News in Brief

Shemi Zarchin's movie to be screened at Chicago film fest 

Shemi Zarhin's film "The World Is Funny" has been accepted into competition at the Chicago International Film Festival, which opens on October 11. This is the second time Zarhin has had a movie in competition there: In 2006, his film "Aviva, My Love" won the prize for best screenplay. "The World Is Funny" tells the stories of several different characters who participate in a writing workshop at a public library in Tiberias. Director Michael Mayer's first film, "Out in the Dark" (known as "Alata" in Hebrew ) will also be screened in Chicago, which is the oldest film festival in North America. (Nirit Anderman)


Author Mabanckou to visit Israel for literary festival

Alain Mabanckou, author of the book "Memoirs of a Porcupine," will come to Israel next month as part of the Books on Stage festival. At the festival, which will take place at the Cameri Theater from September 10-13 and is being co-sponsored by the French Embassy, French and Israeli actors will read selections from some of the best French and Israeli prose works of recent years. Mabanckou's work will be read by Yael Abecassis and Dror Keren. Mabanckou is also expected to visit the Dimona Theater. Born in Congo, he immigrated to France at age 22 and now lives in California, where he teaches at UCLA. (Maya Sela)


New initiative aims to promote Israeli music abroad

Three government agencies have set up a joint panel to promote the export of Israeli music: The Culture Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and the Israel Export Institute. ACUM, the association that collects copyright payments on behalf of Israeli musicians, currently earns only some NIS 2 million a year from Israeli music played overseas - a mere 1 percent of the NIS 200 million a year it earns in Israel. ACUM CEO Yorik Ben David said he hopes the new venture, in which ACUM is participating, will "create opportunities for Israeli musicians to increase their exposure overseas." (Uri Zer Aviv)


Kalcad takes top two prizes in packaging competition

The Kalcad company won both first and second prize in the Israel Star packaging competition, run by the Manufacturing Association's Israeli Institute for Packaging and Design. Some 35 companies entered the competition and submitted packages in several different categories, including food and drink, cosmetics, and agriculture. Kalcad won first prize for a flexible flowerbox and second prize for flexible canteen that includes a bowl suitable for giving water to a pet. Both were designed by Amnon Zamir of Studio Amnon Zamir. The Giraffe company won third prize for a series of lunchboxes. (Yuval Saar)


Calls for film council to put more women on grant fund bodies

A group representing some 400 female filmmakers in Israel this week urged the Israel Film Council to equalize the number of men and women serving as readers at its various grant-making funds. Currently, the forum said in a letter, most of the funds have three readers, and most of the time, all three are men. As a result, it wrote, the unique perspective offered by women is missing, while women are also deprived of the status and income that comes with being a reader. The council should make gender equality a criterion for receiving state funding, it argued. (Nirit Anderman)