In 2008, The Jerusalem Film & Television Fund set up operations in the city, tasked with promoting the production of audio-visual works with Jerusalem as their focus, and also expanding employment possibilities for Jerusalemites in the film industry.
The Fund’s staff assists local and international filmmakers to produce works for film and television in the city, in the same way that funding bodies and film foundations do in other cities and countries around the world, where they have learned that the production of films and TV series, with their support, contributes to the image of a place, augments the development of a creative society, and positions the locale as a tourist destination. Furthermore, the production of films and TV series in Jerusalem also provides employment for a second circle, comprised of drivers, catering services, hotels, and more.
Between the years 2010 and 2016 the Fund supported the production of eight television series and 48 films, among them international productions (such as A Tale of Love and Darkness, directed by Natalie Portman, and Norman, starring Richard Gere) and animated films, produced at an animation studio that was opened in the city several years ago.
The Fund assists filmmakers by covering some of the production costs, providing guidance and assistance in dealing with bureaucracy, identifying possible locations for filming, and providing connections to industry people who work in the city.
According to statistics based on Israeli filmgoers, the following are among the most successful films from those produced with the support of the Jerusalem Film & Television Fund during the years 2010 to 2016: Footnote, directed by Joseph Cedar, in 2011, viewed by approximately 290,000 people in Israel, with an income of 10.3 million shekels from screenings at cinemas (Footnote was nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Film); Bethlehem, directed by Yuval Adler in 2013, viewed by 165,000 people in Israel, with an income of 6.3 million shekels; Hunting Elephants, directed by Reshef Levy in 2013, viewed by 164,000 people in Israel, with an income of 4.9 million shekels; and The Kind Words, directed by Shemi Zarhin in 2015, viewed by 150,000 people in Israel, with an income of 4.4 million shekels.
Translation: Gilah Kahn