Watch a Chinese film crew capturing the magic of Jerusalem’s Old City as a backdrop for a full-length romantic comedy.
The artists worked with the Israel Ministry of Tourism to arrange the filming of the movie, “Old Cinderella,” starring Zhang Jingchu. “It’s a great pleasure to be here in Jerusalem and in Israel,” the actress says. “It’s amazing.”
In recent years, more and more foreign film companies are choosing Israeli settings for their works. Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and other locales provide a dramatic and visually rich landscape for feature films.
Israel’s Keshet International has stepped up efforts to get its formats into Canada by launching a local joint venture headed by former Alliance Atlantis Broadcasting executive Mark Rubenstein.
The global distribution arm of the Keshet Media Group is also eyeing tie-ups with Canadian producers to make original content as it expands its global footprint.
Keshet International earlier launched U.K. and Australian offices.
In the latest move, Rubenstein and Keshet International managing director Alon Shtruzman hammered out the joint venture deal for Canada, which holds the rights to more than 50 properties to be adapted under the Keshet Canada banner.
“Keshet’s swift international growth in recent years is a testament to the company’s ability to transcend international borders with its innovative scripted and unscripted programming,” said Rubinstein.
Recent Canadian distribution deals by Keshet International include Video Services Corp acquiring the broadcast, DVD and VOD rights for Prisoners of War, off of which Homeland is based.
The Algemeiner spoke to Gadot via email.
The Algemeiner: How does it feel to represent Israel in Hollywood?
Gal Gadot: I often get asked this question; I have much love for Israel. It is a place that warms my heart, it is my home. However, I don’t feel like I represent Israel in Hollywood, I represent myself. I am not an Israeli ambassador yet.
A: Do you feel any added pressure, considering Israel’s reputation in the world, to represent it in a certain light?
GG: When it comes to Israel there is a lot of misconception. Some people still think that the Israelis ride around on camels. It is important for me to show Israel on its true side as a positive, pluralistic country. Israel is full of interesting culture and liberal people. Israel is a beautiful place with lots of heart and meaning. I am proud to call it my home.
A: Any projects in the works?
GG: Yes, I have many projects on the table. I will decide very soon which ones I want to focus my time and energy on.
A: Do you plan to focus on American films or Israeli?
GG: Both. Although Israeli films do not have a big budget like American, their artistic creation is much deeper. In American films, the budget is grand and you can have more “action.” I enjoy making both types of films.
A: What’s been the biggest thrill working on the Fast and Furious films? Biggest surprise or letdown?
GG: When you read an action script it is really hard to imagine how the film is going to look like. Words like “car racing” and “boom” are often described in the script and not even in your wildest imagination can you visualize the end result. When I saw the movie put together for the first time at the London premiere I was blown away. It was truly exceptional.
A: What advice would you give to a young Israeli girl who wants to follow in your footsteps?
GG: There is no right way. The process is very individual and personal for every person. My only advice would be is to be persistent and never give up.
A: What does Jewish identity mean to you?
GG: To me the Jewish identity means family, the holidays, the traditions, and home.
A: What would be your dream film to act in?
GG: My dream film to act in would have 3 great things: script, director, and an awesome cast.
A: Have you ever experienced hostility or prejudice because of your roots?
GG: No, not while working, I have been always treated with respect and welcomed.
A: Why are you and Vine Vera a good fit?
GG: I am a firm believer of having beautiful skin the natural way. That’s why Vine Vera and I are a good fit. Vine Vera is all about enhancing the natural beauty of your skin without using any needles, surgery, or harsh chemicals. I could see the benefits Vine Vera products had to offer almost immediately. The way my skin looks and feels is very important to me. Vine Vera helps me achieve a radiant glow.
Indonesia, Israel, USA
Adam is a sensitive 17-year-old who is secretly in love with Jonathan, the most popular guy at school. One day, Adam decides to make his true feelings known but the result is not what Adam was hoping for.
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Elliot is unable to form a long-lasting relationship but he never gives up, moving on to the next available man. One particular weekend, Elliot becomes obsessed with a very odd neighbour who is making too many loud noises. Reaching his limit, Elliot is out to kill whatever is eating him up.
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Israel, USA, Palestinian Territories
The romance between Nimr, a Palestinian grad student, and Roy, an Israeli lawyer, must withstand the forces that are trying to drive them apart, in this sensual and gripping drama.
When Nimr and Roy first meet, their attraction is mutual and they begin falling for each other. But complications soon arise. Roy’s family tries to sow seeds of doubt about Nimr’s intentions, while Nimr must struggle with the fear of rejection or, worse, of having his family find out that he’s gay. Meanwhile, Israeli Security Forces threaten to revoke Nimr’s permit to study in Tel Aviv if he doesn’t provide information about his older brother’s increasingly violent activism. Faced with these obstacles, can Nimr and Roy’s relationship survive?
Sparked by electric chemistry between its handsome leading men and imbued with assured cinematography that conveys the film’s intimacy and urgency, Out in the Dark is a sensitive, compellingstory about love, family and loyalty, set in a politically charged reality.
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It is not every day that downtown Jerusalem is featured in international films. But several weeks ago, a Chinese film production drew local attention, as movie scenes for what is expected to be a blockbuster movie in China were shot along the busy Ben Yehuda Street.
The latest film by Israeli director Ari Folman will open the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes International Film Festival next month, organizers said on Friday.
Folman, whose film “The Congress” will be screened on May 16, is no stranger to Cannes.
His anti-war film “Waltz with Bashir” was one of the films selected to compete for the top Palme d’Or prize in 2008.
Adapted from the sci-fi novel “The Futurological Congress” by Polish author Stanislaw Lem, Folman’s latest film is described as part animation and part live action film starring Robin Wright, Paul Giamatti, Jon Hamm, Harvey Keitel, Danny Huston and Frances Fisher.
“Waltz with Bashir”, an animated documentary, told the story of Folman’s bid to unlock his repressed memories of his presence at the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacres of Palestinian refugees by an Israeli-backed Christian militia.
The other films in the Directors’ Fortnight will be announced on Tuesday.
The Cannes Film Festival runs from May 15 to 26.