Israel’s top directors fly economy to Berlin

Although their films are the biggest local box-office hits in Israeli history, Maktub and Forgiveness creators Guy Amir and Hanan Savyon aren’t ones to waste money.

Forgiveness (photo credit: LAL OTNIK)
Forgiveness
(photo credit: LAL OTNIK)
Although their films are the biggest local box-office hits in Israeli history, Maktub and Forgiveness creators Guy Amir and Hanan Savyon aren’t ones to waste money.
They flew El Al economy to Berlin on the 6:20 a.m. flight on February 20, the morning of the opening of the Berlinale, the Berlinale international film festival.
That flight, which is guaranteed to get its passengers to Berlin in time for the opening ceremony, is usually packed with a cross section of Israeli film industry professionals, but only rarely do such big stars travel on it.

Waiting for their baggage to arrive, the two writer/director/stars, along with their collaborator, Adar Shafran, said they would be attending the European Film Market, a forum where producers and creators sell their films to international distributors. Their latest film, Forgiveness, has been shown at international festivals around the world, but is not on the Berlinale program.
Israeli films are often shown abroad, but even those that are considered incredibly successful rarely earn much money by Hollywood standards. Anything in the $1 million dollar range is good news for microbudget Israeli films. So it makes sense that even filmmakers like Amir and Savyon wouldn’t want to waste money on traveling first class.
As one Israeli director likes to put it, “No one ever built a villa in Herzliya with money made in the Israeli film industry.”


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