Cannes Film Festival
24th Cinéfondation 2021
Habikur / Night Visit
“Habikur” (“Night Visit”) chronicles an unusual romantic encounter in a small community, which is complicated when the disturbing circumstances that led to it are revealed. The film is about the search for love, the discovery of a disturbing sex story, and how the heroine comes to terms with the bond that suddenly forms between the two.
Hi Mya, how have you been keeping during these strange Covid times?
lt was definitely a strange year. I found the lockdowns to be socially and emotionally challenging, and yet I felt it also had a positive affect on my closer relationships. I have definitely missed going to the cinema and to film festivals. I spent most of the time working on new scripts so it also had a positive side to it.
Have you been inspired to take on any new creative opportunities?
I have watched many films, TV series and read more books during this time, which definitely kept my imagination and creativity going. I have started working on a script for a TV series which is something I haven't tried before.
How much did your time and experience at The Steve Tisch School of Film & Television prepare you for your filmmaking journey?
I'm very grateful for my time at school, I had a handful of amazing mentors along the way. I'm just now starting my journey out of school, so far it seems I have a sense of what to do next, but it is definitely different and also exciting to find a new work environment and figure out new ways to get feedback.
Congratulations on Night Visit being selected for the 24th Cinéfondation, what does it mean to you to have your film part of this year's festival?
It means the world to me, I couldn't be more happy and honoured to be part of the selection. And hopefully the film will reach a wide audience.
Can you tell me how Night Visit came about, what inspired this film?
It is based on some of my own experiences. I grew up in a small community in the northern part of Israel, It was very close and intimate but also very eventless. One night, someone I used to go out with broke into my house, stole some things, and would never confess it was him although we all knew. I remember feeling ashamed of our relationship. This event was the starting point of the script and it evolved from there.
What was the hardest scene for you to film?
I think the sex scene. We had a very small and intimate set because it was very important to all of us that the actors feel comfortable and that the scene feels authentic.
When working on a project like this how important is the collaborative nature of filmmaking?
It's priceless. We had more than 50 people working together intensively in order to create this film. I was also the director and also the DOP of the film so I was especially sensitive to who is in the camera department with me and also having people I trust on the directors monitor so it will all come together.
Do you allow yourself much flexibility with the screenplay or do you like to stick to what has been written?
I allow myself a lot of freedom while rehearsing with the actors during pre-production. I often change the script according to the needs or ideas that come up during rehearsals. On set, apart from small changes in dialogue, I like to stick to the script.
'I feel it is important and empowering to have a friend or two you trust that you can create together with, someone that really gets who you are and the stories you want to tell."
Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?
I believe I was a pretty late bloomer. I think I only really fell in love with filmmaking after I started my first year in university and then I never looked back.
Is there any advice or tips you would offer a fellow filmmaker?
I feel it is important and empowering to have a friend or two you trust that you can create together with, someone that really gets who you are and the stories you want to tell. You can share ideas, help each other in projects and it's also much more fun to create this way.
And finally, what do you want audiences will take away from Night Visit?
The film deals with the search for love, with an unsettling sexual event and with the heroine's need to define for herself the suddenly faded line between the two things.
I hope the film will have a strong emotional impact on the audience and that it raises questions about this complex topic.