The Sderot Cinematheque was founded in 1999. Prof. Haim Bereshit, the principal founder, had the vision that led to the Cinematheque's establishment. Prof. Bereshit was the head of the school for cinema communications at the Sapir Academic College and worked on this project in cooperation with the then Mayor of Sderot, Attorney Eli Moyal.
The Sderot Cinematheque is the first educational and cultural institution dedicated to the cinema in Southern Israel. It was established with the aim of bringing public attention to the cultural life for the population in the southern part of the country and also help close the cultural gap between the central and peripheral areas of Israel. The Sderot Cinematheque is by definition an institution that educates towards a love for the cinema and facilitates all who wish to enjoy its activities irrespective of their economic-social standing. One of the Cinematheque's principal aims is the promotion of Israeli cinema in all its forms: Festivals, study days, special screenings, and meetings with producers, cultural and musical events, continuing education programs and workshops.
This Cinematheque is unique in that it introduces the audience to every kind of Israeli/foreign creations, documentary/feature and experimental/student productions, accompanied by the best producers who place a public discussion held in the cinematic language on the social agenda.
The Cinematheque operates seven days a week with four to six screenings/activities every day.
The location and its importance:
The Sderot Cinematheque is the only one of its kind in the whole southern region and it provides a cinematic cultural response to the needs of the population living in the south, an area covering 75% of the State of Israel's territory.
The Cinematheque was launched in the city of Sderot because it constituted a metropolitan of culture and was within easy reach of the Sapir Academic College with its School of Communications. The College's close proximity guarantees the availability of leading lecturers and important artists working in cinema and television throughout the country, who can serve as a reliable source for lectures and cinematic activities in the region.
The Cinematheque's activities are held in a first-class cinema with an intimate atmosphere and it boasts two modern auditoriums which together can seat more than 400 patrons. The Cinematheque is equipped with some of the most advanced movie projectors and accessories in the world which provide full enjoyment during every activity.
The Cinematheque is located in the city center, in a pleasant intimate square and a coffee bar located at the Cinematheque's site is run by a group of at-risk youth.
The general meetings of the Cinematheque's Society (Amuta) are attended by:
Mr. Zohar Avitan (Chairman), Prof. Ephraim Sidon, Mr. Avi Sulimani, Mr. Hezi Botzer, Mr. Kobi Oz, Ms. Hadas Reiss, Mrs. Ahlama Peretz, Ms. Sophie Ben Shushan, Mr. Ami Gal-on, Mr. Moti Gigi, Mr. Shai Ben-Yaish, Ms. Sophit Peretz, Mr. Benny Cohen, The society's (Amuta) CEO and the Cinematheque's director.