Yaniv, 28, lives with his parents in Kiryat Ata-a suburban city in northern Israel. Over the years, Yaniv witnesses best friends leave home, his little sister get married and leave home and his copywriting colleagues work and succeed in Tel Aviv, while he remains in the same place. Maayan (the filmmaker) and Yaniv have been friends for over 10 years. The film provides a glimpse into their honest companionship. Recently, Yaniv shares with Maayan his desire to leave home in order to become truly independent for the first time, even at the cost of risking his own life. Yaniv takes us on a journey full of humor, which challenges conventional thinking about what it means to be alive. The film displays life as a constant struggle between desire and determination, between body and spirit and between helplessness and optimism.
“My Friend ,Yaniv” is a short film which attempts to challenge the concept of “disability” and the way it represented in cinema. The goal was to avoid the dogmatic setting of a “sentimental” film about the unfortunate disabled person that succeeds against all odds. The film intently avoids creating such a buildup in which the viewer pities Yaniv, and at the same time the film refuses to glorify him as some kind of super hero. What stands in the center of the film is Yaniv himself, a unique and complex character abundant with humor and grace.
Participants: Yaniv Aviran, Maayan Schwartz / Director: Maayan Schwartz / Editor: Amir Jorji Cinematographers: Ran braginsky, Maayan Schwartz / Producer: Moran Nakar / Animation: Yarden Kuler, Yael Hen / Sound: Nevet Mazor, Matan Dorembus / Sound Design: Michal Gidon / Original Music: Hagai Glick
A big thanks to Maayan and Yaniv, the star of the movie. the standing ovation and the excitement of the audience were everything I could have hoped for. I highly recommend for everyone to go and watch the film as soon as possible and book screenings anywhere possible.
An amazing movie that gives so much strength and meaning to those who didn’t always have it easy. Only by watching Yaniv’s way of living, which is much more than coping with reality, by that alone it’s possible to grow as a person.
The movie draws a portrait of a brave, enriching and inspiring character. The cinematic syntax creates Yaniv’s world in a sensitive, precise and intelligent way. Moreover, it gives a deep expression of the friendship between the director and Yaniv. Yaniv’s story a parable on the victory of spirit over matter against all odds.
Screening & Talk
After the film’s great success in festivals around the world, Maayan and Yaniv began screenings in public, educational as well as private institutions.
In a fascinating and empowering encounter, Maayan and Yaniv present the film and share the creative process which has resulted from their unique relationship.
The audience has the opportunity to respond, ask Yaniv and Maayan questions and enjoy a discussion full of humor, which also presents a different perspective on life with disabilities. The funny and authentic dynamic between Maayan and Yaniv create a unique and fascinating encounter, that also casually shatters quite a few prejudices
Length of activity: 90 minutes