'Jungle' producer Dana Lustig (left) is seen here with director Greg McLean and actor Daniel Radcliffe on the set of the movie..
(photo credit: Courtesy)
"It’s an incredible survival story, but also a story of faith and nature, and surrendering to the elements,” said producer Dana Lustig, who presented her latest film, Jungle, at the recently concluded Haifa International Film Festival. The movie stars Daniel Radcliffe and opens in the US on October 20 and in Israel a few months later.
The movie is based on the memoir by Israeli motivational speaker Yossi Ghinsberg about his incredible tale of survival in the Amazon rain forest. The Israel-born Lustig, who moved to the US and started a movie career after her army service, read the book and was moved by Ghinsberg’s story.
“Yossi always says that through the journey, you find the hero in yourself,” said Lustig, who was happy to be back in Israel for the festival. “I read the book and was inspired by it.” To her delight, when Radcliffe read the script, “he loved it.” The Harry Potter star embraced the physical challenges of the story, as well as the task of learning to speak with an Israeli accent.
Lustig, who started out as an actress, went on to direct such films as Wedding Bell Blues and A Thousand Kisses Deep, and to produce movies that include Dancing at the Blue Iguana and Brick. Her father is Erez Lustig, who was a star basketball player for Hapoel Tel Aviv. Her mother, who is originally from Romania, lived in Belgium and speaks seven languages, one of which is English.
“The Jerusalem Post
is one newspaper we always had at home when I was growing up,” said Lustig. She credits her “brilliant mother” for her success in the movie industry.
“I think that she was my first inspiration for story telling.”