Production News Israel – 2006


3DH From Atlanta Georgia shoots a huge project in Israel for the exhibition; “From Jesus to Abraham”

From “Abraham to Jesus” is the “can’t miss” event of the year. Combining the awe of over 240 priceless artifacts, (some dating back to the time of Abraham), and original video footage shot throughout the Holy Land, this multimedia touring exhibit features the largest, most breathtaking, collection of Holy Land antiquities to ever hit U.S. soil. With the power of modern multimedia technology, visitors are propelled on an unforgettable landmark walk through 2,500 years of Biblical history. This event will also feature the U.S. inaugural visit of some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Ossuary of Simon the Cyrene, the man who carried the Cross for Jesus. From September 2006 until December 2007, this stunning 30,000-square-foot walk-through exhibit will travel to 28 cities nationwide.

Producer Sharon Schaveet was the Production Manager in Israel for this project.

“The Salvador” film in a competition at the Jerusalem Film Festival

We are happy to announce that our new film “The Salvador” was chosen to be a contestant in the Jewish Experience Wolgin Award Competition at the prestigious Jerusalem Film Festival. The World Premier will be on the 9th of July in Jerusalem. Here is a short description of the film:

On the night of December 3, 1940, after many long and wearying months of lying, at the Black Sea port of Varna Bulgaria, the Salvador, a rickety, old, sail-powered coal transport is finally towed out to sea with 352 Bulgarian Jews aboard. After ten hellish days on the high seas, the tiny old vessel is heavily buffeted by a storm and runs aground on a reef not far from Istanbul. It has been shattered to pieces, with most of its passengers lost at sea. While some of the survivors return to Bulgaria, most struggle toward their original destination – Palestine. The remains of those who perished and washed up on shore were reentered Israel in 1964.

Director: Nissim Mossek
Producer Sharon Schaveet

Shalom Abu Bassem in the Munich International Documentary Film Festival

The film Shalom Abu Bassem has been selected to be shown at the Munich International Documentary Film Festival which takes place in Munich at the beginning of May. Filmed over 18 years, the Shalom Abu Bassem film is a rare opportunity to see how the lives of Jewish and Moslem residents have intertwined on an unforgettable street in the Moslem Section of the Old City.

Producer: Sharon Schaveet | Director: Nissim Mossek

Doc Aviv Documentary Film Festival: 30th of March to the 8th of April in Tel Aviv

As is now an annual tradition, the eight days of the Doc Aviv Festival will include:

  • Documentary Films from Israel and the world. Israeli competition, International competition, student films, and “young doco”
  • The festival includes a tribute to the cantina film director Larry Vanstone and American director Kirby Dick. Both will be guests of the festival.
  • A special screening will be dedicated to Africa, the bleeding continent. In addition, there will be midnight screenings of musicals, artist classes, and meetings with guests.
  • The screening will be at the Tel Aviv Cinematique and Tel Aviv Museum.

For more details contact:

Nazareth City celebrates Christmas

Nazareth City celebrates Christmas eve with Christmas Parade which will be held on Christmas eve. On the 24th of December at 15.00 crossing the main street of Paul 6th Up to the Basilica of the Annunciation church in the old city of Nazareth. After the parade, a Mass prayer will be held at the Basilica of the Annunciation Church AT 19.30 p.m.

The 7th Jewish Film Festival – Chanukah 24-30/12/2005

When the Jewish Festival of Lights, Chanukah, and Christmas occur at the same time, it reminds us that the two festivals are deeply interwoven. The double festival emphasizes the shared hopes for peace and light to which Jerusalem, holy city of three faiths, has always aspired.

What better time than for the seventh Jewish film festival? This year the program is dedicated to the spirit of diversity: diversity within Judaism, within Israeli culture and within the spiritual expression in general. The eclectic nature of the films we are screening challenges the viewer to define and redefine what it means to be Jewish in the modern world.

In addition to films on Jewish themes, we are also screening films that shed light on aspects of Islam, Christianity and Buddhism. While deeply divided by customs, these religions are united in their quest for enlightenment. As audiences will see, images on the screen can convey more light than any number of lectures or sermons.

The Jewish film festival has always aimed both to enlighten and to entertain. This year the light comes not only from the beam of the movie projector but from the political horizon too. The hope of this seventh annual Jewish film festival is for better understanding among different faiths and for a joyous celebration of the best of Jewish film.

The Abu Gosh 28th Vocal Music Festival

The Abu Gosh Festival is held twice a year – during the Jewish festivals of Shavuot and Sukkot. In addition, noontime concerts are held regularly on the last Saturday of the winter months. Concerts are performed in the church with the best acoustics in Israel, situated in one of the most beautiful landscapes of the country, on the route from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. October 21-25

The 21st Haifa International film festival
tel.: 04-8353515

From 18-25 of October, the 21st Haifa International Film Festival will be held on Mount Carmel in the Center of the city of Haifa. One hundred and fifty films from 47 countries will be shown in 7 movie theaters. This year the Festival is honoring film director Stanley Kubrick. Filmmakers and visitors are invited to meet Kristin Kubrick, his wife and partner and producer Yen Harlan who produced all of Kubrick’s films. The meeting is a great opportunity to learn about Stanley Kubrick’s work and films.
Thursday, October 20th 0900-1900 at the Amarut Theater, Beit Hechat.

Original programming report of Israel satellite and cable companies

This week the Television Council of Israel Cable and Satellite companies presented their annual report of obligation for original programming. It appears that both companies are standing by their obligation to invest in original Israeli programs. In 2004, the HOT cable company invested 170 million shekels (Around 37 million $) in original programming and aired 1500 hours. The HOT children’s channel made the largest investment – 290 hours.

In 2004, the satellite company YES Invested 76 million shekels (Around 16 million $) in original programming and aired 570 hours. The largest investment that YES made was in the Y channel, a youth channel for the younger audience.

A new co-production between Israel and Germany

A Tale of Love and Darkness, the best-selling autobiography by Amos Oz, the prizewinning Israeli novelist and journalist, is due to be made into a feature film in a co-production between a German production company, German TV and an Israeli production company, with a budget of 5 million Euros. A Tale of Love and Darkness recounts Oz’s childhood in Jerusalem, his complex relationship with his father, his mother’s suicide during Israel’s War of Independence and its first years as a state. The book sold 100 thousand copies in Israel alone and has been translated into many languages. Oz was recently awarded the prestigious German Goethe prize for his literary work.
Shooting is due to begin in 2006.

The Israeli Academy of Motion Pictures & Television

On the 20 of September, the Israel Academy of Motion Pictures & Television competition will air on the Israeli cable station HOT. Eleven feature films and 21 documentaries will take part in the competition. The competition includes awards for best actor, actress, director, script, costume design, soundtrack and art design.

The Israeli Academy of motion pictures is an organization of Israeli filmmakers based on the same governing principles as the American Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences.

The organization was established in 1990 by representatives from the full spectrum of Israeli filmmakers. Its 700 members include all those involved in the local film industry. The Academy holds an Annual Awards Ceremony for the Best Israeli Film, as voted on by its members. The film winning the “Best Film” Award represents Israel in the competition for the American Academy’s Foreign Language Film Awards at the Oscars.

The Academy also promotes Israeli films and filmmaking in every possible way. The Academy initiated the proposed legislation known as the New Israeli Film Law. During the year, the Academy organizes activities and screenings of professional interest for its members.

Women in the Pictures Film Festival, Rehovot 2005

The International Women’s Film Festival was established to honor and advance the careers of accomplished and emerging female filmmakers by providing a forum for them to showcase their distinctive and creative feminine voices. In Israel, as in other places, women directors are a minority within the film and television industry and one of the main goals in arranging this festival is to promote equal gender representation and equal opportunities in their profession. We strive to encourage and advance local women filmmakers by exposing our audience to some of the best feature films that have been made by women combined with seminars and workshops.

Following the unprecedented success of the 2004 International Film Festival, we are currently in the midst of organizing the Second International Film Festival, which is planned to take place between the 7th and 10th of September, 2005 in the city of Rehovot (located midway between the cities of Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem), Israel. This year we will be conducting a European Union Women’s Film Program, a Focus on Swiss Women Filmmakers and a retrospective of the director Lea Pool. The festival’s program will include an eclectic showcase of new works by women directors. Each film has been chosen for its cinematic voice, uniquely female perspective and striking storylines. You may obtain more information at:

International film festival for children and youth

For the first time, the Tel Aviv Cinematheque is offering a new film festival for children and youth. The festival’s goal is to bring young viewers a wide variety of quality films made during the last two years.

The experience of children is obviously different in different parts of the world, and so are the films made for children, and about them. Films from the following countries will be shown: India, Japan, Sweden, Germany, Holland, Iran, Russia, Spain, South Africa, and elsewhere. The opening film will be The Blue Bird which won the first prize in the children’s film category at the last Berlin film festival. Both the director and producer will be at the screening.

For more details contact the Tel Aviv Cinematheque site: | For tickets call: 03-6060800 extension o

New Documentary channel

Israeli audiences have developed a taste for documentary films and it is a popular form of filmmaking. In June 2005, the Israeli satellite company YES will be launching a new channel for documentary films and series that will compete against Israel’s Channel 8, owned by Noga Communications. For the last 15 years, Channel 8 has been able to screen many locally produced documentaries and films from around the world. Like Channel 8, the new channel will produce original documentary films and buy films from abroad. YES is investing around US$ 70.000 in every documentary; the new channel has already produced 17 films that will be shown next year.

Israeli Channel 10 has new ownership

New investors in Israel Channel 10, Israel’s second commercial TV channel. On January 28th, 2001, a new commercial channel (Israel Channel 10) aired for the first time. Its owners expected to win the rating war and become the number one commercial channel in Israel. However, there is a difference between dreams and reality. Unfortunately for Israel and its TV industry, the Israel Channel 10 owners did not achieve their goals.

Because of financial difficulties during the last four years, the channel did not live up to its investors’ expectations. Ratings were really low. In May 2005, two new investors acquired the channel. One of them is Arnon Milchen, an Israeli who is one of the most successful producers in Hollywood. Among the films he has produced is “Pretty Woman.”

Most people in the Israeli TV industry are hoping that Channel 10 will eventually succeed. Viable competition is important for both the TV industry and the viewing public.

Jerusalem International Film Festival

For over 20 years, the Jerusalem International Film Festival has been a highlight of Israel’s cultural calendar and a significant landmark on the international film festival map. This year the Festival will run from July 7 to July 16 at the Jerusalem Cinematheque, its normal venue. There will be public screenings of nearly 150 films along with the presentation of several prizes and awards for shorts, documentaries, experimental films and videos. In addition to an annual Lifetime Achievement Award, international juries will award over US$100,000 in prize money to promising directors and producers of films focusing on human rights and Jewish themes.

The Jerusalem International Film Festival was founded seventeen years ago by Lia van Leer and is Israel’s most important cinematic event. It is expected that some 5,000 people will attend the open-air opening in the Sultan’s Pool Amphitheatre adjacent to the Jerusalem Cinematheque theatre. Fireworks will add to the festivities. For the following nine days, Festival guests and local fans will get to know each other at receptions and screenings and outdoor musical performances.”…the Jerusalem International Film Festival has succeeded to be a special type of festival that everyone loves; because it is intimate you can easily meet all the filmmakers and speak with them. Today it is the most pleasant of all the small film festivals.” Derek Malcolm, The Guardian

Channel 2 bid results

The winner of the bid for Channel 2 Israel’s commercial channel. All last year, the Israeli television market has been intensely involved in bidding for the opportunity to continue operating Channel 2 for the next 10 years. This would make the winning bidder the owner of the most popular and profitable commercial TV channel in Israel. Four groups were involved: Keshet Reshet, Telad and KANE. All groups invested millions of dollars hoping to win and used every trick in the book: consultants, talent agencies and PR offices and behind-the-scenes negotiations. Everyone wanted to win the golden egg. And the winners were: Keshet and Reshet, both located near Tel Aviv. Keshet will air from October 2005 for 4 days and Reshet for 3 days.

Severe turbulence at the IBA (Israel Broadcast Authority)

The Israeli public channel is undergoing turmoil. Despite a budget of 900.000.000 NIS per year for administration costs and production, the Authority’s finances are in a mess. The government recently dismissed the Managing Director for his unsatisfactory performance and rampant promotion of unqualified friends to major posts and interference news content.

The competition for the next Managing Director is fierce. (We’ll keep you up-to-date.) Israeli public TV should be a showcase for quality drama and documentaries; in the next few years, the IBA will have to go through many changes in order to be an efficient channel worthy of public trust.

The Beauty of Sanctity Masterworks from every age- Anew Exhibition

Since it first opened its doors to the public in 1965, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem has become one of the foremost museums in the world for the scope and quality of its art and archeology exhibitions: Archaeology of the Holy Land, Judaica, Jewish Ethnography, Old Masters through Contemporary Art and separate departments for Asian Art; the Arts of Africa; Oceania and Americas; Prints and Drawings; Photography; and Architecture and Design and of course the Dead Sea Scrolls. In honor of its 40th anniversary, the museum is currently exhibiting masterpieces from the museum’s collections in a special exhibition called “The Beauty of Sanctity Masterworks from every age- The new exhibition relates to the subject of beauty and sanctity.

The display of belonging to different periods and cultures creates an experience that most museum patrons have seldom if ever enjoyed before. For example, the modern Israeli sculpture Nimrod is displayed near a statue of the Roman emperor Hadrian and an ancient fertility goddess stands beside an African reliquary figure. And there can be no better embodiment of the connection between beauty and sanctity than Venus, the goddess of love and beauty portrayed in a sculpture that graced a Roman bathhouse in Beth Shean.

In its current special exhibition, the Israel Museum aptly shows that beauty is often the embodiment of sanctity. A visit to the Israel Museum would be an excellent expenditure of one’s time.

music festival in Haifa

On June 28, a music festival called “Music Experience” will take place in the Haifa port. The festival will include 150 artists from around the world including earth, wind and fire, Fatels, Amilana Torini, Born Again, Keith Amerson, DJ Satushi, and many more. The festival will last for three exciting days of fantastic music.

Hanna Laszlo

Hanna Laszlo, the Israeli actress, wins the highly prestigious Cannes film festival award

The Israeli entertainment world was truly surprised when the news was announced that Hanna Laszlo had won the highly prestigious Cannes film festival award for best actress for her role in the Israeli film Free Zone. The plump, moon-faced Laszlo is known more for her work as a stand-up comedian than as a major actress.

The film, Free Zone, takes place in a duty-free zone in Jordan where cars are bought and sold by residents of the area, which borders Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. The zone is a no man’s land where conflicts are forgotten and business rules the day. Laszlo’s role as an Israeli taxi driver allows her to “represent the Israeli-Jewish side of things in a friendly communicative manner.” Laszlo’s portrayal of the character as an assertive, charismatic, matter-of-fact personality charmed the Cannes critics and audiences alike.