Ronit Avni

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Ronit Avni
Ronit Avni (8894928626) (cropped).jpg
Ronit Avni at the 72nd Annual Peabody Awards
Occupation Filmmaker, human rights advocate and media strategist
Genre Documentary
Notable works Budrus, Encounter Point

Ronit Avni is a filmmaker, human rights advocate and media strategist. Avni is the founder and executive director of Just Vision, a nonprofit organization that researches, documents and creates media about Palestinian and Israeli grassroots leaders in nonviolence and peace building.

Avni directed and produced the documentary film, Encounter Point, which received the 2006 San Francisco International Film Festival Audience Award for Best Documentary and was an official selection at the Tribeca Film Festival, Hot Docs, Atlanta Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, Dubai International Film Festival and Jerusalem International Film Festival. Encounter Point has screened at the United Nations and in Gaza, Tel Aviv, Jenin and more than 200 cities worldwide and has won 5 international awards. Avni appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2005 and her work was featured on, and on Christiane Amanpour’s show, Amanpour, on CNN.[1]

Avni produced the documentary film Budrus, which received the Berlinale's Panorama Audience Award [2] Second Prize, the Special Jury Mention[3] at the Tribeca Film Festival and the Audience Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival in 2010. Budrus premiered at the Cultural Bridge Gala[4] at the Dubai International Film Festival in December 2009, followed by a keynote address by Queen Noor of Jordan.

From 2000-2003, Avni co-produced short videos and online video advocacy features in collaboration with filmmakers in Senegal, Burkina Faso, the United States and Brazil while working for Peter Gabriel's human rights organization, WITNESS. Avni has trained non-governmental organizations to produce videos as a tool for public education and grassroots mobilizing, as a deterrent to further abuse and as evidence before courts and tribunals. She wrote and produced a short documentary film, Rise, with the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan. She co-edited the book Video for Change: A Guide for Advocacy and Activism,[5] with staff from WITNESS. Ronit’s essay, “Inverting the Shame-Based Human Rights Documentation Model in the Context of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict,” was published in the spring 2006 edition of American Anthropologist.

Avni is a Young Global Leader,[6] sponsored by the World Economic Forum, a Term Member[7] at the Council on Foreign Relations[8] and a United Nations Global Expert[9] through the Alliance of Civilizations. She received the Auburn Theological Seminary’s Lives of Commitment Award[10] and a Joshua Venture Group Fellowship[11] for young, Jewish social entrepreneurs. Avni has lectured at universities across North America and her op-eds have been published in Haaretz and The Washington Post.

Avni graduated with honors with a B.A. in political science from Vassar College. She received a Burnam Fellowship[12] to intern at B'Tselem: the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. Concurrently, Avni volunteered for the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI). She was a 2011 Woodhull Fellow.[13]


  • 2006: Encounter Point (Director, Producer, Executive Producer)


  • 2000-2002: Now is the Hardest Time (Associate Producer)
  • 2001: Forgotten People (Associate Producer)
  • 2001: Expelled (Associate Producer)
  • 2001: Postcards from Peje (Associate Producer)
  • 2001: Refuge (Co-Producer)
  • 2001: A Right to Justice (Associate Producer)
  • 2001: The Road to Pineapple (Associate Producer)
  • 2001: Rule of the Gun in Sugarland (Associate Producer)
  • 2001: Set Apart (Senior Producer)
  • 2001: The Soul Eaters (Senior Producer)
  • 2001: Terra Nas Nossas Mãos (Supervising Producer)
  • 2001: Youth Interrupted (Associate Producer, 2001)
  • 2002: Rise (Writer/Producer)
  • 2002: Following Antigone: Forensic Anthropology and Human Rights Investigations (Associate Producer)
  • 2002: Fueling Abuse: Foreign Investment and Terror in Burma (Associate Producer)
  • 2002: No Place to Go (Associate Producer)
  • 2002: Voices from Silence (Associate Producer)
  • 2003: Garifunas Holding Ground (Writer/Producer)
  • 2006: Encounter Point (Director, Producer, Executive Producer)
  • 2009: Budrus (Producer)
  • 2011: Home Front: Portraits from Sheikh Jarrah (Co-Producer, Executive Producer)
  • 2012: My Neighbourhood (Executive Producer)

Books and articles[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

In 2006, the film Encounter Point was:

  • Winner, Audience Award, Best Documentary at San Francisco International Film Festival
  • Winner, Spirit of Freedom Jury Prize at Bahamas International Film Festival
  • Voted Top 5 Audience Pick at Kansas International Film Festival
  • Opening Night at Vancouver International Film Festival
  • Winner, Best Musical Score at BEND International Film Festival
  • Director’s Cut Work-in-progress True/False Film Festival
  • Director’s Cut Work-in-progress Screening Search for Common Ground
  • Winner, Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film and Digital Media

In 2010-11, the film Budrus was:

  • Winner, Panorama Audience Award Second Prize, Berlin International Film Festival
  • Winner, Special Jury Mention, Tribeca Film Festival
  • Winner, Audience Award, San Francisco International Film Festival
  • Winner, Honorable Mention for Best Documentary in the Spirit of Freedom Award, Jerusalem International Film Festival
  • Winner, Witness Award at Silverdocs Film Festival,
  • Winner, Honorable Mention of the Jury, Documenta Madrid
  • Winner, Amnesty Italia Award, Pesaro Film Festival,
  • Winner, Founders Prize, Best of Fest, Nonfiction, Traverse City Film Festival
  • Winner, Checkpoints Award, Bergen International Film Festival
  • Winner, Festival des Libertés Prize, Festival des Libertés
  • Winner, Spirit of Freedom Documentary Award, Bahamas International Film Festival
  • Winner, Amnesty's Matter of Act Human Rights Award, Movies That Matter Film Festival
  • Winner, Jury Award for Excellence in Documenting a Human Rights Issue, Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival (2011)

In 2009-11, Ronit Avni was:

  • Winner, King Hussein Leadership Prize, 2009
  • Winner, Circles of Change Award, 2010
  • Winner, The Common Ground Award, 2010
  • Winner, The Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film and Digital Media, 2011
  • Winner, The Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize, 2011


External links[edit]