Israel’s television industry has also blossomed in recent years. After cable channels and a commercial TV station broke the monopoly and monotony of a lone state-run channel in the early 90s, there was a sudden need for new TV content, spurring competition and creativity among local screenwriters.
Now Hollywood TV executives are taking notice, adapting Israeli shows for American audiences. Showtime’s hit thriller “Homeland” is adapted from the Israeli drama “Prisoners of War,” the NBC game show “Who’s Still Standing” originated in Israel, and other Israeli adaptations are currently in development for American TV.
Despite the surge in budgets, funding is a fraction of public money available for filmmakers in European countries.
While Israel has scored some Academy Award nominations in recent years, it hasn’t won. None of the 10 Israeli films that made the best foreign language film shortlist over the years has won the big prize.
Now the focus is on Cedar, director of “Footnote,” but he told reporters that the coveted Oscar isn’t the only measure of success for a filmmaker.
That is exactly the lesson that his Oscar-nominated film imparts, he said.
“‘Footnote’ deals with the question of what happens when, while you’re living your daily life, a prize is offered, which really takes over your moral reasoning and changes your perspective and sometimes completely destroys your perspective,” Cedar said, summarizing the main plot line of his movie.
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