Gilli Mendel is director of film and media education at the Jerusalem Film Center, home to the Jerusalem Cinemathéque and the Israel Film Archive. The Center is one of Jerusalem’s most prestigious but non-exclusive cultural hubs, responsible for organizing the Jerusalem International Film Festival, Israel’s largest.
As director of education and special projects, Mendel develops lectures, seminars and programs using film to explore social, political, cultural and historic issues while teaching the art of film and cinema culture. The department offers seminars for elementary and high school classes on a wide array of issues, and creates special days for the disabled and other populations with special needs. It also provides courses for teaching professionals and the general public to facilitate dialogue among film, the arts in general and specific topics such as democracy, violence, immigration, etc.
In recent years, Mendel has initiated the annual Wim Van Leer competition for Israeli high school students, which culminates in the screening of their films. She also has developed the I Am–You Are summer project during the past five years, which brings together Israeli Jewish and Israeli Arab high school students for an intensive month of cooperative filmmaking.
Mendel sits on the board of the Jerusalem Film Festival, travels to film festivals as a programmer and is in charge of Jerusalem Cinemathéque special events. She was artistic adviser to the Fund for Israeli Cinema and is active in other film events and initiatives.