BBR Saatchi & Saatchi Israel’s short documentary film Blood Relations that tells the story of Ben and Seham, a bereaved Israeli father and Palestinian sister from the Israeli/Palestinian Parents Circle-Families Forum and their journey to donate blood to save lives on the other side, screened in the Other Israel Film Festival in New York yesterday.
Members of the public were able to donate blood in support of the ‘Blood Relations’ project the film tells the story of, at a mobile blood donation bus that was on site outside the JCC Manhattan. The blood drive that attracted hundreds of participants and provided a much-needed boost to the city’s blood supplies after many of New York’s blood donation clinics were closed by superstorm ‘Sandy’.
The short film ran as an introduction to the full-length documentary One Day After Peace, featuring the story of Robi Damelin, also a member of the Parents Circle – Families Forum, and one of the original participants in the ‘Blood Relations’ initiative. The award-winning film, directed by Erez and Miri Laufer, follows Damelin as she tries to contact her son’s killer. When he refuses, she returns to her country of birth, South Africa, to examine how they achieved reconciliation after decades of conflict. Damelin and journalist Gideon Levy spoke and addressed questions after the screening.
The Other Israel Film Festival is taking place in New York City from November 8-15, featuring New York premieres of internationally acclaimed, award-winning films by and about Arab and minority populations living in Israel. The Other Israel Film Festival is the foremost U.S. presenter of new cinematic works that bring into focus the most talked about and controversial topics concerning Israeli society today. In addition to the screening of One Day After Peace on Sunday, it was also screen on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 7:00 PM at CinemaVillage. For full program information, visit OtherIsrael.org
Yossi Lubaton, CEO of BBR Saatchi & Saatchi Israel said: “We are very proud to have our film shown in the Other Israel Film Festival. We hope this film will make people think differently about what it means to be a ‘Blood Relation’ and that the people who see it will not only share in our hope that things will get better, but that they will be inspired to share their blood and donate in support of that hope. It has been an honour to work with such an amazing organisation as the Parents Circle and the Peres Centre for Peace and we thank them for giving us the opportunity to make the film that documents their incredible story.”
Isaac Zablocki, a programmer of the Other Israel Film Festival, adds, “The Other Israel Film Festival is proud to create a platform of dialogue and inclusivity as demonstrated through the arts. And now, we extend this platform to include a much needed blood drive. This drive will serve the New York public at times of need, and also serve as a symbol equality and peace.”
The donations in New York on Sunday mark the latest in a series of blood donation events that have been taking place across the world as part of the ‘Blood Relations’ initiative. The project began in September 2011 when Israeli and Palestinian members of the Parents Circle – Families Forum, came together to donate blood to each other that was then shared to save lives on the opposite side.
‘Blood Relations’ was borne out of a global challenge ‘The Impossible Brief', launched by BBR Saatchi & Saatchi Israel at the 2010 Cannes Advertising Festival where creative minds from all over the world were invited to present ideas that would bring Israelis and Palestinians closer together. Visit www.bloodrelations.org for more information.