Private Project


Ben, 35 years old, depressed and unemployed, arrives from the U.S. for a short visit to his native Kibbutz in the north of Israel, accompanied by his wife and newborn son. He plans to ask his old, ill, drunken father, Albert, who he barely has contact with, to help him claim a lost family apartment in Warsaw. But Albert, who is regarded as the Kibbutz fool, has other plans, he has just bet, completely drunk, in front of half of the kibbutz that he could drive on a tractor all the way south- to Eilat, within a week.

Albert leaves with dawn. Ben who must get his father's signature in order to save his marriage, reluctantly joins him, and so, the two embark on a slow, odd and unexpected journey, through rural and forgotten Israel. During the journey, Ben will discover his fascinating, complex father, the real reason behind the bet and that he resembles him much more than he thought. This is a sad, late, coming of age comedy, about a father who never knew how to be one and a son who fled his shadow.

  • Yona Rozenkier
    The Dive, Butterflies, Raz and Radja
  • Kobi Mizrahi
    The Dive, Butterflies
  • Yona Rozenkier
    The Dive, Butterflies, Raz and Radja
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  • Student Project:
  • Jerusalem Film Lab, Israel
    Jerusalem, Israel
    July 22, 2016
    Best fiction feature script
  • Jerusalem Pitch Point event at JFF
    Jerusalem, Israel
    July 16, 2017
    Yapimlab award
Writer Biography - Yona Rozenkier

37 years old, is an Israeli-French-Swiss director, born and raised in kibbutz Yehiam, currently living in Tel Aviv. Graduated from the Steve Tisch School of Film and Television in Tel-Aviv.

His first feature film The Dive (2018) won 4 awards in Jerusalem International Film Festival (including best feature award), won 2 awards in Locarno, and screened in other festivals, among them: Toronto, AFI Fest and Warsaw.

Decompression feature script, won first prize in the Jerusalem International Sam Spiegel Film Lab 2016, took part in Cannes Atelier 2017, and won the pitch point award at JFF 2017. Currently in financing as an Israeli-France-Swiss co-production.

Siberia Feature script, received development grant from the Isareli Film Fund 2019, currently in development at the Pop Up Film Residency (January 2020) and during EAVE producers workshop 2020.

Co-creator of Kibbutznikim, a 40 episodes daily drama for HOT (Israeli cable TV) January- Mai 2020

Writer and Director of Butterflies (short film, 8 min, 2019), Cannes’ official short film competition, TIFF 2019.

Co-writer and Director of The sign (short film, 12 min, 2019), part of “The SEE Factory” annual opening omnibus of Cannes’ “Director’s Fortnight” 2019.

Writer and Director of Raz and Radja, (short film, 17 min, 2012). The film was produced as a part of WATER, an Israeli-Palestinian film project, which opened the Venice Film Festival, Settimana della Critica, screened also in Busan, Mostra Sao Paulo, Cinemed Montpellier, Clermont Ferrand and more.

In addition, writer and director of Bugs on a helmet (short film, 17 min, 2011).
Festivals: Shanghai IFF, Rome IFF, Asiatica, Macau et al.
Winner of the Merit Awards in the Best Short Competition in La Jolla, CA.

Writer Till day's end (short film, 17 min, 2014).
Shanghai IFF (winner best short), Jerusalem IFF, Clermont Ferrand, Cinemed Montpellier, Plus Camerimage IFF Poland and more.

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Writer Statement

One night my mother woke me up in a hurry shouting: "Come quick! Dad is in a hypoglycemic state!" Actually, he was jumping on the sofa completely naked while miming his lips like a fish. I grabbed the honey jar and charged into battle. I managed to feed the old crazy bastard, not before he bit my leg. After he regained his wit, he calmly started lecturing me about how smart he was never to use hard drugs. "Imagine what I would do to you then", he said.
My late brilliant and amazing father was born in a cold sepulture in occupied France, where he spent the first years of his life. This forever damaged his heart but gave him lust for life and an atheist, existential, humanist view of the world. As a holocaust survivor he was always extremely sensitive to racism or prejudice. The film’s tone is inspired from the perception and ideology he taught me: be nice to others, smile when happy, cry when sad and always remember: in the end, the most important thing in the world is to always know where the closest toilette is.
The film deals with Albert's post-trauma from the Yom Kippur War. My military service was rough and difficult and left a big mark on me. For years I suffered from a post Trauma and Albert's character represents the person I fear to become.
This is not the first time I have dealt with that issue. If in my first feature THE DIVE I tried to explain to parents their son's post-trauma, then here I am focusing on their father’s post-trauma, and in a way am trying to help the children understand what happened to their parents.
In the kibbutz where I grew up, I saw the pain and distress of the older men (parents of friends) who were in the Yom Kippur War; and in this film I seek to illuminate the post-trauma of a generation that has hardly ever been treated. Tens of thousands of such households are scattered throughout the country (and in many others countries), and I believe in the film's ability to spark an important discussion and, hopefully, also help many of them.

My mother never converted to Judaism. And therefore, I am sensitive to the issue of racism towards the not Jewish in Israel.
In the script, I aim for a slow and strange road movie through the forgotten periphery. In this journey I try to show a divided country, full of stereotypes and prejudices.
It is important for me to make it clear to the reader that throughout the script I break down the stereotypes one by one. Whether it is Naomi who turns out to be the most courageous of them all together, Lena (the Russian woman) who is looking for a job or the scary Palestinian Said who turns out to be a thoughtful existentialist. Consistently and on purpose, each time I start with a cliché or stereotype and then break it down to pieces.
In summary, I want to create a colorful, almost surrealistic and absurd Road movie. A movie about a post-traumatic father and his son who are given one last chance to bury the hatchet, through a slow journey in a country suffering from racism, schism and post-trauma. I had a father who gave me so much. The least I can do for him- is this movie.