Los Angeles [US], May 13 (ANI): Filmmaker Oded Raz is all set to direct 'Jerusalem 67', which is an epic period thriller retelling Israel's unlikely victory during the Six Day War in 1967.
The long-gestating project is getting ready to shoot on location in Jerusalem on August 16 and is being produced by New York-based Joseph Schick, a U.S. lawyer who started developing it over a decade ago, Variety reported.
Yael Grobglas ("Supergirl") is in advanced negotiations to play the lead role as a civilian haunted by a painful childhood who leaves her family to serve on the frontlines of war. Itzik Cohen, whose acting credits include "Fauda" and "The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem" is in advanced negotiations to join the cast.
The key crew includes cinematographer Daniel Miller, who won the Israel Film Academy's Ophir Award for "Fig Tree" and production designer Yoram Shayer, who won Israel's equivalent to the Oscars twice with "Ish HaHashmal" and "Turn Left at the End of the World."The ambitious project is one of the first major international productions to proceed under the Israel Tax Rebate Program for film and TV productions which was created last year, Variety reported.
"It's a challenging project. It's a war film and it's a period piece set in Jerusalem, and prior to the new Israeli production incentives program, we were trying to determine if we could recreate Israel in perhaps Cyprus or Greece, or another location in the Mediterranean," said Schick. "The tax incentive program was significant for us because Israel is not a cheap place to shoot and it allowed us to tell the story in the right place," he continued.
Israel is currently torn by unprecedented revolts in response to the judicial overhaul plan of Benjamin Netanyahu's government, which is considered as the most right-wing and religiously conservative that the country has ever had. Schick says the ongoing turmoil echoes the backdrop of "Jerusalem 67.""In 1967, Israel had social, cultural, economic divisions and it wasn't a perfect society by any means. And I think what happened then is a reminder of how to handle that situation," said Schick.
He revealed that one of the film's characters is a soldier in the Jerusalem Brigade, which is probably the most diverse unit in the world. "In this brigade you would have somebody who's very religious, fighting next to somebody who's a Hebrew university atheist professor, and a janitor and a lawyer. They were all equal. They were all the same. They all faced the same threat. So think 1967 is the guide of how do you deal with internal disputes. In 1967 there was unity," the producer continued.
The film will also shoot in other locations and include about a third interior scenes. "We're on the streets. We're in the hospital. We're on the frontlines, in the Old City, at the Western Wall," says Schick, adding that the plot of "Jerusalem 67" is inspired by a true story and revolves around a "mother who became a hero of the war and centers on the family."The movie will be mostly cast with Israeli actors, as well as a "few Western actors and possibly Israeli Americans who are familiar faces in Hollywood," the producer said. (ANI)