Lights! Action! Cash!

The past six years have seen a tremendous boom in both the quantity and quality of Israeli feature films and documentaries. Over 50 feature films have been made since 2001. Some of them are outstanding. This year, Israeli films won prizes at Cannes ("Jellyfish"), Munich ("The Band's Visit"), Berlin ("Beaufort"), Tribeca ("My Father, My Lord") and Sundance ("Sweet Mud"). And some of them are box office hits, too, not just artistic successes. Two years ago, Eytan Fox's "Walk on Water" was an international hit. In 2005, Avi Nesher's "Turn Left at the End of the World" was a huge box office success in Israel. In 2006, 900,000 Israelis bought tickets to see Israeli films - nearly double the number in 2005. It all started with the 1999 Cinema Law, and in 2000, licensees of Channel Two and cable TV paid some 190 million shekels ($48 m.) to the Finance Ministry. The Cinema Law said half that sum must be used to fund films. For full story please subscribe to The Jerusalem Report click here to subscribe.