'Borat' director films in Israel
As a finale to what has arguably been the biggest year of his career, comedy writer and director Larry Charles spent last week in Israel filming scenes for his next project, Ma'ariv reported Sunday.
One of the major creative forces behind hit television shows including Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Entourage, Charles used his Israel visit to shoot footage for his new film in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. He was joined for the trip by American comedian Bill Maher, the host of TV talk shows Politically Incorrect and Real Time with Bill Maher. Details about the new film have not been made public, and Charles maintained a low profile during his Israel visit, checking into hotels under a false name. The director's most recent project, Borat, became one of 2006's biggest commercial and critical hits, generating some controversy for its satirical take on American society and for its anti-Semitic, racist protagonist. Israel's Hebrew media reported in November that the film's star, Jewish comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, would visit Israel to promote the movie, but the actor has yet to make such a trip this year. - Nathan Burstein
Alyn Hospital to host charity concert
Jerusalem's Alyn Children's Hospital is gearing up for a charity concert Saturday evening at the Ma'aleh Hahamisha Hotel, with the show set to feature a performance by musician Larry Fogel.
The Florida-born Fogel has been covering Sixties and Seventies American folk, rock and pop music for over 20 years, and is well-known in Israel as a regular performer at the twice-yearly Jacob's Ladder Festival, where he performs Simon and Garfunkel hits with singer Moni Arnon. The Alyn charity gig will - as Fogel puts it - include "an enticing performance of harmonized love songs interspersed with personal stories" from the past five decades. - Barry Davis
Bono to receive honorary knighthood
Irish rocker and humanitarian Bono will become a knight of the British empire - but the U2 frontman won't be called "Sir." Britain confirmed Saturday Bono will receive his honorary knighthood from the British ambassador to Ireland, David Reddaway, in a Dublin ceremony shortly after New Year's Day.
A spokesman said the 46-year-old singer was flattered by the honor and hoped it will help him open diplomatic doors in his campaign for more Western aid to Africa. The Dubliner, whose real name is Paul Hewson, won't be entitled to use the title "Sir" because he is not a national of Britain or the Commonwealth of former British colonies.
Previous non-British nationals who received knighthoods include Bono's fellow Dubliner and rocker-turned-humanitarian Bob Geldof, Bill Gates, Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, former New York Mayor Rudolf Giuliani and Steven Spielberg. - AP