A scene from 'Waltz with Bashir'
A scene from 'Waltz with Bashir' which was produced with the financial support of Arte.
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The French-German television channel Arte has no intention of ending investments in the Israeli film industry, Jerome Clement, the president of Arte France, said yesterday.

Clement, on a visit to Israel, made the statement in response to a report released last month in the U.S. entertainment industry paper, Variety, which was followed by a report in Haaretz, according to which the channel had decided to stop co-productions with Israel because so many Israeli films are awaiting broadcast on Arte.

Clement is taking part in the first Israeli-French conference on audiovisual content, organized jointly by the French Embassy in Israel and Haaretz. He said that Arte has indeed invested in many Israeli films and that there are many such films waiting to be broadcast, but the channel does not intend to stop these investments. Just last week, a committee he heads approved investment in a new Israeli film, "Tsirelson" (working title ), written by Orly Ben-Nun and directed by Micha Levinson.

Clement explained that the channel could not show too many Israeli films over a short period but that there was no other country with which Arte had done so many joint productions in recent years.

Arte has already invested in 19 Israeli films which have completed production, Clement said, and five more are in the pipeline. He said the channel had decided to invest in the films not because they were Israeli but because they were good. The channel had deliberated over many Israeli films, he said, and picked the most outstanding.

In recent years, Arte has invested millions of shekels a year in Israeli films, more than any other foreign entity. Among the films it has supported are "Waltz with Bashir," "Lebanon" and "Jellyfish."