An emotionally scarred writer is sent to teach a group of juvenile delinquents in a small Israeli town, where he discovers a talent for encouraging his students to express themselves through filmmaking and forms a special bond with one troubled teen. Winner of Best First Feature and Best Cinematography at the Jerusalem Film Festival.
"Elya's strong directing abilities and the intimacy he creates between us and the characters that makes his first feature more than just a promising debut, but an impressive film in its own right." Orr Sigoli - Cineuropa
Assi, a screenwriter and a poet, is sentenced to community service following a motorcycle accident. The form of this community service? Teaching cinema to a group of juvenile delinquents in a southern Israeli town. He might have had an easier time in jail. With their riotous energy and cheerful insolence, the kids exist in an environment of barely controlled chaos. But with the help of the program's long-suffering director, Assi begins to break through their defenses as he teaches them to express themselves through film. He develops an especially close relationship with one boy, Eden, as full of potential as he is troubled. As he assumes the role of Eden's mentor, and becomes increasingly involved in the boy's life, the two will discover together the limitations and possibilities of rehabilitation. Striking in its realism and honest, Doubtful is based on actual events that took place in the director's life; the juvenile actors have no former experience and bring a freshness and lively charm to their cinematic debut. Winner of the awards for Best First Film and Best Cinematography at the Jerusalem Film Festival (the film's cinematographer Shai Goldman is best known for The Band's Visit), Doubtful was also nominated for nine Ophir Awards (the Israeli Academy Awards) including Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Film.
Doubtful (2017) is Eliran Elya's feature debut and stars young actors with no former experience, as his goal is to achieve the greatest sense of authenticity. The film is based on Elya's personal experiences as a screenwriter and poet in Israel, sentenced to teach cinematic arts in a juvenile delinquency center following a tragic accident.
Sponsored by Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific NW San Francisco
- Director: Eliran Elya
- Principal Cast: Ran Danker, Adar Hazazi Gersch, Yaakov Aderet, Osher Amara, Liron Ben-Shlush
- Premiere Status: US
- Country: Israel
- Year: 2017
- Running Time: 88 minutes
- Producer: Oren Rogovin
- Screenplay: Eliran Elya
- Cinematographers: Shai Goldman
- Editors: Arik Lahav Leibovich
- Website: Official Film Website
- Awards: Jerusalem Film Festival 2017 (Best First Film, Cinematography)
- Filmography: Debut Feature Film
- Language: Hebrew
- Has Subtitles: Yes
- Format: DCP
- International Sales: Go2films