Rony Gruber (born January 15, 1963, Hebrew: רוני גרובר) is an Israeli film director and screenwriter. He is best known as the director and co-producer of Are You This Able?, nominated for best documentary at the Ophir Award.
Rony Gruber was born in Tel Aviv and graduated the prestigious Tichon Hadash High school, majoring in arts. He made his first steps in the film industry as a lighting technician. As a freshman in Tel Aviv University's Film & TV department, he joined up forces with a group of young and promising filmmakers, later to be credited for Israeli cinema renaissance. His work as a gaffer in the student films of Arik Kaplon, Yair Lev, Shemi Zarhin and Gur Heller and his work with acclaimed directors Amos Guttman on "Himmo, King of Jerusalem" by Yoram Kaniuk and Ze'ev Revach on Bouba, sharpened his aesthetic perception and enriched his cinematic language.
Following his studies, Gruber established a directorial career in the advertising business, soon to become an award winning commercials director, with Israeli and international credits. His clients included Volvo, Ocean Spray, P&G, Mazda, Ikea, Pizza Hut, Chevrolet, Whirlpool, Holiday Inn, Mitsubishi and more. In his 20-year career he received a Golden Drum Award, and several Golden Cactus Awards.
His first film was The Room (1987), a one-act drama by Harold Pinter. His second film Are You This Able? (2001) premiered in the Haifa International Film Festival and participated in film festivals around the world. Israeli critic Amir Kaminer wrote about the film: "Rony Gruber's sensitive and human documentary is sheer exhilaration. A sweet moment of victory...." Critic Nir Kipnis wrote in Globes, "The biggest achievement of the film in offering us a fresh point of view of the emotional world of the mentally disabled. The world portrayed in Are You This Able? seems so similar to our own and yet it differs elusively in the way it is manifested...."
In 2002 he collaborated with praised writer Yitzhak Ben Ner in the writing of the script for the fictional feature film Nicole's Stations, commemorating 30 years to the Yom Kippur War and based on Ben Ner's novel Rustic Sunset. The script was commissioned by the Makor Film Fund.
In 2003 Gruber directed a five-episode reality television series commissioned by Israel Broadcasting Authority. The series portrays day-to-day life at the Herods Theme Hotel in Eilat using it as an allegory of Israeli society's hedonistic and extroverted existence. The music was written by composer Avi Benjamin.
In 2007 he directed episodes in the critically acclaimed TV drama Room Service featuring Asi Levi, Sasha Damidov, Danny Steg, Yehezkel Lazarov and others. Gruber is currently developing two documentaries: In Golda's Shoes, a portrait of Golda Meir, and There We Sat and Wept ... in collaboration with Prof. Yossi Yona, telling the story for Iraqi Diaspora longing to Iraqi Jews driven out of Baghdad in the 1940.
Rony Gruber served three terms (2007–2010) as a board member at AIDF (Association of Israeli Documentary Filmmakers) and wrote its articles of association. He has been invited to be a member of the Readers Committee at The Israel Film Fund and the Makor Film Fund. Through the years he has been teaching cinema, among others, in Ma'ale Film School, Kinneret Academic College and Habetzefer.
In 2001 he was awarded the Akim Excellence Award presented annually by the president of Israel.
Are You This Able
- Are You This Able at the Israeli Film Academy
- Are You This Able in EDB
- "Terms of Endearment" (in Hebrew). Globes. 22 January 2001. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- "Candidates for Israeli Film Academy Awards". Haaretz (in Hebrew). 17 October 2001. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- "Spare Times". The New York Times. 11 April 2003. Retrieved 12 August 2014. Mentions Are You This Able at the Brooklyn Jewish Film Festival.
- Are You This Able in The Jewish Pittsburgh Film Forum
- "Jealousy" - a scene from the movie on YouTube
- "Loving and Losing Yourself" - a scene from the movie on YouTube
- "The Palace on Arutz 1" (in Hebrew). Ynet. 11 November 2001. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- Rogel Alpher (26 November 26 2001). "Palace, Channel 1, Sunday 21:30" (in Hebrew). Walla!. Haaretz. Retrieved 12 August 2014. Check date values in:
- "The Palace". IMDb.
- Watch all episodes of Room Service
- Please Disturb Room Service in Ynet
- Room Service in Tel Aviv Mouse
- Room Service in IMDb
In Golda's Shoes
- Excerpt from the footage: an interview with Golda Meir's son
- Excerpt from the footage: an interview with Golda Meir's son, part 2