Filmgoers at the opening of the Jerusalem Film Festival in Sultan’s Pool last week.
Filmgoers at the opening of the Jerusalem Film Festival in Sultan’s Pool last week. Photo by Emil Salman
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Emil Salman
Filmmaker Keren Yedaya explores what she calls the gray area of incest in her film 'Away From His Absence' Photo by Emil Salman

An Israeli screenplay about the incestuous relationship between a 60-year-old man and his 22-year-old daughter who live together in a small apartment was one of 11 projects chosen to take part in a Jerusalem Film Festival event aimed at helping filmmakers draw investors interested in coproducing the movies.

The film, "Away From His Absence," is written and directed by Keren Yedaya, whose first feature film, "Or," won the Camera d'Or at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. It is based on a 2010 book of the same name by Israeli author and poet Efrat Yerushalmi, who writes under the pen name Shez, and is produced by Marek Rozenbaum (Transfax Film Productions ).

"I think the last taboo that remains in our society is connected to incest," said Yedaya on Sunday. "The film will deal with the question of how it could be that a woman who reaches adulthood is still having sex with her father," who began raping her when she was a young girl.

"I will show that even if it sometimes seems like a gray area, since she seems to be in love with him, it's still rape," said Yedaya.

All the films chosen for the Jerusalem Pitch Point event are full-length feature films that are supposed to be ready for screening within the next three years, and that have already found financial backing for at least one-third of the movie. "Away From His Absence" is scheduled to begin shooting early next year, and is expected to cost $900,000.

Each of the selected filmmakers had seven minutes to pitch the movie to an international panel of people who work in the movie industry, in the hope of attracting coproducers.

About one-third of the total funds invested in Israeli feature films last year came in the form of coproductions with foreign investors, including producers, film funds, sales agents, distributors, and broadcasters throughout Europe and Canada, according to the film festival.

This is the seventh consecutive year for Pitch Point, which is a joint initiative of the Jerusalem International Film Festival and the Israel Film Fund, in cooperation with the Joshua Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts in Tel Aviv and the Jerusalem Film and Television Fund.

Other filmmakers who pitched their movies at the event, which began Sunday and continues through Monday, include "A Screw" by Shira Geffen, who co-directed the 2007 film "Meduzot" (Jellyfish ) with her husband, the writer Etgar Keret. The movie will be about two women, an Israeli named Efrat and a Palestinian named Nadine, whose worlds collide when Efrat complains that her new bed is missing a screw. Nadine, who is in love with a man trying to get her to take part in a suicide bombing, gets fired from her job as a result, and they swap lives when a soldier at a roadblock mistakenly sends Nadine to Efrat's Jerusalem home and Efrat to Nadine's home in a West Bank refugee camp.

Other projects presented at Pitch Point include "Plan A," directed by brothers Yoav and Doron Paz, about Holocaust survivors who decide to take revenge on Nazis; and "Tuvyansky" by Riki Shelach," which tells the true story of an Israeli soldier who was interrogated, tried and executed on charges of treason within four hours, several weeks after the state was founded.