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Upcoming film festival shines light on must-see documentaries

Docaviv 2015 will show films about Kurt Cobain, David Hockney and more.

Kurt Cobain and Courtney LoveKurt Cobain and Courtney LoveA vintage photo of Kurt Cobain with Courtney Love, featured in the documentary "Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck." (Photo: Dora Handel / Corbis/courtesy of HBO)

Documentaries have always been one of the more underrated sectors of the film industry. A well-made doc can be as engrossing as the best scripted fare, and have as much cultural impact. How many people still quote "Grey Gardens" or talk about Michael Apted's "Up" series, decades after they were released?

The 17th Docaviv International Film Festival, taking place in Tel Aviv from May 7 through 16, recognizes the form, showing nothing but documentaries. And looking at the list of movies being screened there, some interesting and high-profile titles are on the schedule. Some of the one we're looking forward to include:

'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'


The documentary dives into the life of the troubled Nirvana frontman and songwriter via his drawings, journals and archival footage. It got a big boost when his daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, got more involved in director Brett Morgen's project. It airs on HBO on May 4, but Docaviv will be the place Israeli fans of the classic grunge band can see it.



David Hockney is as famous in the art world for his image – huge glasses, mop of blond hair, boarding school accent – as his imagery. Hockney was interviewed for this film, which takes a look at how his perspective from 1950s and 1960s bohemia influenced his art.

'Elgin Park'

A documentary short (appropriately enough) about the miniature 1950s utopian town Michael Paul Smith created and the reasons the reclusive artist dove into such a painstaking project. He'll also talk about how he made photos of the miniatures look life-sized, photos that were so amazing that they went viral. The entire movie is above, if you're curious.

'Banksy Does New York'


What happened when the mysterious graffiti artist Banksy announced he was going to be in New York in 2013, and would put up a surprise work of art in random locations every day during the month of October? Huge crowds, people cutting his work off building walls and selling it, and the mayor vowing to have the anonymous tagger arrested. In other words, a heck of a lot of fun.

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