Naomi Levari

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Naomi Levari
נעמי לבארי
Headshot of Levari; she is looking into the camera, and has shoulder-length dark hair. She is wearing a dark jacket over a red scoop-neck top.
NationalityIsraeli
OccupationFilm producer, director
Notable work
Love Trilogy: Chained
Fig Tree
Draft

Naomi Levari (in Hebrew: נעמי לבארי; born October 10, 1978) is an Israeli film producer and director.

Early life and education[edit]

Levari was born in the United States, and at the age of 5 moved to Jerusalem with her family. She began studying film in high school, and also began social and political activism. In 1996, she refused to enlist for her compulsory military service as a conscientious objector.

In 2004, she graduated from the Sam Spiegel School of Film and Television, with highest honors.[1] During her studies, she co-produced Oneg Shabat, a short film that went on to win multiple awards, and produced the documentary film Blue White Collar Criminal, the first student film to be released commercially in the school's history. Her graduation film, Draft, was screened at more than forty international film festivals, and won four awards and two special mentions.[2][3] The film was sold to broadcast companies around the world, has been included in school curricula, and was selected as one of the best films to come out of 'Sam Spiegel' by an international jury. Levari won multiple awards and scholarships, and grants from the Television Authority and the Yehoshua Rabinowitz Foundation.[4]

Early career[edit]

Levari began working in the Israeli film industry, and in 2010 she founded Black Sheep Productions with her partner Saar Yogev.[5]

In 2013, Levari ran for parliament on the Da'am party list, headed by Asma Agbarieh Zahalka, but the party did not get the required number of votes to enter parliament.[6]

In 2014, during Israel's attack on Gaza, Levari sent a video to the residents of Gaza, "A Message to Gaza", which became viral on social media,[7] and was covered by the international press. Levari, however, refused to be interviewed on the subject, except for two underground blogs in Turkey and Iran.

Levari and Yogev are married, and have two sons.

Career[edit]

Levari started her professional life working in various set jobs, as an assistant director and assistant cinematographer, and then turned to directing music videos and multimedia performances, and worked as a content editor on prime time television shows.

In 2005, she began her collaboration with Saar Yogev during the Jerusalem Film Festival, and in 2008 the two began producing together.[8] In 2010, they founded Black Sheep Productions, which has garnered a reputation in Israel and abroad as a selective, accessible and quality production company.[5]

In addition to her production work, Levari coaches filmmakers on pitching, and teaches film in various institutions, both in Israel and around the world. She also serves in various public roles related to the Israeli film industry.[9]

After the success of her student film, Draft, Levari was invited to conduct a master class at Aarhus University in Denmark. in 2011, she was selected to participate in the Rotterdam International Film Festival's Rotterdam Lab, a workshop for the most promising emerging producers. In 2013, Levari was invited by the French foundation CNC to represent them in the producers' track at the Cannes Film Festival. That same year, she was a jury member for the documentary film competition at the Jerusalem Film Festival. In 2014 she was a member of the executive board of the Israeli Academy of Film and Television. In 2014 and 2015, she was a lector for the Israel Film Fund and for the International Film Lab in Jerusalem.[1] In 2015 she was also on the jury for the Utopia Film Festival. In 2016, at the Cannes Film Festival, she was selected as a Notable Producer at the Holland Film Meetings, where she and director Yaron Shani presented one of Black Sheep's flagship projects, Love Trilogy.[10]

Levari has worked as a guest lecturer and advisor at Beit Berl College, Sapir Academic College, Columbia University, and the Sam Spiegel Film School, her alma mater.[10] In 2017, Black Sheep Productions was spotlighted, along with four other production companies, by Berlinale co-production market at the Berlin International Film Festival.[1]

In 2018, Levari was one of the founders of the German production company Electric Sheep GmbH, with Saar Yogev and Michael Reuter.[11][non-primary source needed] This same year, she was asked to join the EWA program, in which she mentors women film producers from around the world, and supports the professional reader team at the Berlin International Film Festival.[citation needed]

Levari is dedicated to improving the status and representation of women in the Israeli film industry, and is the founder of the Center for Equal Opportunities in the Film and Television Industry.[12]

Filmography[edit]


Year Title Role Notes
2003 Tzilibell Producer Short film
2003 Oneg Shabat (Sabbath Pleasure) Co-producer Short film
2004 Blue White Collar Criminal Producer Documentary film
2004 Draft Producer, screenwriter, director Short film

Winner of 5 Awards

2006 Bsorot Tovot (Good Tidings) Co-executive producer Television Series
2010 Teacher Irena Producer, screenwriter Documentary film

This film reached cult status in Israel, and opened the DocAviv Documentary Film Festival in Tel Aviv. It was nominated for an Ophir Award for Best Documentary.

2011 Ha-Chaim Ze Lo Ha-Kol

(Life Isn't Everything)

Producer Television Series; 21 episodes, season 9
2011 Ameer Got His Gun Executive producer, screenwriter, director Documentary film

Winner of 4 Awards

2012 Batman at the Checkpoint Executive producer Short film
2012 Mishpacha Lo Bocharim

(You Can't Choose Family)

Producer Television Series
2013 Hanna's Journey Co-producer Feature film

Screened at Berlinale, Was nominated for a German Academy Award

2014 Farewell Herr Schwarz Co-producer Documentary film

Israeli Academy Awards Nominee, Won 10 awards at international film festivals

2015 A Bitter Mix Executive producer TV Movie
2015 Split Producer Television series; 12 episodes
2016 One Week and a Day Producer Feature film

Was nominated for 7 Ophir Awards, won an award at Cannes, and in total 15 international nominations and 8 wins[8]

2016 Facing the Wall Producer Short film

Nominated for an Israeli Academy Award, Winner of 5 Awards

2016 Mama's Angel Producer Television series; 10 episodes

Official Selection Series Mania

2017 Me'ever Lakav Producer Short film

Winner of 4 awards

2018 McMafia Producer Television series; 2 episodes
2018 Ceased to Be Producer Documentary film
2018 Love Trilogy: Stripped Producer Feature film

World Premiere Venice International Film Festival, Nominated for 4 Israeli Academy Awards

2018 Fig Tree Producer Feature film

World Premiere Toronto IFF, winner of 8 Awards including the prestigious Audentia Award, Nominated for 5 Israeli Academy Awards

2019 Love Trilogy: Chained Producer Feature film
2019 Border of Pain Producer, screenwriter Documentary film
Love Trilogy: Reborn Producer Feature film (post-production)
The Prophet Producer Documentary film (post-production)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "נעמי לבארי". בלאק שיפ הפקות (in Hebrew). Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  2. ^ "הסרט 'ליל גיוס' זכה בציון לשבח לסרטים הקצרים בפסטיבל טרייבקה". News1 (in Hebrew). January 5, 2005. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  3. ^ "מחוות לסם שפיגל בפסטיבלי סרטים בצכיה ובאוסטרליה". הבמה (in Hebrew). July 21, 2007. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  4. ^ "שבוע ויום". פסטיבל הקולנוע ירושלים (in Hebrew). Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  5. ^ a b גלי מאירי (July 24, 2016). "הכבשה השחורה של עולם הקולנוע הישראלי". התעשיה היום (in Hebrew). Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  6. ^ "מועמדת מס' 9: נעמי לבארי". דעם (in Hebrew). Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  7. ^ Levari, Naomi (July 14, 2014). "A message to Gaza". Facebook. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  8. ^ a b אור סיגולי (September 6, 2016). ""אנחנו מפיחים חיים"". Calcalist (in Hebrew). Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  9. ^ "נעמי לבארי". Utopia (in Hebrew). Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  10. ^ a b "נעמי לבארי". בוגרי סם שפיגל. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  11. ^ "Electric Sheep Prod". Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  12. ^ מרב שקד (November 24, 2014). "למה אין בום וומן ומנהל תסריט בתעשייה?". תעשיה היום (in Hebrew). Retrieved March 21, 2019.

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