Yaky Yosha is a critically acclaimed, award-winning Israeli film director whose unflinching eye for realism has kept him in the top ranks of his country’s filmmakers. Internationally acclaimed for his work as a director and screen-writer, Yosha’s films have often stirred social and political controversy.
Yaky Yosha was born in Tel-Aviv in 1951. In his youth, he directed several shorts including The End (1968) with The Doors' epic as its soundtrack, and The Killers(1970), based on Hemingway's short story.
In 1972 Yosha directed "Shalom," his first feature film, which has been hailed as an Israeli "Rebel Without a Cause.” The movie was independently produced and most of the cast and crew were personal friends. Young Yosha acted in the lead role while his wife, Dorit, who produced the film, played the female lead. Due to financial difficulties, the production extended for over a year. A similar period was needed for editing, and finally "the first and probably last Israeli hippie film," was completed ("Maariv", Israeli daily paper). "Shalom" was considered prophetic, and regarded by critics as the first political Israeli film ever made. Released immediately following the Yom Kippur War (1973), the film was a flop at the box office.
Yosha's second film, "Rocking Horse" (1978), is considered one of the masterpieces of Israeli cinema, and has remained embedded in the consciousness of a whole generation in its native country. "Rocking Horse" was the first film to represent Israel in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes Film Festival. The movie went on to premiere in film festivals around the globe, and took home the special jury prize and best actor award in the Oxford Film Festival,
"The Vulture" (1981) dealt with the problematic immortalization industry resultant from young war casualties. The film provoked great controversy among the Israeli public, which felt the film has crossed a blood-red line. The Israeli censors cut “The Vulture”, but when selected to represent Israel, yet again, in the Cannes Film Festival, it was screened abroad in its uncut version.
A year later, Yosha directed "Dead End Street", inspired by the true story of a young prostitute who took part in the making of the documentary about her efforts to abandon the streets, only to commit suicide hours before the film was broadcast.
Bruce Springsteen contributed three songs to the soundtrack. Like Yosha's previous two films, "Dead end Street" also represented Israel at Cannes.
"Summertime Blues", released in 1984, is a movie about youth, about the last summer vacation right before the army, in the dawn of the Lebanon war, about the beach, bikes, girls and rock and roll.
In the mid 1980s Yosha landed in Los-Angeles. The landing was rough. In 1992 he directed an erotic-thriller, "Sexual Response," starring Shannon Tweed and Catharine Oxenberg, distributed by Colombia TriStar. Its commercial success brought Yosha back to Israel.
In 1995 Yosha wrote and directed a TV drama series, "Night Fare", which dealt with the life and times of a Tel-Aviv cabbie. A second season aired in 1996.
In 1997 Yosha wrote and directed two movies made for television "Joint" and "Junkie".
That year, he also wrote and directed a theatrical feature, "Bloodguilt", a dark tale of a dangerous romantic triangle based on the biblical story of Jacob, Rachel and Leah.
The following year, Yosha directed "Shabazi," a feature film based on the television series "Night Fare".
In 1999 Yosha joined police patrol cars, documenting pursuits, arrests, and all the moments in between. Those nights became the Israeli version of "Cops".
In 2000 Yosha directed a feature length documentary, "Inherit the Earth", narrated by Liam Neeson, about the preparations for the Pope's historic visit to Israel.
During the making of "Inherit the Earth," Yosha met major general Alik Ron, the Israeli northern district police chief, who became the subject of his next documentary "The Main Suspect"(2002), selected to the International Documentary Film Festival (Amsterdam) in 2003.
Between the years 2003-2005 Yosha directed four documentaries about a Christian sect that lives according to the principles of Christ's first followers.
"Still Walking", Yaky Yosha's first novel was published in Hebrew in 2008. His latest feature film of the same name premiered in 2010. According to Yosha "Still Walking" is "Shalom's older brother, and shows the same youngsters pondering over the social and political state they live in, when they're a generation older. The film, following the book, tracks them down when all is without hope."