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Home / Programme / 12-18 years old / Dancing in Jaffa

12-18 years old

Dancing in Jaffa

By : Hilla Medalia

With : Pierre Dulaine, Yvonne Marceau, Noor Gabai, Alaa Bubali, Lois Dana, Rachel Gueta

Country/Year : Israël, USA, 2013

Duration : 100'

Language/Age : Ov with English subt. (Ov with German subt. for the school screening) / 13+

Genre : Documentary

In the presence of :
Hilla Medalia
Pierre Dulaine

Screenings :

Friday 28 February 2014, 09h00

Saturday 01 March 2014, 16h30

Venues :

Cinémathèque (schools)

Utopia (public)

Synopsis :

After decades abroad, four-time ballroom dancing world champion Pierre Dulaine returns to his hometown of Jaffa, Israel. He is fulfilling a life-long dream when he takes his program, Dancing Classrooms, back to his city of birth. Nostalgic for the streets of his youth but nervous and dismayed by the strong current of racial animosity that now serves as the norm, Pierre teaches Jewish and Palestinian Israeli children to dance and compete together over a ten-week period.

Although the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at its peak, the idea of a physical alliance between young Israeli and Palestinian children through dance is very smart, as dance is a good way for a first contact to become closer. That’s why this movie is a beautiful lesson in life, an awareness that it is not so impossible for two religions at war to live together.

Director :

Hilla Medalia holds a Master’s Degree in Film and Television from Southern Illinois University, which she attended on a Track and Field scholarship, competing in the Triple Jump. She has received three Emmy Award nominations and has won the Paris Human Rights Film Festival Jury Award, Fipa Biarritz Jury Award, Golden Warsaw Phoenix Award and the Faito Doc Grand Jury Award among others. Her latest film, "Dancing in Jaffa”, is a project she hopes will inspire audiences in their personal journeys.

In the presence of the dancer Pierre Dulaine

Filmographie :

  • Happy You’re Alive, 2011
  • After the Storm, 2009
  • To Die in Jerusalem, 2007

Infos :


  • Golden Trailer, No Movie, Best Trailer Awards, 2012


  • Tribeca Film Festival, 2013
  • Sydney Film Festival, 2013
  • San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, 2013
  • Deauville American Film Festival, 2013
  • Vancouver Jewish Film Festival, 2013

Online registrations for school screenings:

Critics :

“An impossible dream comes true.”

Nora Lee Mandel,, June 2013

With the deft and sensitive touch of director Hilla Medalia, ‘Dancing in Jaffa’ is a simple, sweet portrait of one man desperately trying to make a difference in his childhood home.”, April 2013

“How do you get Jewish and Palestinian Israeli children to put aside their differences and work together? Ballroom dancing!”

Jacob Soboroff, Huffington Post, April 2013

“The film explores the stories of four children, forced to confront issues of identity and racial prejudice, as they dance with their enemy. ‛Dancing in Jaffa’ offers an up-close-and-personal perspective of how the future might unfold if the art of movement and dance could triumph over the politics of history and geography.”

Kerensa Cadenas, Indiewire, December 2012


Le gouvernement du Grand Duché du Luxembourg Ville de Luxembourg Centre National de l'Audiovisuel Cinematheque Utopia Utopolis Orange BGL