VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Ben Shitrit, Haim

Haim Ben Shitrit
videomaker from Israel




Interview:10 questions

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background

I was born in Jerusalem in 1959 and I am currently living in the city. I studied art in Bezalel Art Academy in Jerusalem and in the Beauxart in Paris. Since 1991 I am the head of the art department at the Israeli Arts and Sciences Academy in Jerusalem.

2. When, how and why started you filming?

I started doing video art in 1994 after practicing painting and installation for many years. Filming is only a part of my work; I use found footage, and graphic editing.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?

My videos all about my mixed identity and involves the three main languages of my biography: Arabic, French and Hebrew.

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?

I always start with a concept and I work on the border of the documentary and the experimental.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.

I use a Panasonic video camera which I got as a present from my late beloved mother. I always like to have an editor as a partner on my projects.

6. What are the chances of new media for the genre film/video in general
and you personally?

New media is a tool like any other medium in visual art. For me it allows making my art closer to life.

7. How do you finance your films?

My works are low budget projects and I use the help of friends and from time to time I receive modest support from artistic institutions.

8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team?
if you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?

I prefer working with a team. It gives me great pleasure to work in a project in the form of a kind of community and I am also happy to give space to other people in my projects.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?

My family and Arab and French cinema and entertainment.

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?

I am currently working on a new project dealing with the relationship between Arabic and English with a comic skit as my starting point.