June 2016


by Silvina Landsmann

"The Hotline for Refugees and Migrants" is a small NGO based in Tel Aviv dedicated to promote the rights of refugees and uninformed migrants in Israel. The Hotline’s work includes weekly visits in detention centers, an hotline service, legal aid, and public policy lobying. HOTLINE, the film, gets to the heart of this association and observes how an NGO functions in the democratic arena. In following the Hotline's volunteers and employees in their daily tasks, in public information meetings, at the Knesset, at the Supreme Court… HOTLINE explores, beyond the complexity of the Israeli case, the universal topic of immigration and asylum. (Production company)

Berlinale Forum Catalog
The women from the Tel Aviv hotline for refugees and migrants work around the clock. They look after the rights of people without papers, give legal advice, go to government offices on their behalf and do public relations for their cause.
The camera catapults us right into the midst of the action. Before an enraged crowd, a woman activist calls for the refugees from Sudan and Eritrea brought to Sinai by Egyptian traffickers and now stranded in Israel to be given residence permits. She is met with vehement resistance and is verbally and nearly physically attacked. But the organisation doesn’t just have to fight the xenophobic mood in the population, but also a brand of legislation that treats any illegal border crossing as a criminal offence. The refugee prisons near the Egyptian border are constantly being expanded. The director is denied access. Silvina Landsmann takes the viewer along to the various settings – government offices, courts, the Knesset – and edits together her material in such a way that it becomes clear what the struggle for human rights consists of: talking, mobilising, documenting and persuading. (Anke Leweke)

Informations on Israel's current asylum policy

Silvina Landsmann was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1965. Her family emigrated to Israel in 1976. She studied Film at Tel Aviv University. After graduating, she lived in Paris for ten years, where her first film, "Collège" (1997) was made. After returning to Israel, she started the Comino Films production company. In addition to working as a director, she also teaches Documentary Film at the Tel Aviv Cinémathèque. Films: 1997: Collège (133 Min.). 2004: Machleket Yoldot/Post Partum (66 Min.). 2007: Avo Ba-Mechilot/Unto Thy Land (60 Min.). 2012: Bagrut Lochamim/Soldier/Citizen (Berlinale Forum 2012, 68 Min.). 2015: Hotline.

Israel 2015. Format: DCP, Color, 1:1,78 (16:9). Length: 100 Min. Languages: Hebrew, English, French. Language Version: OV with German subtitles. Writer, Director und Camera: Silvina Landsmann. Sound: Guy Barkay. Sound Design: Yoss Apelbaum. Editors: Silvina Landsmann, Gil Schnaiderovich. Producers: Silvina Landsmann, Pierre-Olivier Bardet. Production companies: Comino Films (Tel Aviv, Israel); Idéale Audience (Paris, France). Premiere: 7. February 2015, Berlinale Forum.