Israel Hayom, Arutz 7
The Shomron Film Fund continues to reap impressive achievements: one of its films has been accepted to a festival in Jerusalem, and two other films starred in festivals in India and Shanghai and have even reaped several awards
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The actors, including Shalom and Daniel Assayag and Orel Tzabari, participated in the event in honor of "The Hillula: The 90s". Zohar, the Minister of Culture: "The Green Line is no longer relevant." Dagan, Chairman of the Shomron Council: "We are a section of the cultural map just like Tel Aviv"
For the first time, films from the Shomron Film Fund have been nominated for the Ofir Awards • Senior officials at the fund claim there is an intrinsic bias by members of the Film Academy that results from the boycott • “We expect that at the very least they will declare a conflict of interests”.
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Amid calls from various artists to boycott the Fund, a film is currently being shot in the settlements of Nofim and Elkana. The movie explores the dynamics between the ultra-Orthodox and secular society. "The Fund's films enable authentic creation, and tell the unique story of the region and Israeli society," said Yossi Dagan.
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The second Shomron Film Festival was inaugurated, featuring 25 Israeli films over a four-day cultural event. Nine of these were short documentaries produced with support from the Shomron Cinema Fund under the direction of Itay Asher and the Fund's Artistic Director, Rabbi Mordechai Vardi. The films showcase unique characters in the West Bank landscape and explore the complex relationship between settlers and Palestinians.
A documentary film supported by the Shomron Cinema Fund made its debut at the International Film Festival. The film, created by Efrat Libi and Michal Shealtiel Ammon, is among the first to be released with the support of the Fund. It tells the story of three religious young settler women struggling with fertility issues and their relentless pursuit of a large family.
Several actors and filmmakers, including Ohad Knoller, Shalom Asayag, and Danny Steg, voiced their full support for the Shomron Cinema Fund. Their support comes in response to a letter signed by over 140 filmmakers claiming that the Fund serves to "whitewash the occupation." In a counter-statement, the supporting artists argue that the Fund provides "a fertile ground for voices, some of which may not be adequately expressed today."
A trip deep into Samaria, especially for those coming from central Israel, can often stir apprehension. However, this trip, in Yossi Dagan's car, head of the Samaria Regional Council and local political powerhouse, is taking us to the set of a historical first. This new film, funded by the local film fund, is the first of its kind to be shot in Samaria. Shalom Asayag, Tzachi Halevi, and Chen Amsalem, the film's star-studded cast, admit that "at first we were afraid to come here, but the reality is not as shown on TV".
Hili Tropper, the Minister of Culture and Sports, inaugurated the Shomron Cinema Fund's new building in Barkan. The Fund will soon open calls for proposals and, among other things, launch a special call to support films about the displacement from Gush Katif and Northern Samaria.
During his visit to Samaria, Tropper met with filmmakers of the West Bank. He participated in the building's inauguration alongside Yossi Dagan, the Fund's Chairman, Esther Elosh, the Fund's CEO, Rabbi Mordechai Vardi, the Fund's Artistic Director, and Shira Eagle, the Production Manager.
The Fund will continue its operations, bringing "another original voice to Israeli cinema," says Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Council.
The Shomron Cinema Fund, having already supported around 40 films, including 7 full-length features, held a conference of West Bank filmmakers on the topic of short films, particularly emphasizing comedy.
The meeting included Moshe Edri, owner of Cinema City and United King, Israel's largest film production company, Erez Tadmor, a two-time Ophir award winner, Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, and Esther Elosh, the fund's CEO.
Edri expressed his appreciation for the Fund's work, stating, "The public is thirsty for alternative cinema, for new content... I urge you to continue creating, to develop because the public wants to hear your voice."