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TAU Student Film Wows at Cannes Film Festival
Thursday, May 24, 2018 9:44:00 AM

Rubber Dolphin written and directed by Steve Tisch School of Film and Television graduate

The short film Rubber Dolphin by Ori Aharon of Tel Aviv University's Steve Tisch School of Film and Television competed this month in the Cannes Film Festival's Cinéfondation Selection, which featured exceptional student films from 14 different countries.

Aharon is a recent graduate of TAU's Tisch School. He wasn't overly optimistic when he submitted his 28-minute graduation film about the surrender of masculinity to relationships to the French film festival's Student Film competition.

"I applied to many festivals, including Cannes," said Aharon, who wrote, directed, produced and edited the film. "I was very surprised it was accepted." Rubber Dolphin was selected out of 2,426 films and joins just 16 other films from all around the world in contending for the Student Film category.

The film depicts an intimate evening in a Tel Aviv apartment where two men (portrayed by Chen Chefetz and Omri Laron) connect, sleep together, then — jarringly — disconnect. Their physical desire is immediate, but any chance at love dissipates as the night comes to an end.

"'Rubber' is a symbol for the lack of intimacy or for fake intimacy," says Aharon. "I distilled a few of my own personal encounters into one night, then reflected upon the romantic relations between men. I also read a lot of academic essays to try to understand what makes people fall for one another."

His film was produced with the support of the Blavatnik Film Foundation and the Rabinovich Film Fund Cinema Project. "It wasn't an easy path," Aharon says. "I finished studying four years ago and have been thinking about my graduation film project since then. Then I turned 30 and decided to give myself a gift. I moved out of my apartment and devoted myself to this project.

"The film represents the longing for a traditional relationship and the way it is expressed through sex. But it's more than a film about homosexuality — it's a film about masculinity and what it means to surrender to a relationship."

Aharon is also the co-director of the Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary in June.

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