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Thursday, June 1, 2023

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Nir Bergman (Photo: Yarden Tavori) Nir Bergman (Photo: Yarden Tavori)

Visiting Israeli Filmmakers to Teach Screenwriting Class

SDSU students will learn the techniques of writing documentary and feature films.
By Coleen L. Geraghty

“We are extremely honored to be hosting artists of this caliber at SDSU.”

Two Israeli filmmakers will co-teach a screenwriting class this fall in San Diego State University’s Department of English and Comparative Literature.

Feature film director and screenwriter Nir Bergman will teach the first half of the semester, followed by documentary filmmaker David Ofek.

Bergman’s films have won awards internationally. He is also the co-creator of “BeTipul” (translated to “In Treatment”), the successful Israeli television series adapted for American audiences by HBO and starring Gabriel Byrne.

Ofek’s “No. 17” documents an investigation into the identity of a passenger aboard a bus destroyed by a suicide bomb near Tel Aviv in 2002. The film is featured in the New York Museum of Modern Art’s New Directors/New Films series.

Both artists graduated from the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem, where Bergman currently teaches. He lived in La Jolla for a short time about 40 years ago when his father held a post-doctoral position in the physics department at the University of California, San Diego.

Bergman’s new film, “Saving Neta,” will premiere Oct. 10 at the Jewish Community Center in San Diego. It tells the story of a year in a man’s life as seen through his relationships with four women.

The Visiting Israeli Artists Program is offered through the Israel Institute in Washington, D.C., and funded by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.

Risa Levitt Kohn, director of the Jewish Studies program at SDSU, was instrumental in bringing these award-winning filmmakers to the university.

“We are extremely honored to be hosting artists of this caliber at SDSU,” Kohn said. “Nir and David will provide students with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn the craft of screenwriting from accomplished writers and directors.”