Interview with Filmmaker Malka Shabtay (NAFKOT – YEARNING)

NAFKOT – YEARNING, 70min., Israel, Documentary
Directed by Malka Shabtay
An Israeli anthropologist traveling to meet a hidden Jewish community in north Ethiopia. Together they telling their special story of survival Abera, a young artist joins to discover what has been hidden from him

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I worked with the community two years before we did the film. i did my research to understand their story..and after two years they were ready to share their story with the world.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

Since we started the shooting until completing it took very intensive two years.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

Life mission

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

The biggest obstacle is to do a film with a hidden community, oppressed and full of fear. to get their trust and collaboration and belief that the film will help in their struggle.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

My reaction was: wow, how exciting that they really watched my film into all its details and complexity and appreciate my work.

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

Great question…only when i turned 60 years old, after writing 15 books I felt I wanted to learn filmmaking, so I went to film school and studied for almost two years.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

I have seen many, many films. I do love documentary more than anything else, and especially ethnographic films.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

Your festival gives true attention and great communication. At this time, what I need more than anything else is to be able to sell my film to TV channels. I would appreciate any direct contact that you can put me with.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

Filmfreeway is great experience, easy to operate and follow my films in festivals. and when festivals are late to change status, they write them and reply to me immediately.

10. What is your favorite meal?

I love food from all over the world…but honestly there is nothing like Mediterranean – Israeli food: fresh salad, falafel, and shawarma.

11. What is next for you? A new film?

I am editing my next film on Morrocon Jews in Amazonia Brazil. It is a film about my journey to answer the question where are the Jews and Judaism in Amazonia. I visited Amazonia 12 years ago for the first journey and in 2021 for the second one. Now I am editing the film.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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