Two Israeli documentaries eyed for Oscar bids

Those demonstrations started the same week his son was born. His film shows his son’s birthday parties along with the boy’s developing awareness of the political realities into which he was born.

Both films were produced with help from international funds, but also with significant support from the Israeli government. Many governments, particularly in Europe, provide funding to their local film industries.

Israel has five main film funds that hand out money to a pool of applicants. Israeli cinema professionals, not politicians, choose which movies get funded. Even so, film executives say they have felt governmental attempts to exert influence on their artistic independence.

One said local producers have felt pressured to “make films that show Israel in a sweeter light.” The executive spoke anonymously because his films depend on government funding.

Meir Bardugo, a spokeswoman for Culture Minister Limor Livnat, said the minister believes that “Israeli cinema doesn’t have to be anti-Israeli,” but denied that she intervenes in the content of Israeli films. “If Livnat would interfere, these two films wouldn’t get to the Oscars,” Ms. Bardugo said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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