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IS SU E AT JERUSALEM FILM FESTIVAL Editorial +44 7889 414 856 Advertising +44 7540 100 254 Ninet Tayeb in tune with tragic poet Tirza Atar Nony Geffen Cast rocks with Nony Geffen’s Why Elephant BY ANDREAS WISEMAN Dudu Tassa, Sasson Gabai and Gaya Traub are attached to star alongside Nony Geffen in the actor-writer-director’s upcoming drama, Why Elephant. The Hebrew-language drama, aiming for a November shoot, will see Geffen play a man who reinvents himself as legendary 1980s rock star Yossi Elephant after he is left traumatised by the Third Lebanon War. Supporting cast members will include Julia Levy Boeken, Yossi Marshek, Sandra Sade and Tzahi Grad. The production reunites Geffen with Laila Films producer Itai Tamir, who also produced Geffen’s 2012 debut Not In Tel Aviv, which won the Special Jury Prize in Locarno. European co-producers on the project will include Frédéric Niedermayer of Moby Dick Films (France), Philipp Homberg and Hans Eddy Schreiber of Karibufilm (Germany) and Keren Cogan Galjé (Netherlands). The Israel Film Fund has a w a rd e d $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 o f t h e $600,000 budget. Producer Tamir told Screen International: “This film is more about identity than about war. It is in part an autobiographical film with Nony having been personally touched by elements of the story.” Geffen stated: “The winter shoot will be a visual representation of the character’s state of mind. The urban landscapes and the vistas of the Golan Heights will testify to the confusion and non-military preparedness set against Israeli macho male desire. There will also be a strong sense of rock ’n’ roll and an alternative picture of reality in Israel in the 2000s.” Laila Films’ credits also include Nadav Lapid’s Policeman. BY ANDREAS WISEMAN Israeli actress and singer Ninet Tayeb is attached to play the lead role in Dina Zvi-Riklis’s next film Poppies In October, about the tragic life of Tirza Atar, the daughter of Israel’s national poet Nathan Alterman and actress Rachel Marcus. The joint production between Yifat Prestelnik Films and her husband’s Eran Riklis Productions, currently in advanced development and aiming for an April 2015 shoot, will unveil a trailer starring Tayeb to potential backers at Jerusalem Film Festival’s Pitch Point event on Monday. The Hebrew-language drama, set in 1977, charts the final days of poet and author Atar, who committed suicide aged 36 after spending much of her life trying to establish herself as a poet outside her father’s shadow. The producers have already secured a portion of the estimated budget of $840,000 through a distribution deal with United King but will be looking for potential partners on the film including a European co-producer. Zvi-Riklis, director of features including The Fifth Heaven and Three Mothers, said: “The Englishspeaking world had Sylvia Plath, and Israel had Tirza Atar. Long before reality stars became cultural heroes, poets were the true celebrities. “I’ve been intertwined with the character of Tirza Atar for the last two years, trying to decipher her delicate, lyrical soul, which never found its place in the world.” Tayeb, who became widely known as the first winner of Kokhav Nolad (the Israeli version of Pop Idol), has starred in a number of hit local TV series and alongside Olga Kurylenko in thriller The Assassin Next Door. The producers are collaborating with Atar’s son on the development of the film. Israeli pop singer Ninet Tayeb has signed up to star as poet Tirza Atar in Poppies In October Festival is 99% business as usual The festival is making very minor adjustments in the wake of security issues, but it is 99% business as usual. In addition to postponing the Sultan’s Pool gala of Dancing Arabs by one week, the festival has also made other scheduling tweaks. The awards ceremony will now be held on Saturday night instead of Thursday. The Tuesday gala, which had been planned at the Rockefeller Museum in the Old City is being moved to the Waldorf Astoria. There have been about 10 industry guests to cancel their trips — none of the film-makers or speakers have changed their travel plans. Festival CEO Noa Regev said the festival team was “very excited” that the festival would carry on as usual. “Cinema provides a different perspective and those perspectives are especially needed at these times,” she said. Wendy Mitchell TODAY Profile: Shira Geffen FEATURE Fund times After a strong Cannes, Israel Film Fund’s Katriel Schory talks about building a sustainable industry » Page 4 PROFILE Self awareness Shira Geffen talks about Self Made, her surreal take on female identity and existence » Page 9 REVIEW On the road Gianfranco Rosi’s Sacro GRA is an impressionistic view of life on Rome’s motorway ring road » Page 10 Israeli audiences find Motivation BY ANDREAS WISEMAN Talya Lavie’s directorial debut Zero Motivation has gone down a storm at the Israeli box office, drawing 100,000 admissions after two weeks from only 20 screens — making it the best opening for an independent Israeli film in three years. The darkly comic Tribeca Film Festival winner, which charts the everyday life of a unit of young, female Israeli soldiers, has beaten a number of Hollywood blockbusters. Guy Shani, CEO of distributor Lev Cinemas, told Screen International: “It is a fantastic result given the complicated security situation and the World Cup.” An expansion could be on the cards in coming weeks. Zeitgeist will release in the US. The Match Factory handles sales. Lavie discusses her new film The Current Love Of My Life at Jerusalem International Film Lab today. Lesson in the tease of trailers BY ANDREAS WISEMAN Israel is as susceptible to cat video crazes as any other country, but when it comes to crafting and showcasing film trailers, it still has a way to go. This is the starting point for a JFF panel on Sunday (noon at the Cinematheque) about trailer craft in Israel and how the industry can better harness trailers as a viral marketing tool. Six Acts director Jonathan Gurfinkel — who also has a background in commercials and music videos — will speak in conversation with local journalist Yair Raveh. Raveh told Screen International: “The general consensus has been that trailers haven’t been made well in Israel. They are often made quickly, late on and are released just a few weeks before a film’s release. “The number of digital marketing and creative digital companies in Israel is growing but there are still too few servicing the film industry.” Main picture: 2 FRIDAY JULY 11 – SATURDAY JULY 12, 2014

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