Writer Yaakov Shabtai's daughter to direct film about her father's storied life for Channel 8
Noa Shabtai, the daughter of the late Israeli writer Yaakov Shabtai, is planning to direct a documentary about her father, to be produced by Arik Bernstein.
Filming is scheduled to begin in a few weeks, after several months of preliminary work on the documentary. No broadcast date has been set, but the documentary is expected to air next summer on Channel 8.
Yaakov Shabtai, who died 30 years ago, is best known for his first book, "Past Continuous," which is considered one of the most noted books of modern Hebrew fiction. After he died from a heart attack at the age of 47, another manuscript was released, "Past Perfect."
Before his career as a writer, Shabtai also was a prolific playwright, penning scripts including "The Spotted Tiger," "Crowned Head" and "The Life of Caligula." He also worked as a songwriter and was a member of the drama department of Channel 1, the first and only station at that time.
Noa Shabtai's documentary will mark the 30-year-old director's premiere.
Shabtai is the daughter of Yaakov Shabtai and Dalia Gutman, the producer with whom Yaakov Shabtai had a long-term relationship while he was married to Edna Shabtai, his widow and the mother of two of his daughters. This is the first time that Noa Shabtai or her mother have publicly talked about Yaakov Shabtai, who died when Noa was just eight months old.
People involved in the production say that other members of Yaakov Shabtai's family are not involved in the film's production at this time.
According to members of the film production team, the documentary will follow the course of Shabtai's life and the events that inspired him. It will feature interviews and meetings with Shabtai's associates, and special attention will be given to the city of Tel Aviv and its effect on him.
Yaakov Shabtai was born in March 1934 to working-class parents who lived in the workers' housing complex on Frug Street in Tel Aviv. His childhood and teen years are closely linked to the city's development.
As a teen, Shabtai composed operettas for social events sponsored by the Hashomer Hatzair youth movement, of which he was a member. At the age of 20, he married Edna, a native of Kibbutz Merhavia, and moved there with her.
Immediately after the Six-Day War, Shabtai returned with his family to Tel Aviv, just as his career as a playwright and songwriter was taking off. In May 1971, he suffered his first heart attack, and after that he devoted himself to writing and his literary career. He also met Gutman around that time.
The Tel Aviv of that era inspired him to write "Past Perfect."