The NFCT's WomanFilms - Documentary Hub (Greenhouse)



WomanFilms (formerly Greenhouse Women) was established in 2014 in order to create a unique and tailor-made environment to nurture women documentary filmmakers from diverse backgrounds across Israel.
The program exceeded our expectations when the first film to emerge, Wall by Moran Ifergan, won the Best Film Award at the prestigious Docaviv International Film Festival in Tel Aviv in 2017. That year, four out of thirteen titles competing for that award, were films developed through this program.


WomanFilms Documentary Film Hub is based on the hugely successful model of a program we established in 2006 called Greenhouse MENA, which ran for 12 consecutive years. WomanFilms targets women filmmakers from diverse and often marginalized backgrounds across Israel. At a time when intolerance and discrimination are unfortunately on the rise, we recognized an urgent need to foster mutual understanding and build bridges between the various communities that make up Israel. In addition, we wanted to help promote and empower women filmmakers and increase the number of women filmmakers who are successful in seeing through (and finding financing for) their film projects. Creating a safe, women-only environment, enables filmmakers from more closed societies to participate. The program is a wonderful meeting point for filmmakers to exchange ideas and create new collaborations, as well as an ever-growing community of filmmakers committed to social change.

To date there have been six cycles of the program and ten films have been successfully completed, with many more in various stages of production. These films participated in international festivals, were broadcast on TV and are often used for educational purposes. Our growing community of filmmakers includes 65 talented artists who have graduated the program.

Each year, WomanFilms brings together around 10 talented filmmakers from diverse religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and supports them in the development of compelling documentaries that amplify women’s voices about important contemporary and social issues. The participating filmmakers receive in-depth professional guidance from three top-tier women mentors and participate in lectures, workshops and masterclasses by leading professionals, in order to hone their cinematic skills and navigate a very successful, yet highly-competitive Israeli film industry. The one-year program includes three 5-day residential workshops that enable the filmmakers to delve into the development process away from work and family duties.

At the end of each cycle the NFCT organizes a pitching forum during which the filmmakers present their projects in front of leading Israeli commissioning editors and producers, with the intent of aiding them in the process of raising the necessary funds to create their films. Once the films are prepared they will be screened in front of a wide range of audiences in Israel and abroad - film festivals, TV channels and educational systems.

Deeply committed to the successful completion and distribution of our participants’ films, we accompany the filmmakers far beyond the life span of the program. We continue to provide creative, technical, and moral support to our filmmakers through every stage of production until they complete their films.

WomanFilms strives to build a nurturing, cross-cultural community of women filmmakers dedicated to using film as a vehicle for education and social change.


Irit Shimrat has been Director of International Relations at the New Fund for Cinema and Television (NFCT), Israel, since 2014. The NFCT is a leading and veteran non-profit and nonpartisan organization that supports and promotes Israeli films and filmmakers, with a special focus on documentary filmmaking. Ms. Shimrat works closely with the NFCT's Executive Director to establish and implement the organization's fundraising strategies and to expand its network of local and international supporters and friends.

Additionally, Ms. Shimrat is the Director of the WomanFilms Hub, one of the NFCT's flagship programs, intended to nurture and support women filmmakers from diverse backgrounds in developing their first feature-length films. Ms. Shimrat is in charge of the Hub's two strands – the more veteran documentary hub that was established in 2014 and a sister program established in 2018, for the development feature-length narrative film scripts by women filmmakers.


Prior to her time at the NFCT, Ms. Shimrat was a freelance film producer working on large-scale documentary film productions, from concept, through fundraising, production, budget management and promotion and distribution. Ms. Shimrat's filmography includes titles such as 24 Hours Jerusalem and Six Million and One. Ms. Shimrat also worked at the NFCT 2004-2008 and was in charge of international relations and special projects. She led the team that established and raised the EU funding for the Greenhouse Middle East and North Africa Program, a documentary development hub for filmmakers from across the Middle East and North Africa, which the NFCT ran for 12 years.

Ms. Shimrat holds a B.F.A in Film and Television from the Tel Aviv University and lives in Tel Aviv with her partner and son. She has dual citizenship (Israeli and British).

Image gallery