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ALEXANDER RODNYANSKY, NATALYA DROZD AND ARTYOM VASILIEV TOOK PART IN A MEETING OF RUSSIAN-ISRAELI PRODUCERS

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The meeting of Russian and Israeli producers became the key event of the Russian pavilion on the 8th of July. The event was dedicated to the expected signing of a Russian-Israeli co-production agreement in the fall of 2021, designed to further strengthen the existing relations between the countries. During the networking session, the producers of the two countries discussed the prospects for future cooperation, the process of collaborative filmmaking and other relevant topics. Lior Sasson, Development Director of the Israeli Film Foundation, and Evgenia Markova, Head of ROSKINO, moderated the discussion. Among the Israeli producers, the meeting was attended by the Director of the Cinematography Department of the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Israel Eti Koen, the Head of the Israeli Film Fund Liza Shiloch Uzrad, the Director of the Jerusalem Film Foundation Yoram Honig, the Director of the Jerusalem Film Laboratory Aurit Zamir, the Director of the Rabinovich Film Fund Osnat Bukoftzer, the Director of the Gesher Film Fund Ziv Naveh and the director of the Sam Spiegel School of Film and Television Dana Blankstein Cohen. The Russian side was represented by the producers Alexander Rodnyansky, Artyom Vasiliev, Natalya Drozd, Dmitry Litvinov, Victoria Lupik, Tamara Bogdanova, Maria Vogt and Mikhail Idov.

During the meeting, Russian producers explained that Russia is ready to support filmmakers by laucnching a rebate system, a network of regional film commissions (there are already 26 commissions and 14 more to come) and Russian production and post-production companies operating at the international quality level. In addition to co-production, the Russian industry is open to partnerships in many areas, including festivals and educational programs. Also, ROSKINO is planning to host the Russian Film Festival in Israel in October, in partnership with the Yes platform. Viewers will see ten Russian projects of various genres, from drama to animation.

Israel, in its turn, offers not only tax incentives but also the support of local foundations. For example, the Israeli Film Fund promotes the open-call format, producing from 12 to 24 films each year, and also actively supports female filmmakers. Sam Spiegel International Film Lab annually supports 12 projects: half of them are Israeli projects and the other half is foreign works. In the Gesher Film Fund, it is possible to get support for a project of any genre – from full-length feature films to animation and TV series – and the Fund is ready to work with foreign producers and foundations that launch interesting projects.

Eti Cohen, Head of Film Department at the Ministry of Culture of Israel:
‘The Ministry of Culture and the Israeli filmmakers are thrilled to establish and strengthen our creative connection to the Russian industry as both countries will soon sign a co-production treaty. The meeting today at Cannes between heads of organizations from the Israeli industry and Russian producers are steps towards creating projects together that will become films in the future’.

Evgenia Markova, CEO of ROSKINO:
‘It took twelve years to come to the signing of a co-production treaty between Russia and Israel. Over the past year, we managed to greatly accelerate the work on this project. We hope that the treaty will be signed by the end of the year. Therefore, today is a truly historic moment, namely a meeting of iconic Russian producers and chief directors of Israeli foundations. I am sure that the potential for interaction between Russia and Israel is enormous, and together we could create a product of an astounding level, complementing each other's strengths. We see great potential for cooperation, both in co-production and in the education field’.

Alexander Rodnyansky, producer:
‘We would like to thank all the representatives of Israel industry for such a detailed description of the film production support system in the country. Speaking about Russia, it should be noted that the country is filled with new ambitious companies that have the reputation of important players in the market. Quite recently, Roman Abramovich has founded a private fund for the development of modern cinema KINOPRIME. In Russia, there are many opportunities for filmmakers, so we are ready for cooperation at the international level and we support the initiatives of our foreign partners’.

Natalya Drozd, producer:
‘I have always looked for opportunities to cooperate with Israel, and now I am delighted to know that this is a real opportunity. We really need this relationship to have a productive and full of ideas discussion, to discover something new. Direct contacts, the number of which will surely increase, are essential for creativity’.

Artyom Vasiliev, producer:
‘METRAFILMS works on many co-production projects, and often our film crews are truly international. We are sincerely interested in building connections of this kind because at the moment it is incredibly important. Russian-Israeli cooperation opens up a huge number of new opportunities, and we are very grateful for that’.

The participants agreed at the meeting to bring the Russian delegation to Israel in November to get acquainted with representatives of the Israeli film industry and to develop business connections. They also discussed educational initiatives designed to strengthen international contacts and contribute to the formation of future generations of filmmakers.