Category Archives: Films & Projects

BenHaim Winery

BenHaim 1s

I always thought that most of Israel’s wineries are situated in the Golan Heights, so you could imagine my surprise when I discovered that I have a boutique winery just under my nose in Ramat-HaSharon, adjacent to Tel-Aviv north border. I was amazed to realize that I pass right next to the place twice a week when I jog by the road leading from the city noise to the grapefruit orchards of Kibbutz Glil-Yam. So what can one do with a winery by the house? The first thing to do is to knock on the door and ask to have a taste.

BenHaim Winery is a small family business with an interesting history. Itay BenHaim is a big man that rides a Harley, and he’s got a large smile and loud laughter of a man that’s got wine in his soul. Those qualities, most likely, led him to be the vintner. Itay doesn’t waste much time on talking and opens a bottle of a 2007 Cabernet-Sauvignon. Deep into our drinking he starts telling about his great grand-father who built wine barrels in Romania. The oak wine barrel have a very important role in making the wine. It gives the wine the right amount of oxygen that it needs during the maturation process. When the BenHaim family came to Israel in the early 40th, they kept their Wine Barrel production tradition. In those days their barrels were bought by Carmel Mizrahi famous winery, but also by Assis company that used the barrels for their juices.

old photo - s

(BenHaim Wine Barrel Factory. Haifa, 1951)

Many years later, when the wine barrel factory wasn’t profitable anymore, the BenHaim family decided not to surrender and to continue their heritage in the wine industry. They acquired their vineyard on the biblical mount Meron at the Upper Galilee. After the grape harvest the fruits are being broken and chilled next to the vineyard, and only then sent to the winery in Ramat-HaSharon, in order to preserve its qualities. Itay BenHaim emphasizes the fact that they make the wine by the ancient methods and tradition. It means that the wine is being aged in the barrel for 24 to 30 months before it goes for another aging period in the bottles.

Drinking makes you heavy, so Itay makes us stand on our feet, and leads us to the barrel room, where he do most of the work, monitoring the aging process of the wine. Like a good Romanian, Itay has a weak spot for Port Wine. He proudly introduces the barrel where he’s slowly aging a 9 years Port Wine. By the end of 2013 the Port will grow up to be 10, and then it will be launched to the market in a special edition. He gives me a taste of the Port and I’m in heaven. Well, I’m also part Romanian…

We head back to the welcoming parlor. BenHaim Winery is not a big place, but it has a lot of character in the interior design, with outdated wine barrels stacked together from wall to wall, among them all kind of wine bottles from the rich history of the winery. For the main course Itay frees the liquid from a 2005 Merlot. When I ask Itay about the many awards that his winery won, he humbly suggest that that’s not what counts, but by the evening of that very same day the members of the jury of Terra Vino 2012 gave BenHaim winery 6 awards, among them the very prestigious award for the best Boutique Winery in Israel. And so, with the wine filling our body and soul, Itay sits before the piano and start playing a merry/light headed tune. “I’ve also got a Saxophone hiding somewhere” he says, but with all that drinking he couldn’t find it. By the end of the visit my head is light. But no worries – after all I’m not so far away from home…

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The Alpha Diaries – Operation Pillar of Defense

We were called on Friday evening. We left everything – our work, families and daily duties – and went to serve our country. That’s how we live our lives here in Israel, and it has nothing to do with our political believes. Though I can’t say I was eager to fight, I was ready to follow my friends into battle. By Saturday morning Alpha Company was ready to march. This time luck was on our side, and by the end of a very long week, a cease-fire was declared and Operation Amud Anan AKA Pillar of Defence came to an end. I can’t go into specifics about what we did that week, but I did took some photos and video footage so I could later spread the taste of oil and sand. Since it was such a weird experience we’ve decided to make a clip with Bob Dylan’s Mr. Tambourine man as soundtrack. When I’ve uploaded it to YouTube it was immediately blocked due to copyright reasons. I found even more trippy version of the song made by William Shatner, and I think it took it further more into a delirium. Shifting from being a normal citizen and a soldier is such a strange transformation that I think this short clip captured a little of what that could do to your conception of reality. The contrast between an armed soldier and a free minded individual is huge, but that’s exactly what beautiful and unique in being a reserve soldier in the IDF.

If you liked that, take a ride with Alpha Company and watch the documentary “The Alpha Diaries“.

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The smooth sound of Samba – Joca Perpignan launches new album

I always thought that Brazilian music has a unique calming quality. It might be the Portuguese language that flows most elegantly in a song, combined with a very enthusiastic rhythm. Since the Carnival is thousands of miles away from here, every opportunity we’ve got to enjoy the Samba is very special.

Joca Perpignan was born and raised in Brazil, but for more than 20 years he lives and creates in Israel, where he specializes in flavoring everything with Brazilian music and rhythm. He’s involved in many interesting projects, contributing his percussionist skills to many talented local musicians, like Idan Reichel, Mati Caspi, Yoni Rechter and many more.

And now, after he already made one album in Brazil, he launches his new album, called: “Manso Balanco”. This album combines Brazilian music with middle-eastern motives, which Joca absorbed during all the years he performed with local musicians. In “Manso Balanco” Joca collaborates with song writers like the great Samba poet Delcio Carvalho, and South-American musicians like the guitar player Marcelo Nami, Percussionists Juares dos Santos and Rony Iwryn, and local Middle-Eastern musicians as vocalist Din Din Aviv and Palestinian-Israeli Mira Awad. The Album was produced by Joca and his two long time partners – Uri Kleinman and Marc Kakon.

The meaning of the name “Manso Balanco” is smooth movement. I believe this name testify, more than anything, for the good nature of Joca’s character, that plays his music in the same smoothness with which he talks and sing. In the following concerts, Joca intends to place the percussion instruments at the front of the stage, a place usually occupied by strings and keyboards.

Here is a small taste of “Manso Balanco”:

The article in hebrew on YNET


Filming in Midair

My friend and colleague Amnon Houri was assigned by a commercial to film a Cessna skydiver’s plane flying at the height of 3000 feet. Lucky for me he invited me to take part in the flight and to shoot some behind the scenes photos. We took our ride with a Bell Jet Ranger III helicopter, handled with a very steady hand by Dov Peleg.

(Dov stands by the Bell Jet Ranger)

At Habonim beach we grouped with Paradive Skydiver’s Cessna and started climbing to 3000 feet height. On the ground Amnon briefed the Cessna pilot to do three different maneuvers for the film, and once we were way up there in the sky, our nose toward the east and our back to the setting sun, they were done with much talent on behalf of all those involved it the operation. All I had to do is point the camera, take photos and some video footage, and enjoy the magnificent view of our little country shore line.

(Amnon filming the Cessna with his video camera)

Here is 6 min video summarizing the experience from start to end:

Photo Gallery:


April Snow

Rimon School of Jazz & Contemporary Music has a very interesting program with the Israeli nonprofit Mental Health Association (Enosh), where selected talented students take lyrics written by mentally ill patients and transform them into wonderful songs. The program is managed by song writer and performer Ariel Horovitz, and it’s called “Hahani Hahacher” (The other me).

This year they asked me to make a video clip for one of their songs. They’ve selected “Moridat HaShlagim” (The one that bring the snow) written by Lauren Milk, composed and performed by Naama Chetrit.

I had a few ideas for making the video clip; one of them was to involve my street artist friend Imaginery Duck to do some time lapse drawings. After conferring with Naama we decided on a script and launched a small scale production. Shahar Ziv and Almog Sella volunteered to help me in the shooting, while the other participants in the program came to play the extras.

For the scenery I chose a ruined boarding school for girls that I discovered during my “Haunted Houses” project. It has a creepy feeling of sadness and death to it, so we played on that notion with the extras playing as the ghosts of past students.

Even though the production was scheduled for the whole day, we shot it on holiday and had only until noon to film it, before all the participants dissolved. I used a Canon 7D and Almog brought her Canon 5D, which helped to gain more footage from a single performance. Since we had very little time, and no electricity in the near area I used only available light, which could be a problem in a day when the clouds play hide and seek with the sun. A good thing is that Almog has a great L series 50mm f/1.4 lens which helped us in the low light environment.

Shahar, who is a very talented editor, took the materials I gathered and assembeled them for the final result, which you are welcome to watch here:

The photos of the behind the scenes were taken by Imaginery Duck, who roamed the area and did some magnificent drawings on the walls:

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Jem’s Beer Factory Project

(Jeremy Walferd pouring us another beer)

Lately I had the pure pleasure to make a video for Jem’s beer factory. It was part of a project for XNET I did with my friend Yaniv Zangi, but Jem’s turned to be much more then a regular subject. First, because they are such  wonderful people, and second because they have a very diverse collection of fabulous beers! You are welcome to watch the clip and feel the bitter-sweet taste tingling your tongue… If you come around, let me know and we’ll go for a drink.

I want to thank Brady Harris, Cool Cavemen and Caméléon for contributing to the soundtrack.

Production: Yaniv Zangi

Photography & Editing: Yaniv Berman

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The Alpha Diaries

On April 2002 I started my photographic journey with Alpha company. The holiday just began and we all had our plans for the free days to come. But after a shocking terrorist attack on Passover eve, the government issued a special order to recruit the reserve units and send them into the Palestinians towns. The military operation was called “Defensive Shield”. My regiment was sent into Bethlehem, where we fought for three weeks. When I had my first chance to take the camera with me I started filming our actions, and I kept doing it for 5 years.

In 2007 I took all the stock of footage and made it into a documentary called “The Alpha Diaries”. This documentary was shown on television channels all over the world, and participated in many film festivals. Now I made a new HD copy of the movie and placed it on YouTube for everybody to watch and to experience how it is to leave everything and become a soldier for one month, every year.

Credits:

Producer: Avi Kleinberger

Director: Yaniv Berman

Editor: Ronit Porat, Gabi Shihor

On-Line: Serg Bezrukoff

Music: Gad Emile Zeitune

Camera: Yaniv Berman

Stills and more video footage: Omri Takoa

Sound Design: Michael Goorevich

 


Shooting at The Shrine of the Book

זכיתי בהזדמנות יוצאת דופן לקחת חלק בהפקה של סדרת תלת-מימד (נו, אתם יודעים, הסרטים האלו שרואים עם משקפיים). את הפרק הראשון צילמנו בהיכל הספר שבמוזיאון ישראל. בד”כ אי אפשר לצלם בתוך ההיכל, בו נמצאות חלק מהמגילות הגנוזות, היקרות מפז, אבל במסגרת ההפקה ביליתי זמן רב בהיכל, אחרי שעות הסגירה. התמונות צולמו, כמובן, בלי פלאש, על מנת שלא לפגוע במגילות העתיקות. אתם מוזמנים להנות ממבנה שהוא יצירת אוונגרד, אולי היחידה בארץ, אשר נבנתה בשנות השישים ע”י האדריכלים בארטוס וקיסלר. אני ממליץ בחום לנצל את החופשה על מנת לנסוע למוזיאון ישראל, אשר עובר שיפוץ נרחב ונראה פשוט מדהים! מנהל היכל הספר, ד”ר אדולפו רויטמן, שהסכים להתארח בתוכנית, הוא אדם מרתק, וכדאי לשמוע מפיו את סיפורן של המגילות השזור בצופן ארכיטקטוני יחיד במינו

תמונות מהסט

היכל הספר מבחוץ – יצירת אוונגרד משנות ה-60

מגילת ישעיהו – המגילה שנשתמרה כמעט בשלמותה – כאן בעותק לא מקורי, אבל בתצוגה יוצאת דופן

כיפת ההיכל כפי שהיא נריאת מבפנים – בדומה לראש כד שבו נמצאה המגילה. מתחת לכיפה, ידית המגילה. בארטוס וקיסלר האדריכלים שילבו כאן גם אלמנטים של רחם, פריון, סמלים פאליים ווגינליים – יצירה אוונגרדית, כבר אמרתי

ג’קי מנחה התוכנית עומד לפני מלצלמת התלת-מימד

תמונה קבוצתית של צוות הצילום


Alpha Diaries – The Next Generation – Tzhehelim, Feb. 2011

את פלוגה א’ התחלתי לתעד כבר בשנת 2002 במבצע חומת מגן, אבל אחרי שסיימתי את הסרט הדוקומנטרי – “שלום פלוגה א” די הזנחתי את הפרוייקט. מאז ה”סרט” עברה הפלוגה שלי תהפוכות רבות, ורוב החיילים התחלפו, וגם ה”עתיקים” שהיו מתנדבים עד גיל 50 כבר הפסיקו להגיע. מה שהדהים אותי לגלות באימון שממנו אני מתאושש ברגעים אלו ממש, זה שאני כבר לא צעיר, וכל הגוף חורק כאשר אני מעמיס עליו משקל וצועד כל הלילה בקור. בקיצור, אני ובני גילי גם הופכים להיות עתיקים

ניסיתי לצלם וידאו, אבל סופות חול המטורפות שהשתוללו בצאלים מנעו ממני להתרוצץ עם המצלמה – אני צריך להשיג לה מעיל רוח לפעם הבאה

בכל אופן, לפני שאני מעלה את הפוסטים על פלוגה א’ של הימים ההם, הנה כמה תמונות של פלוגה א’ – הדור הבא

הכנות ליציאה לתרגיל

פריינטה ה”עתיק” החדש

בריינס המ”מ המורעל

קנדל האדיש

סיגריה של בוקר בשטח

רן שותה קפה

ובודק אם יש הודעות מהלילה

יש מי שמצליח לתפוס תנומה בקור הזה

שטח IPhone


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