THE FIRST SEA
AUSTRIA - PALESTINE 60 MIN
Children from the Palestinian West Bank are invited by Israeli peace activists to go to the sea. A film about the magic of first times, about borders, freedom and coexistence.
Austrian director Clara Trischler has always been interested in border issues, the extent to which someone is defined by the place one is born into, the influence of outer circumstances on our personal stories and freedom. After studying at the European Film College in Denmark, she moved to Israel, where she worked for the World Centre for Holocaust Research “Yad Vashem” and as a correspondent during the Gaza War in 2009.
After a number of film internships in Berlin and New York, she started studying screenwriting at the Film Academy of Vienna and the Instituto Universitario Nacional del Arte in Buenos Aires, where she discovered her love for documentary filmmaking. Since 2014 she's studying documentary film directing at the filmuniversity in Babelsberg near Berlin.
For “The First Sea”, her first long documentary film, Clara won the award “Best Human/Cultural Film” at the Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival 2014 in Arizona, the scholarship “Perspektive Österreichisches Nachwuchsfilmschaffen” and a Honorable Mention at the spec_script Award in 2010.
- Zurich Film Festival, Switzerland 2013
- Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis, Germany 2014
- Festival International de programmes audiovisuels, France 2014
- Diagonale, Austria 2014
- Nar Film Festival, Turkey 2014
For me the story started in 2009, when my former Israeli flat mate told me about the initiative for Palestinians to be able to travel to the sea, for the first time in their lives. Something about this story touched me, the surreal image of seemingly hostile groups spending a day on the beach together…
I decided to get my camera and took an early-morning-bus to write an article about it. First glances, first experiences. Their seeming sameness, almost naked, unarmed in the water. Their silent yet so personal communication.
That day ended, the floating tires were left void, and I thought about how little I still knew about the lives of the people I met that day, but also how little Israelis and Palestinians seemed to know about the other ones’ reality.
Main Competition 2015