Awards and nominations:
Israeli Critics, 1988 "Because of that war"
Critics Award, Berlin, 1989 "Because of that war"
Audience' Choice, Montpellier "New Land"
First Prize Docu-Leningrad 1989
Audience' Choice, Cartier Women Festival 1989
First Prize Calcuta Festival 1997 "New Land"
Nominated for the Israeli Academy Awards:
"Israeli Sex" 2003-4
"Faulted by Death" 2006
"Intimate Report" 2005
For over three decades, Orna Ben Dor is a creator and director of documentaries and feature films, documentary television and docu-reality series.
She began her cinematic career in the Department of Film and Television at Tel Aviv University, after studying philosophy at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Previously, she took some courses within the School of Medicine in Hebrew University and the School of Architecture at the Technion- Israel's Institute of Technology, Haifa.
Since then, she has directed dozens of feature and television films, which have earned international awards and have been screened at festivals around the world. Her most outstanding films in Israel and abroad include:
"Because of that war", 1982. Tells the story of Yehuda Poliker and Yaakov Gilad's coming of age, in the shadow of their parents' memories, who survived the Holocaust. The film introduced the concept of "second generation Holocaust survivors" in Israeli and international discourse and won dozens of prizes in Israel and abroad. It was screened in cinemas in Israel, USA, France and Germany; as well as on British BBC, American channel PBS, German channel ZDF and several other television stations in Europe and North and South America. Today it serves faculties of Holocaust studies at Harvard, Yale, and other universities worldwide.
"Israeli Sex", 2004. The acclaimed series, which was broadcast on Channel 8, included 16 episodes that tell the story of Israeli sex through the prism of army, war, masculine machoism and built homoerotic relations in a male and militant society.
"Blonde- A Series with Roots", 2005. Explores the Israeli madness of striving for blonde and the concepts of Western beautification; the series raises disturbing questions about discrimination against Israelis of oriental descent, the connection between Israeli teen idols and German body and beauty image, as well as the connection of Israel's state pioneers to the blonde hair color.
"Faulted by Death", 2007.A series which exposed the way the IDF deals with military accidents.
"Me'usharot", 2010. Docu- reality, which was a huge success on Channel 10 and became a cultural icon of Nouveau riche women living in a bubble of money, show off, social and cultural void.( a free interpretation of the American format "Real house wives")
"Mother Tell Me", 2008. An autobiographical film, broadcast on Yes satellite and Channel 10, examines the relationship between the director and her mother, in light of her memories of the Holocaust and the complexity inherent of mother-daughter relationships.
"Mom, I didn't Kill your Daughter", 2007. The story of two men who were born as females and became a male gay couple; their struggle against the Israeli legal establishment and prejudices at home.
"When the Pain is Unbearable", 2009. The phenomenon of suicides in Israel; a series that covered the subject both for adolescents and for the elderly.
"Criminal Law", 2015. Broadcast on Channel 10, discusses the lies and injustices of the Israeli legal system, which led to a broad public and media debate.
"After the Bell", 2016. An exceptional look at the world of teachers inside classrooms and beyond the school walls, on the background of social and cultural issues in Israeli society.
"Last Chance for Love", 2018. Docu- reality, which gives couples a last chance before divorce, to examine the dramatic and concussive step they intend to make; with the help of a therapist and couple's counsellor, as well as a team of counsellors on a variety of issues, in which each couple's marital problems arise separately.
"New Land", 1994. A feature that tells the story of a brother and sister who come to Israel after the Holocaust, searching for their mother who disappeared during their time in the camps. The film won international awards, was screened at many international festivals. In addition, it was screened on Arte TV network, a variety of European television stations, as well as on Canadian and Australian television; distributed in cinemas in France and Germany.
"Good Holocaust", 1993. A dramatic television event, which focuses on a Holocaust survivor and his complex relationship with a dog named "Holocaust".
In addition to film and television, Ben Dor, mother of Uri and Avigail, taught documentary film at the 'Sam Spiegel Film and Television School' for 16 years. She established and served as the first director of the 'New Fund for Cinema and TV' (1995-2000). As part of her role, she has led the documentary work in Israel to a central and esteemed place in a way that didn't exist before.
She also hosted and edited the television program "Women's Perspective", which was aired on former Channel 2 and dealt with a range of issues from a feminine and feminist point of view.