Regev claims 'history is made' as Knesset passes Film Law

With 44 votes in favor and 32 against, a new law structuring how Israeli films will be financed was passed in Knesset.

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October 16, 2018 06:08
1 minute read.
miri regev jerusalem

Miri Regev with her Jerusalem of Gold dress at the 69th Cannes Film Festival. (photo credit: ELI SABTI)

 
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A law dealing with the funding and movie selection process in the Israeli film industry was approved by the Knesset on Monday night with 44 votes in favor and 32 votes against, Keshet reported.

"Some opt to spread hysteria while some make history," announced Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev.

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Claiming that the film industry will no longer be a "closed group," the minister argued that it is unheard of that script readers are selected by the funds, comparing it to the proverbial cat who is given the task of guarding the cream.

"We will enable [the creation of] Zionist, Jewish, Arab and Haredi films," Regev said. "These are new things that did not exist before."

The law will provide her office with the authority to decide the amount of funding films receive, which will be no less than 15% of the total budget of the production and no more than 20%. The annual state budget to support the film industry will be increased by NIS 20 million per year.

The film industry will still require script readers to decide which films deserve funding. Now they will be included in a data bank run by the Israeli Film Council.

The Israeli film industry relies heavily on state support to produce movies, and one of the arguments made by Regev was that, while those in the industry are happy to accept state funding, they also produce films that reflect the values of only one group in Israeli society, meaning secular and mostly liberal Jews.

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In September, Regev called to reexamine the state support given to the Haifa International Film Festival for showing "subversive" films, and fiercely criticized the 2018 film Foxtrot, which won best picture prize in the Ophir Awards ceremony, for harming "the good name of the IDF."

Zionist Union MK Yossi Yona called the Film Law "a bad law." The law is bad, he said, "because of what it contains and because of the circumstances that lead to it being created."

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