Ronit Avni

“Most social change in the world today starts from the bottom up and eventually takes root at the higher echelons to become policy- environmentalism, feminism, the civil rights movement - the list goes on. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is no different. Politicians will ultimately follow, but I am concerned with who will lead.”
Founder/Executive Director
Encounter Point Director/Producer, Budrus Producer, Home Front Co-Producer, My Neighbourhood Executive Producer

Ronit Avni is an award-winning filmmaker, media strategist and human rights advocate. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Just Vision, an organization dedicated to increasing media coverage and support for Palestinian and Israeli efforts to end the Occupation and the conflict without arms. Her work has been featured in major news outlets, including Newsweek, The Washington Post, The BBC, NPR and The Economist.

Ronit produced the documentary film, Budrus, which was hailed in The New York Times as "this year's must-see documentary" and has won twelve international awards, including the Berlinale’s Panorama Audience Award Second Prize, the Special Jury Mention at the Tribeca Film Festival and the Audience Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival in 2010. Budrus premiered at the Cultural Bridge Gala at the Dubai International Film Festival in December 2009, followed by a keynote address by Her Majesty Queen Noor.

Ronit directed and produced the documentary film, Encounter Point, which received several awards including the San Francisco International Film Festival Audience Award for Best Documentary. Encounter Point has screened in more than 200 cities worldwide and continues to be widely used in classrooms and community centers in America and the Middle East.

Recently, Ronit’s team at Just Vision released the short film, My Neighbourhood, and a short film series called Home Front: Portraits from Sheikh Jarrah, in partnership with filmmaker Rebekah Wingert-Jabi.

Previously, Ronit trained human rights defenders worldwide to produce videos as tools for public education and grassroots mobilizing, as deterrents to further abuse and as evidence before courts and tribunals while working for Peter Gabriel’s human rights organization, WITNESS. Ronit co-edited the book, Video for Change: A Guide for Advocacy and Activism (Pluto Press, UK), with staff from WITNESS. Ronit’s essay, “Inverting the Shame-Based Human Rights Documentation Model in the Context of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict,” was published in the spring 2006 edition of American Anthropologist. Ronit now sits on the WITNESS board.

Ronit has been recognized with a variety of honors, including: the King Hussein Leadership Prize, Search for Common Ground’s Common Ground Award, the Circles of Change Award, Auburn Seminary’s Lives of Commitment Award and a Joshua Venture Fellowship for young, Jewish social entrepreneurs. She is currently a United Nation’s Global Expert through the Alliance of Civilizations, a Young Global Leader through the World Economic Forum and a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Ronit graduated with honors with a BA in Political Science from Vassar College. She received a Burnam Fellowship to intern at B’Tselem: the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. Concurrently, Ronit volunteered for the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI).


Please download Ronit's abbreviated biography here.

Filmography - Feature Documentaries

  • My Neighbourhood (Executive Producer 2012)
  • Home Front: Portraits from Sheikh Jarrah (Co-Producer, Executive Producer 2011)
  • Budrus (Producer, Executive Producer 2009)
  • Encounter Point (Director, Producer, Executive Producer 2006)

Short Human Rights Films for Evidentiary Submissions or Public Education & Mobilization through WITNESS

  • Expelled (Associate Producer, 2001)
  • Following Antigone: Forensic Anthropology and Human Rights Investigations (Associate Producer, 2002) 
  • Forgotten People (Associate Producer, 2001) 
  • Fueling Abuse: Foreign Investment and Terror in Burma (Associate Producer, 2002) 
  • Garifunas Holding Ground” (Writer/Producer, 2003) 
  • Postcards from Peje (Associate Producer, 2001)
  • Refuge (Co-Producer, 2001)
  • A Right to Justice (Associate Producer, 2001)
  • Rise (Writer/Producer, 2002) Ronit equipped the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan with a hidden camera in March 2001 while working for the human rights organization, WITNESS. When the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, RAWA sent footage to Ronit to produce "Rise".
  • The Road to Pineapple (Associate Producer, 2001)
  • Rule of the Gun in Sugarland (Associate Producer, 2001)
  • Set Apart (Senior Producer, 2001)
  • The Soul Eaters (Senior Producer, 2001)
  • Youth Interrupted (Associate Producer, 2001)

Broadcasts

  • Al Jazeera English, Worldwide, 2012 (My Neighbourhood)
  • HBO, Latin America, 2011 (Budrus)
  • CBC, Canada, 2011 (Budrus)
  • Tour de Force, Norway, 2011 (Budrus)
  • Link TV, USA, 2011 (Budrus)
  • TVP, Poland, 2011 (Budrus)
  • RTV, Slovenia, 2011 (Budrus)
  • VRT, Belgium, 2011 (Budrus)
  • Canal Futura, Brazil, 2009 (Encounter Point)
  • STV Sweden, 2008 (Encounter Point)
  • BeTV Belgium, 2008 (Encounter Point)
  • Al Arabyia, Arab World, 2007 (Encounter Point)
  • CBC, Canada, 2007 (Encounter Point)
  • Canal +, Poland, 2007 (Encounter Point)
  • KBS, Korea, 2007 (Encounter Point)

Awards

Budrus

  • King Hussein Leadership Prize, 2009
  • Winner, Panorama Audience Award Second Prize, Berlin International Film Festival, 2010
  • Winner, Special Jury Mention, Tribeca Film Festival, 2010
  • Winner, Audience Award, San Francisco International Film Festival, 2010
  • Winner, Honorable Mention for Best Documentary in the Spirit of Freedom Award, Jerusalem International Film Festival, 2010
  • Winner, Witness Award at Silverdocs Film Festival, 2010
  • Winner, Honorable Mention of the Jury, Documenta Madrid 10
  • Winner, Amnesty Italia Award, Pesaro Film Festival, 2010
  • Winner, Founders Prize, Best of Fest, Nonfiction, Traverse City Film Festival, 2010
  • Winner, Checkpoints Award, Bergen International Film Festival, 2010
  • Winner, Festival des Libertés Prize, Festival des Libertés, 2010
  • Winner, Spirit of Freedom Documentary Award, Bahamas International Film Festival, 2010
  • Circles of Change Award, 2010
  • The Common Ground Award, 2010
  • Winner, Amnesty's Matter of Act Human Rights Award, Movies That Matter Film Festival, 2011
  • Winner, Jury Award for Excellence in Documenting a Human Rights Issue, Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival, 2011
  • The Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film and Digital Media, 2011
  • The Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize, 2011

Encounter Point

  • Winner Audience Award Best Documentary at San Francisco International  Film Festival, 2006
  • Winner Audience Award Best Documentary at Rencontres International  Film Festival, 2006
  • Winner Spirit of Freedom Award, Bahamas International Film Festival, 2006
  • Winner Best Musical Score at Bend Film Festival, 2006
  • Winner Grand Jury Prize, Best Documentary at São Paulo Jewish Film Festivals, 2007
  • Winner Best First Documentary, Docupólis Film Festival (Barcelona), 2007

Film Festivals (selected)

My Neighbourhood

  • Tribeca Film Festival, 2012
  • Al Jazeera Documentary Film Festival, 2012

Home Front: Portraits from Sheikh Jarrah

  • Aspen ShortsFest, 2012

Budrus

  • Dubai International Film Festival, 2009
  • Berlin International Film Festival, 2010
  • Tribeca Film Festival, 2010
  • HotDocs Film Festival, 2010
  • Panorama Audience Award Second Prize, Berlin International Film Festival, 2010
  • San Francisco International Film Festival, 2010
  • Jerusalem International Film Festival, 2010
  • Silverdocs Film Festival, 2010
  • Documenta Madrid, 2010
  • Pesaro Film Festival, 2010
  • Traverse City Film Festival, 2010
  • Bergen International Film Festival, 2010
  • Festival des Libertés, 2010
  • Bahamas International Film Festival, 2010
  • Human Rights Watch International Film Festival London, 2010
  • Thessaloniki International Film Festival, 2010
  • E Tudo Verdade/It’s All True Film Festival, 2010
  • Sydney Film Festival, 2010
  • Planete Doc Review, 2010
  • Documentarist Film Festival, Istanbul, 2010
  • DokuFest Kosovo, 2010
  • Woods Hole Film Festival, 2010
  • Rhode Island International Film Festival, 2010
  • EBS International Documentary Festival, Korea, 2010
  • Festival do Rio, 2010
  • Take One Action Film Festival, 2010
  • Mumbai International Film Festival, 2010
  • Festival des Libertes, 2010
  • Jihlava International Documentary Festival, 2010
  • St. Louis International Film Festival, 2010
  • Milwaukee International Film Festival, 2010
  • Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival, 2010
  • Jakarta International Film Festival, 2010
  • Bend Film Festival, 2010
  • Toronto Palestine Film Festival, 2010
  • Boston Palestine Film Festival, 2010
  • Arab Film Festival, 2010
  • Rehoboth Beach Film Festival, 2010
  • Ad Hoc: Inconvenient Films, 2010
  • One World Film Festival, 2010
  • Lens Politica Film Festival, 2010
  • Doha Tribeca Film Festival, 2010
  • Reykjavik International Film Festival, 2010
  • Camden International Film Festival, 2010
  • Palestine Human Rights Film Festival, 2010
  • Global Peace Film Festival, 2010
  • International Women's Film Festival, 2010
  • San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, 2010
  • Movies That Matter Film Festival, 2011
  • Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival, 2011

Encounter Point

  • Tribeca International Film Festival (New York), 2006
  • Hot Docs Film Festival (Toronto), 2006
  • San Francisco International Film Festival, 2006
  • Dubai International Film Festival, 2006
  • Jerusalem International Film Festival, 2006
  • São Paulo International Film Festival, 2006
  • Vancouver International Film Festival, 2006 
  • Rencontres Film Festival (Montreal), 2006
  • Al Jazeera Documentary Film Festival (Doha), 2007
  • UK Jewish Film Festival, 2007
  • International Festival of Muslim Cinema (Kazan, Russia), 2007
  • Docupolis Int. Film Festival (Barcelona, Spain), 2007
  • 7 Islands International Film Festival (Mumbai, India), 2008
  • Petra Film Festival (Petra, Jordan), 2008

Rise

  • Women’s Film Festival (Seoul), 2002
  • LadyFest (San Francisco), 2002
  • MAKOR, Mediarights.org series about Afghanistan (New York), 2002
  • Globalvisions Film Festival (Edmonton), 2002
  • Excerpts featured at Human Rights Watch International Film Festival (New York), 2002
  • PBS's World At Large broadcast excerpts of (Rise)

Forgotten People

  • Winner, Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film and Digital Media (Hamptons), 2001
  • Sprout Film Festival (New York), 2003
MN Filmmaker Title : 
My Neighbourhood Executive Producer
HF Filmmaker Title : 
Home Front Co-Producer
EP Filmmaker Title : 
Encounter Point Director/Producer