Based on the story “Outside” by Etgar Keret, first published in The New York Times Magazine in “The Decameron Project.”
“I think that the two necessary elements preceding any artistic process are frustration and boredom. Somehow, when life is interesting and full and there are no nagging thoughts lingering in the back of one’s mind, there’ll always be more important things to do than to invent or imagine. Luckily, when it comes to boredom & frustration the COVID-19 gave us buckets of both. It was in early May that I first met brilliant Israeli choreographer Inbal Pinto. She was supposed to be in mid rehearsals on a show in The Israeli Opera, I was supposed to be in the middle of a U.S. reading tour, but COVID-19 had left us confined. Quarantined Inbal had read a short story I’ve written about the quarantine which Arieh Rosen, Israel’s Cultural Attache to Japan, had sent, and we were trying to discuss in a very obscure and stuttering way the possibility of some kind of collaboration. What came out from that inspiring meeting was a lightning quick process in which friends, partners and people we didn’t even know generously gave us their talent and time and took Inbal and me to our own adventure in COVID-19 Land which finally ends here with this seven minute-long film.”
– Etgar Keret
Inbal Pinto is a choreographer, director, set, and costume designer. In 1992 She established the Inbal Pinto Dance Company and was the artistic director until 2018. During these years she created unique and award-winning dance performances. Her creations have expanded the boundaries of the field and invented a unique world of dance-theater which has become her signature. Several of her works – including Dio-Can, Wrapped, Oyster, Fugue, and others – have become landmarks in the history of Israeli dance and have been highly acclaimed worldwide. In 2002 she began collaborating with Avshalom Pollak, and aside from creating many dance works, they have choreographed, directed and designed operas and musicals around the world. Since 2018 Pinto has worked as an independent artist. Recently she directed and designed a musical play based on Haruki Murakami’s “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” in Tokyo with Amir Kliger.
Etgar Keret was born in Ramat Gan in 1967 and is a leading voice in Israeli literature and cinema. Keret’s books have been published in more than 46 languages. His writing has been published in The New York Times, Le Monde, The New Yorker, The Guardian, The Paris Review and Zoetrope. Keret resides in Tel Aviv and lectures at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev as a full professor. Over 100 short and feature films have been based on his stories. He has received the Book Publishers Association’s Platinum Prize several times, the St Petersburg Public Library’s Foreign Favorite Award (2010), and the Newman Prize (2012). In 2010, Keret was honored in France with the decoration of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Keret was the winner of the 2016 Charles Bronfman Prize. In 2007, Keret and Shira Geffen won the Cannes Film Festival’s Camera d’Or Award for their movie “Jellyfish”, and Best Director Award of the French Artists and Writers’ Guild. The two also co-wrote and directed “The Middleman” (2019), a French mini-series for ARTE. The series won the best screenplay award at La Rochelle fiction TV festival in France. His latest collection, “Fly Already” won the most prestigious literary award in Israel – the Sapir prize (2018) as well as the National Jewish Book Award of the Jewish Book Council.