Baltic Event Co-Production Market
A portrait of a young woman from a struggling household, who serves as a soldier in the IDF checkpoint unit.
Checkpoints is a portrait of a young Israeli woman, the daughter of first-generation immigrants, who grew up in a poor neighbourhood and decides to complete her army service in the Tulkarm checkpoints in order to qualify for the bonus release grant - with which she could both support her parents and fulfil her boyfriend’s dream of starting a new life in Miami. But somehow, against all odds, it is in the hellish reality of the West Bank checkpoints that she is exposed to an alternate life, and begins to follow her own dreams.
The story of LIZ (18), a young Israeli woman, daughter of first-generation immigrants, who grew up in a poor neighbourhood and decides to complete her army service in the Tulkarm checkpoints in order to qualify for the increased release gran – with which she could both support her parents and fulfil her boyfriend’s dream of relocating and starting a new life and a family in Miami.
But when she starts her service at the checkpoints, she meets LUCE (18), the daughter of first-generation immigrants from Argentina, who much like her has grown up poor, but has a completely different outlook on life. Luce is modern, cool and a big fan of casual sex. Through their friendship, Liza is slowly exposed to a whole new world and realizes the soldiers around her all come from different backgrounds, different families, different cities, but they’re all serving in the checkpoints for the same reason: they need money, a lot of money, to escape the environments in which they were raised. Manning the checkpoints is no easy task; it is a grueling, sisyphean and exhausting reality; searching vehicles, checking IDs and questioning people day in and day out. Yet somehow, in this hellish routine, Liza is able to choose her new family, acquire new skills and find the inspiration to desire and dream of things she had never dared to before. Meanwhile, her boyfriend AMIT (22), is left behind in their old neighbourhood, taking care of her parents and waiting for the weekends to see her. Sensing her transformation, Amit becomes jealous. No matter how much Liza swears she loves him and it’ll all be over in two years’ time, Amit’s fear of losing her overcomes him and soon turns into obsession.
I grew up in a poor neighbourhood, hung out with a bad crowd, and was in an extremely toxic relationship. My immigrant parents, who didn't have the tools or knowledge to help me, asked me to enlist in the army - in hopes that my service would be a ticket out of the neighbourhood. Soon enough, I found myself serving in the Tulkarm checkpoints. I was given the impression that my service would entail the duties of a mall security guard, more or less. My incentive, of course, was qualifying for the increased release grant combatants were entitled to, Terms such as “the occupation,” “apartheid,” and even “Palestinian” meant little to nothing to me, much like the vast majority of soldiers serving the checkpoints. Most of us came from poor neighbourhoods and difficult backgrounds; no one asked us if we wanted to be there. The only thing we cared about was our own survival. Morals were the luxury of elitist rich kids, and those were never recruited to the checkpoints.
Rita's story is an extraordinary narrative deeply rooted in her own life experiences, which have been far from simple. What makes this project truly exceptional is its distinct perspective – a fresh, authentic voice representing the struggles and challenges faced by young individuals with virtually no opportunities in contemporary Israel.
Rita Borodiansky is a screenwriter and director twice nominated for the Israeli Ophir Award. Her short film Time Out has recently won the prestigious Hollyshorts Festival award for best action film. These days, Rita is working on her debut full feature – Checkpoints – which won the Sam Spiegel Jerusalem film lab, as well as the pitching awards of the Cyprus, Haifa, and International Wifti festivals. She is also in the advanced writing stages of her debut television series, Crossing, for Kan 11.
SVP of Development & Production at Ananey Studios since 2010 (fka Nutz Productions), is one of Israel's most experienced and beloved TV & film producers. During her exquisite 30-year career Osnat has won 13 Israeli TV Academy Awards. She is well known for her high-end on-location shoots as well as her over-the-top production value and sophisticated personal touch. Putting Ananey on the map as an innovator and elevating the company's reputation in the local and international scenes as the go-to quality content producer.