Bollywood explores Israeli options

Amid Bollywood's growing popularity in Israel and the industry's insatiable appetite for foreign locations and the search for new themes and markets, Indian filmmakers are visiting Israel to participate in the Jerusalem International Film Festival (JIFF) to explore joint ventures and scout for location sites.

“I have visited all the important film festivals in the world and have always dreamt of visiting Israel, especially Jerusalem,” senior delegation member Supran Sen, secretary-general of the Film Federation of India, said, adding, “I am fascinated by this visit.”

The eight-member delegation will be meeting leading directors and producers from the country and tour Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Masada and the Dead Sea, with an eye for attractive filming sites.

“We, from India, come with our strengths to learn of your strengths so that we can collaborate and take our love and passion for cinema to the next level,” said Shirish Kunder, Producer and Director of Three's Company Productions.

The delegation will meet Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai and other influential figures across the political and social spectrum.

“I find that Israelis and Indians both have strong family bonds. I look forward to a heightened creative interaction,” said Producer Sundeep ‘Bobby' Bedi, founder of Kaleidoscope Studios.

The only actor in the delegation, Aftab Shivdasani, also expressed excitement about the visit. “I am extremely happy that I finally have the opportunity to visit Israel and especially the Jerusalem Film Festival. I look forward to getting a taste of the vast and awe-inspiring history of Israel,” said Shivdasani.

The delegation was invited by Project Interchange and the American Jewish Committee (AJC).

With a keen interest in animation and other technological innovations, they will also visit Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) to meet its Chair and Partner, Uri Adoni, and Renen Schorr, Chairman of the New Foundation for Cinema and Television.

“I am eagerly looking forward to meeting the filmmakers and creative talent from Israel,” filmmaker Abhishek Sharma of Walkwater Media said.

“This is a golden opportunity for the artists of the two countries to explore areas and themes of common interest and take the relationship between our two industries to the next level,” said Sharma, who directed the critically acclaimed Tere Bin Laden.

“With a country that is so rich in talent and culture, our Israeli counterparts can surely enrich and contribute to the colourful film industry of India,” he added.

JIFF will premiere Gangor by Indian film producer Vinod Kumar from Nirvana Motion Pictures and secretary-general and founding member of the Film Foundation of India.

With acceptance of Indian culture at its peak in Israel, two channels, Hot Bombay and Yes India, devoted to Indian films, have been successfully operating day in and day out for the past several years.

The popularity of Hindi films in Israel can be gauged from the fact that Dil To Pagal Hai had run house full for three weeks in Tel Aviv and the lead song can be still be heard almost everyday on popular Radio channel, Galei Tzahal.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 8:10:11 AM |

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