Jerusalem Fund to Invest NIS 5.5 Million in Israeli Filmmakers

Six local directors will be receiving grants to produce feature-length films.

Six local directors will be receiving grants to produce feature-length films from the Jerusalem Film and Television Fund. Each of the six - Oded Davidoff, Nir Bergman, Aya Somech, Eran Riklis, Shemi Zarhin and Tawfik Abu Wael - will receive NIS 600,000 to NIS 1 million.

In June 2008, fund chairman Rennen Shor announced the fund was being launched, in order to promote film and TV production in Jerusalem. It recently completed reviewing the first batch of applicants, and selecting winners, whom it announced at a ceremony at the Jerusalem Cinematheque on Tuesday.

A total of 22 projects will receive NIS 5.5 million in funding, and the Jerusalem Development Authority will oversee their production.

Three films will each receive NIS 1 million: "The Dealers," being produced by Davidoff, with a screenplay by Rani Davidoff and Sagi Azoulay, a crime film about two friends who live in Jerusalem's Ramot neighborhood, work in a pizzeria, play on a local soccer team and dream of striking it rich in an original way; "The Book of Intimate Grammar," Nir Bergman's adaptation of David Grossman's novel about a 10-year-old boy whose body refuses to develop, and who builds an internal world on the brink of insanity; and Aya Somech's "Damaged Goods," screenplay by Michal Vinik, about a boy who returns to his parents' home in Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox Mea She'arim neighborhood after 10 years of secular exile in France.

The following films will receive NIS 600,000 each: "A Woman in Jerusalem," about a man's journey to a distant land to return humanity to a woman he has never met (directed by Eran Riklis, based on A.B. Yehoshua's novel and adapted for the screen by Noah Stollman); "Abanibi," written and directed by Zarhin, about three brothers in search of their identity in Jerusalem, Paris, Marseille and Algeria in the past and present; and "Disintegration," written and directed by Abu Wael, about a middle-class Jerusalem couple who face a crisis in their marriage while trying to come to terms with a tragedy.

Thirteen grants of NIS 40,000 to NIS 520,000 were approved for developing feature-film screenplays, and three grants of NIS 40,000 to NIS 120,000 were awarded for developing TV series.