Ronit Avni Biography

Ronit Avni is an award-winning filmmaker, human rights advocate, and media strategist with an expertise in Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution efforts. Ms. Avni is the Founder and Executive Director of Just Vision, a non-profit organization that researches, documents, and creates media about Palestinian and Israeli grassroots leaders in nonviolence and peace building.

Ronit 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, Vancouver, Dubai, and Jerusalem International Film Festivals. Encounter Point has screened at the International Finance Center, the United Nations, and in Gaza, Tel Aviv, Jenin and more than 200 cities worldwide and has won 5 international awards. Ronit appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2005 and her work was featured on Oprah.com and on Christiane Amanpour’s show, Amanpour, on CNN.

Ms. Avni recently produced the documentary film, Budrus, which received the Berlinale’s Panorama Audience Award Second Prize, the Special Jury Mention 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 at the Dubai International Film Festival in December 2009, followed by a keynote address by Her Majesty Queen Noor.

From 2000-2003, Ronit 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. Ronit has trained non-governmental organizations from Honduras to the Gambia 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 (Pluto Press, UK), with staff from WITNESS.

Ronit is currently a Young Global Leader, sponsored by the World Economic Forum, a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a United Nation’s Global Expert through the Alliance of Civilizations. She received the Auburn Seminary’s Lives of Commitment Award and a Joshua Venture Fellowship for young, Jewish social entrepreneurs. Ronit has lectured at universities across North America and her op-eds have been published in Ha’aretz and the Washington Post.

Ronit graduated with honors with a BA in Political Science from Vassar College. She received a Burnam Fellowship to intern at B’Tselem: the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. Concurrently, Ronit volunteered for the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI).

 

Filmography – Feature Documentaries

– Budrus (Producer, Executive Producer 2009)
– Encounter Point (Director, Producer, Executive Producer 2006)

Short Human Rights Films for Evidentiary Submissions or Public Education & Mobilization through WITNESS

– Expelled (Associate Producer, 2001)
– Following Antigone: Forensic Anthropology and Human Rights Investigations (Associate Producer, 2002)
– Forgotten People (Associate Producer, 2001)
– Fueling Abuse: Foreign Investment and Terror in Burma (Associate Producer, 2002)
– Garifunas Holding Ground” (Writer/Producer, 2003)
– Postcards from Peje (Associate Producer, 2001)
– Refuge (Co-Producer, 2001)
– A Right to Justice (Associate Producer, 2001)
– Rise (Writer/Producer, 2002) Ronit equipped the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan with a hidden camera in   March 2001 while working for the human rights organization, WITNESS. When the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, RAWA sent footage to   Ronit to produce “Rise”.
– 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)
– Youth Interrupted (Associate Producer, 2001)

Broadcasts

– Canal Futura, Brazil, 2009 (Encounter Point)
– STV Sweden, 2008 (Encounter Point)
– BeTV Belgium, 2008 (Encounter Point)
– Al Arabyia, Arab World, 2007 (Encounter Point)
– CBC, Canada, 2007 (Encounter Point)
– Canal +, Poland, 2007 (Encounter Point)
– KBS, Korea, 2007 (Encounter Point)

Awards

Budrus

– Winner Panorama Audience Award Second Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival, 2010
– Winner, Special Jury Mention, Tribeca Film Festival, 2010

Encounter Point

– Winner Audience Award Best Documentary at San Francisco International  Film Festival, 2006
– Winner Audience Award Best Documentary at Rencontres International  Film Festival, 2006
– Winner Spirit of Freedom Award, Bahamas International Film Festival, 2006
– Winner Best Musical Score at Bend Film Festival, 2006
– Winner Grand Jury Prize, Best Documentary at São Paulo Jewish Film Festivals, 2007
– Winner Best First Documentary, Docupólis Film Festival (Barcelona), 2007

Film Festivals (selected)

Budrus

– Dubai International Film Festival, 2009
– Berlin International Film Festival, 2010
– Thessaloniki International Film Festival, 2010
– Human Rights Watch International Film Festival (London), 2010
– Tribeca Film Festival, 2010
– Hot Docs, 2010
– San Francisco International Film Festival, 2010
– Silverdocs, 2010

Encounter Point

– Tribeca International Film Festival (New York), 2006
– Hot Docs Film Festival (Toronto), 2006
– San Francisco International Film Festival, 2006
– Dubai International Film Festival, 2006
– Jerusalem International Film Festival, 2006
– São Paulo International Film Festival, 2006
– Vancouver International Film Festival, 2006
– Rencontres Film Festival (Montreal), 2006
– Al Jazeera Documentary Film Festival (Doha), 2007
– UK Jewish Film Festival, 2007
– International Festival of Muslim Cinema (Kazan, Russia), 2007
– Docupolis Int. Film Festival (Barcelona, Spain), 2007
– 7 Islands International Film Festival (Mumbai, India), 2008
– Petra Film Festival (Petra, Jordan), 2008

Rise

– Women’s Film Festival (Seoul), 2002
– LadyFest (San Francisco), 2002
– MAKOR, Mediarights.org series about Afghanistan (New York), 2002
– Globalvisions Film Festival (Edmonton), 2002
– Excerpts featured at Human Rights Watch International Film Festival (New York), 2002
– PBS’s World At Large broadcast excerpts of (Rise)

Forgotten People

– Winner, Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film and Digital Media (Hamptons), 2001
– Sprout Film Festival (New York), 2003

Related LinksJust VisionBudrus, Encounter Point