Palestinian soldiers and United Nation's tanks look on as utlra-orthodox Jews protest in the streets....Smoke billows from the windows of the Knesset as protestors participate in a rebellion to overthrow the government....The walls of the Old City are painted red and adorned with the logo of the country's largest cable television company....
These are just a few of the controversial visions of what Jerusalem may look like a century from now as expressed by filmmakers in the recent International Animation Competition.
Organized by an Israeli city planning organization the competition asked directors to submit one to three-minute films that portrayed an "urban sci-fi vision of the city of Jerusalem" a hundred years from now. Contest organizer Daniel Wiernik, said they received almost a hundred submissions from 10 different countries, though the majority of the films came from Israel.
All of the contestants were required to post their work on-line where after an initial round of public voting the most popular films were screened by a panel of judges including famed Avatar and Titanic producer Jon Landau and German film director or Wim Wenders.
Ranging from the utopian to the dystopian the films offer an interesting variety of visions and commentary on the future of one of the world's holiest and most divided cities. While many of the films offer grim and sobering predictions for the city Wiernik said he was surprised at how many were optimistic considering the genre requirement.
The winning short, Secular Quarter #3, was created by Israeli filmmakers David Gidali and Itay Gross and depicts a ghettoised Jerusalem where the city's population is separated by huge iron walls inter-connected by large domes covering swaths of the city. As night approaches aircraft hover over the city lifting the walls and allowing the a face to face encounter between a black-hatted ultra-orthodox Jewish male and a young and a tattooed secular female.
The duo, who are film students in Los Angeles, took home a ten-thousand dollar prize for their efforts.