After they take home their many prizes, what do local directors do for an encore?
Even for filmmakers with a track record, raising money is still difficult, and several projects that top directors announced they were making recently fell apart due to the state of the world economy. But, being Israeli, they picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and started all over again. Their current projects are as varied as their previous ones were.
Avi Nesher, whose previous films were Turn Left at the End of the World and The Secrets, looks at a different facet of society in his latest film, which he began shooting this fall. Based on a novel by Amir Gutfreund, it's set in Haifa in 1968 and focuses on a boy who goes to work for a matchmaking service run by a Holocaust survivor. He gets involved in the underworld by the port and meets a group of dwarfs who survived Dr. Mengele's experiments in Auschwitz and now run a movie theater. Based on fact, it's set to be released by the summer of 2010. Adir Miller plays the matchmaker.
Joseph Cedar, whose last film was the Oscar-nominated Beaufort, will start shooting his next movie, Footnote, in Jerusalem in March. It's about two professors in the Talmud department at the Hebrew University who are competing against each other for the Israel Prize. They also happen to be father and son. It takes place behind the scenes of the Israel Prize.
"I'm hoping it will be a comedy of sorts... but I guess it's more than just that," Cedar said in a recent e-mail. His father is an Israel-Prize winning scientist, so that may give him an inside track on some of the details.
Eytan Fox, the director of Yossi & Jagger and The Bubble, has returned to his television roots (he directed the series Florentine) and is making a mini-series on the HOT network. Based on the songs of Zvika Pik, it's called Always the Same Dream. It's a musical about a young gay man, abandoned by his mother in mysterious circumstances, who comes to Tel Aviv to search for her and meets a group of drag queens.
Ari Folman, following the success of the animated Waltz with Bashir, wants to use those techniques to make another film, this one an adaptation of the classic science-fiction novel by Stanislav Lem, The Futurological Conference.