Global premiere to screen at Waikato Museum

Spark week spins to a close on Friday, but not without one final snap of cinematic excitement.

The global premiere of Yaniv Saves the World shows in the Waikato Museum on the festival’s final day, with organisers expecting a full house.

Concentration: Yaniv at work. Photo: Shannon Rolfe
Concentration: Yaniv at work. Photo: Shannon Rolfe

Produced by Wintec Media Arts tutor John Mandelberg, the camera follows the artistic growth of autistic artist Yaniv Janson, framing his life and the interactions he has with family and fans.

Filming began when Yaniv was still at Hillcrest High School, in Hamilton, though jumps back in time with still shots of the artist as a child.

Interviews with his extended family illuminate the artist’s character, though Yaniv is very much the star.

Mandelberg says he chose to limit the amount of time spent dwelling on Yaniv’s autism while making the film, saying that Yaniv is an artist first and foremost.

Tornado Winds, painting by Yaniv.
Tornado Winds, painting by Yaniv.

The success of Yaniv’s artwork is testament to his talent. His paintings have been sold around the world and he is regularly commissioned to create particular works.“Many of his paintings have been sold still wet,” says his mother, Annick Janson.

Yaniv says his pieces are often inspired by social and environmental issues – a painting representing the social divide between rich and poor sold to a French buyer.

For a chance to view the documentary, as well as meet Yaniv, his family, and John Mandelberg, head to the Waikato Museum this Friday. Alternatively, visit the artist’s website at