Learning the biz

Filmmakers from Hollywood and Israel share their expertise at the annual TA-LA Master Class.

Richard Gladstein David Knoller (photo credit: Courtesy)
Richard Gladstein David Knoller
(photo credit: Courtesy)
During the 14 years since the annual Tel Aviv-Los Angeles Master Class for film professionals began, the Israeli film industry has undergone a wonderful transformation, and this year’s session should be more exciting than ever. The Master Class, which is run by the Los Angeles Jewish Federation’s Tel Aviv-Los Angeles Partnership, in cooperation with the Tel Aviv Municipality, the Tel Aviv Cinematheque and Tel Aviv University, will take place from June 22-30.
It’s clear that the Tel Aviv-Los Angeles class has had an effect over the years on the film industry, and this year more than ever it will be a collaborative effort between US and Israeli filmmakers.
The Master Class features workshops, classes and special events, primarily for Israeli students and filmmakers, most of which are open to the public. Twenty-two Israeli and American film students will also spend the week getting to know the established filmmakers.
This year’s Hollywood professionals are known for their success in both the creative and financial sides of the business. Richard N. Gladstein has a long list of credits as a producer, including such acclaimed films as Finding Neverland starring Johnny Depp, The Bourne Identity with Matt Damon and Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown, Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. His current project, The Time Being, stars Frank Langella as an eccentric millionaire who is dying. The millionaire hires an artist (played by Wes Bentley of The Hunger Games) to complete a series of projects. Gladstein is the writer as well as the producer of this film, and he will be sharing the details of his work on this movie in a seminar on scriptwriting and producing.
Bruce Rosenblum, the president of Warner Bros. Television Group, will give a class on the topic “The Business of Television.” Rosenblum, who is also president of the American Academy for Television, will share his views of the television industry today and the future of the entertainment industry.
David Knoller has produced some of the most acclaimed TV programs in recent years. He produced the HBO series Big Love, Carnivale and America’s Dream, as well as Freaks and Geeks and many other television series. He has also held executive positions at the HBO and AMC networks. He is currently developing a film with Darren Star, the creator the Sex and the City series, called The Viagra Diaries. Knoller and Rosenblum will host a class on developing and presenting work in order to sell it.
Danny Sussman, a talent manager at Brillstein Entertainment Partners, manages clients such as Noah Wyle, Jimmy Smits, Chloe Sevigny, John Stamos, Heather Locklear and Robert Sean Leonard. He serves as vice chair of the Entertainment Division of The Jewish Federation. He was recently made chairman of all missions to Israel and Israel activity for The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and its Valley Alliance. He also helps organize the Master Class program.
The Israeli masters who are participating in the program this year include Israel’s finest filmmakers from both television and the big screen. Joseph Cedar directed two of the four Israeli films that have been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film Oscars over the past decade – Beaufort and Footnote.
Adir Miller made a name in standup comedy but then went on to acting. He has appeared in several films for Avi Nesher, including the upcoming Wonders. He has appeared in several TV series and produced and wrote the award-winning Ramzor series, which was adapted by the Fox network as an American television series called Traffic Light.
Keren Margalit is a director and screenwriter whose television series Yellow Peppers, about a family in the Negev that has a child with autism, was recently sold to Lionsgate Entertainment, the company that produces Mad Men.
Arnon Goldfinger is a director/writer/producer, best known for his award-winning documentary The Flat, about shocking family secrets that go back to the Holocaust.
The sessions at the Master Class program are wide-ranging and very informative, as well as often quite funny. They provide a forum where aspiring filmmakers can ask any question they have about the film and television industry, including the creative and business aspects of the business.
In English. For more information and to book tickets to the sessions open to the public, go to the Tel Aviv-Los Angeles Partnership Website at www.talamasterclass.com