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October 17, 2018 9:44 am

Knesset Passes Law to Redistribute Government Funding to Non-Left Films

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Hollywood actress Natalie Portman and Israeli actor Gilad Kahana seen in Jerusalem’s Nachlaot neighborhood, filming a movie based on Israeli author Amos Oz’s book, “A Tale of Love and Darkness” on February 2014. Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash 90. – A new law approved in the Knesset on Monday will enable the office of the Minister of Culture and Sport to decide the amount of government subsidies that Israeli films receive, which will be no less than 15 percent of the total budget of the production and no more than 20 percent.

The law, championed by Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev, is meant to fight what she calls a “closed group” film industry that is heavily reliant on funding from the state, but produces movies primarily featuring secular and liberal values.

“We will enable [the creation of] Zionist, Jewish, Arab and haredi films,” said Regev. “These are new things that did not exist before.”

Films will pass before a team of script readers, who will pick the movies that the government funds. Preference will be given to private producers who have already created successful films, as well as filmmakers in the “periphery,” including in Judea and Samaria.

In September, Regev denounced the showing of “subversive” films at the Haifa International Film festival and lambasted the 2018 film “Foxtrot,” a fictionalized story of Israeli soldiers covering up the mistaken shooting of four Arab youths, calling it “the result of self-flagellation and cooperation with the anti-Israel narrative.”

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