood: to define and describe the experience of loss - to those who have not lost the most precious thing to him, parenting - to those who have not yet raised children, and the anguish and absence that inhabits their homes - to strangers. The filming will take place after the interviews, visually depicting the themes that emerged in the conversation, emphasizing the physical presence of a loss in the parents' lives. The slow, gentle camera movements capture the contrast between the parents' ongoing lives and their memories that remain frozen in time, highlighting the theme of change and its absence. The film presents parental bereavement as a range of struggles arising from the parents’ diverse life circumstances. The parents in the film ask us to look beyond their extreme loss and see them and their children as individuals. From the different ways the parents deal with a similar loss, an intricate, diverse picture of parenting and loss emerges - two fundamental, sacred values in the Israeli narrative. The film - a collage of diverse life stories - leads to the uncanny realization that every Israeli is a potentially bereaved parent. The honesty, intimacy, and courage with which the bereaved parents share their stories and transcend their harsh circumstances into a statement about the current situation of human existence. The bereaved parents’ fears and emotions, and how they cope with those - are extreme versions of global societal issues: an obsession with materialistic objects to which we attach excessive meaning, not letting go of traumas, loss of meaning, dread of what the future will bring, fear of parenthood and fear of non-parenthood (e.g. de-population.) The most challenging aspect of the film might be that all viewers can relate to the unimaginable loss of the bereaved parents.


Yuval Shapira - Director, Scriptwriter, producer
A Brooklyn-Based director, writer, and editor. Yuval is a creative producer on "Don Juan & The Witches Of Westwood," an upcoming documentary series directed by Avi Belkin and produced by the Duplass brothers for HBO. He's currently developing and co-writing the documentary film “Animalz”, together with director Avi Belkin. Also, he’s co-writing together with DGA award winning director, Noam Murro (“Watership Down”, “Smart People”), his upcoming film. Previously Yuval Wrote and produced the audio documentary series "Trickster," which was purchased for adaptation by Amazon Studios. Yuval's short film "Gila Who Walks Alone" is a French-Israel co-production financed by The French National Film Fund (CNC). The film opened in Krakow Film Festival, screened, and won several prizes. Yuval's Previous films, "Babies," "Beside the Point, Under it," and "Tales of a Ritual," were screened in dozens of international film festivals. Yuval edited Udi Aloni's documentary "Why Is We Americans?", produced by Oren Moverman. Yuval also worked as an editor for Moxie Pictures and Pulse Films (on a project produced by Laura Poitras.) Yuval was trained under the mentorship of editor Jay Rabinowitz and director Noam Murro (winner of 3 American Director Guild Awards). He is an alumnus of Berlinale's Talents Sarajevo and Reykjavik's IFF Talent Lab. He has completed his Film Production MFA studies (merit fellowship) at Emerson College and holds a graduate degree in Visual Anthropology from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Ilya Marcus - Producer, Director of Photography
An Israeli filmmaker who lives in Tel Aviv and creates internationally. He's a graduate of Menesher Art School and Berlinale Talents. He created and filmed several films that were nominated for world-class festivals. He co-created "Albina", with Miki Polonski, which was nominated for the Israeli Oscar in 2013. In 2015 "Ten Buildings" - created alongside Miki Polonski, premiered at Cannes' Cinefondation, screened at dozens of festivals, and won many awards. In 2016 he directed "Live in the Dead Sea," which premiered at Berlin's Kino Central in collaboration with Berlinale Sessions. He filmed "Night without Dawn" by Sarah Bozkov, which won the International Tel Aviv Film Festival, and "Babies" directed by Yuval Shapira, which won the Festival International du Film du Amiens, Mammoth Lakes Film, Trinity International, and more. In 2017, he was invited to participate in a workshop by DoP Fred Kalman, where he shot "Livorno 32", a short that premiered at the Austrian's VIS. In 2018, he filmed "Shemama" directed by Polonsky, which won the Jury Prize at the Locarno Festival and was then screened at dozens of festivals. In 2019, Ilya filmed Inbar Horesh's film "Birthright," which won at the Palm Springs, Küstendorf International Film Festival and was screened at many other festivals. In 2021, Ilya created the film "Gila Who Walks Alone" alongside Yuval Shapira. Financed by the CNC, it opened at the Krakow Film Festival. Ilya is a lecturer at the Menasher school and a judge at film festivals, most recently at Short Waves.

Avigail Gutfeld - Production Design
Avigail Gutfeld, originally from Jerusalem, now Brooklyn-based, is a scenic and production designer. A Graduate of NYU Tisch Scholl of the Arts, and Berlinale Talents. Among her designs are "-Ship: a visual Poem," which won best short film at the Sundance film festival (2019), and "Rest Stop," which also won best short film at the Sundance film festival (2022.) Avigail works at NY-based design studio, where she designs big scale productions, such as The Grammys, Eurovision, an opera directed by Roman Coppola, and for clients like Disney+ and Apple.


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