Micha Shagrir (1937-2015) was one of the most prolific producers in the Israeli film industry whose work spans over five decades in which he produced hundreds of films, TV-series, documentaries and commercials for television. Shagrir was Born in Linz, Upper Austria and came to Israel together with his parents, Wally and Carl Schwager, who first joined Kibbutz Hephzibah in 1938. In 1943 the family moved to Tel Aviv. At 18 years of age, Shagrir lived in Kibbutz Harel where he served as newspaper editor and reporter of Al Hamishlat and Al Hamishmar accordingly. Later on, he started working for the “Voice of Israel” radio station and moved to Jerusalem. In the 1960’s, Shagrir served as field reporter and correspondent of IDF Radio while during the Yom Kippur War he served as the station’s Commander in Chief across the Suez Canal.

In 1964, Shagrir was one of the few Israeli producers who participated in the BBC’s London-based television program for producers. He then took part in establishing Israeli Television in 1967. Alongside producing and directing , Shagrir also appeared on screen as an actor in Melville Shavelson’s 1966 Cast a Giant Shadow alongside Kirk Douglas. From 1968 to 1988, he launched and managed Castel Communications production company which was the largest in Israel at the time. The company produced documentaries, commercials and narrative films while providing jobs for many young filmmakers in the industry. The company was founded by Shagrir and Dan Arazi who ran the company together until 1983.

The film first in which Shagrir participated in its making was Knesset by Nathan Gross in 1965. In the following five decades, Shagrir produced and directed tens of documentaries, feature films and TV-series. His sensible and humane cinematic work reflects the many aspects of Israeli society with an emphasis on the social and geographical periphery: Holocaust survivors, war victims and veterans, African and Middle Eastern Jewry and especially Ethiopian Jews. With compassion and dignity, Shagrir gave a voice to the underprivileged and worthy of on-screen attention.

In 1980, Shagrir launched a film fund in memory of his wife, film editor Aliza Shagrir, who was killed in a terrorist attack in Paris that year. The fund operated continuously for 35 years in supporting young filmmakers. Shagrir engaged also in extensive public activity. He helped to found the Sam Spiegel Film School Jerusalem in which he served as chairman as well as in the Jerusalem Khan Theater.

Micha Sahgrir died of cancer on February 4th 2015 at the age of 78. Prior to his passing, his lifelong wish was to make the entirety of his work accessible to the public. Thanks to the many efforts of his film distributor Ruth Diskin a collection of hundreds of on-screen items were restored, digitized and catalogued. This collection is considered to be one of the most important audio-visual heritage of Israel from 1960’s-2000’s

Experimental Cinema

A Sonnet for Yuda

Directed by Various Directors, 2005
זה"ב ליודה

77 min.

Feature

Avanti Popolo

Directed by Rafi Bukai, 1986
אוונטי פופולו
Rental English subs.

84 min.

Feature

Binding

Directed by Roni Ninio, 1986
עקידה

69 min.

Documentary

Bischofstrasse, Linz

Directed by Micha Shagrir, 2006
בישופשטראסה, לינץ
English subs.

58 min.

Documentary

Diary of an Egyptian Soldier

Directed by Micha Shagrir, 1979
יומנו של חייל מצרי
English subs.

41 min.

Documentary

Election Campaign for Jerusalem Municipality - Teddy Kolek

Directed by Micha Shagrir, 1986
תשדיר בחירות לעיריית ירושלים - טדי קולק

1 min.

Documentary

Emissary Named Zimna

Directed by Micha Shagrir, 1993
שליח ושמו זימנה
English subs.

41 min.

Documentary

Eye Witness - 60 Years

Directed by Micha Shagrir, 2008
עד ראייה - 60 שנה
English subs.

55 min.

Feature

Fahrenheim

Directed by Yossi Yzraely, 1971
פרנהיים
English subs.

41 min.

Documentary

Friday, Town Square

Directed by Micha Shagrir, 1993
יום השישי, בכיכר

53 min.

Documentary

Hungarian Cube - A Journey with Andre Hajdu

Directed by Gilad Inbar, 2013
הקוביה ההונגרית - מסע עם אנדרה היידו
English subs.

73 min.

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