Irit Numa, Film
Irit shows how a picture is worth a thousand words in her therapeutic film workshops for at-risk youth
- Age: 38
- Awards: Dan David Scholarship and ISEF Foundation Scholarship
- Field: Film
- Raised in: Tel Aviv, Israel
- Hobbies: Photography and jazz music
Combining her research of film with her desire to help troubled youth, PhD candidate Irit Numa has created a novel way to treat teenagers from tough backgrounds. The ultimate goal of her project, which was inspired by her own experiences growing up in a low-income neighborhood, is to enable young people to consider alternative solutions to their problems and to visualize a productive future for themselves.
Through intensive film workshops covering all stages of filmmaking – research, scriptwriting, shooting, directing and editing – Irit guides youth as they produce “forking-path narrative” movies, or films where the main characters continually make life-altering decisions.
According to Irit, the filmmaking exercise encourages the teens to consider and weigh alternative solutions to problems. “Film allows people to express themselves and, by so doing, raises their self-awareness and improves their self-esteem,” she explains. To measure the impact of her work, Irit uses the post-workshop Optional Thinking Test as part of her doctoral research supported by the Dan David Prize and ISEF Foundation.
In addition to her current community project, which is coordinated and supported by the Unit for Social Involvement of TAU's Ruth and Allen Ziegler Student Services Division, Irit has initiated several other intervention programs using the medium of film. These include “People of Hope,” a student documentary project hosted by TAU’s Department of Film and Television; “Creating with Keshet,”a project with the Channel 2 Television Network; and “Kolnoar,” a youth filmmaking project. Irit’s long-term goal is to secure an academic position in her field and to continue initiating cinema-based social projects.