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Out of Focus

Following their invitation to open the Sydney Festival 2007 with performances of 'Telophaza', AICE and the company joined forces to launch the Australian Friends of Batsheva Dance Company in both Melbourne and Sydney. The objective is to ensure the continued artistic excellence of Batsheva's creations and to spur the growth of Batsheva's audiences worldwide, mainly in Australia.

Naomi Bloch Fortis, General Manager of the company, will travel to Australia in February to further cement relations established as a result of their visit to January and to develop the structure of the Friends organisation. As well as meetings and media interviews, a special screening of 'Out of Focus' will take place in Melbourne with Naomi in attendance.

'Out of Focus' is the latest documentary film from acclaimed film maker Tomer Heymann. The film director is given rare access to Batsheva's Artistic Director, Ohad Naharin, and, for five days, Heymann follows Ohad during the company’s rehearsals in a New York studio. The film provides fascinating glimpses into the choreographic process and Ohad Naharin at work.

Ohad Naharin has been Artistic Director of Batsheva since 1990 and, under his leadership and artistic vision, the company has become one of the most important contemporary dance troupes in the world. The film is a rare opportunity to see the man at work, working with his dancers, exploring, pushing, demanding but, at all times, respecting.

We are priviledged to have the opportunity to screen this film – a work-in-progress that will be officially premiered in 2009. Heymann is well-known to Melbourne audiences - previous documentaries Paper Dolls (Bubot Nayar) (2006) and It Kinda Scares Me (Tomer vay Hasrutim) (2001) were both screened at MIFF and Aviv – F*cked Up Generation (2003) screened at the first AICE Israeli Film Festival in 2003.