Yoav Shamir - News Poster


EU to support S Med filmmakers with $2.2m

  • ScreenDaily
A total 120 projects from Morocco to Syria are set to be supported over the next three years by the new $2.2m (€2m) Icam programme co-funded the European Union.

Speaking to ScreenDaily, Catherine Buresi, one of Icam’s initiators, explained that “the idea was to create a programme to support the development of projects, training measures and networking events as a forum for producers from the nine Arab countries”.

Icam (Investing in Culture & Arts in the South Mediterranean) started operations from headquarters in Cairo at the Noon Foundation earlier this year and will run for three years until April 2018.

The eligible countries are Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

According to Buresi, the project is working with local partners throughout the region such as Jordan’s Luminus Media, Egypt/Cyprus-based Semat for production & distribution, Morocco’s Rabii Films Productions, Algeria’s M.D. Ciné as well as the non-profit association Cap Network in Belgium
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Haigh, Barthes & Terence Nance Among Ifp Independent Film Week Participants

The premiere post-tiff destination (September 20-25th) in the film community and a major leg up for narrative and non-fiction films in development, the Independent Filmmaker Project (Ifp) announced a whopping 140 projects selected for the Project Forum at the upcoming Ifp Independent Film Week. Made up of several sections (Rbc’s Emerging Storytellers program, No Borders International Co-Production Market and Spotlight on Documentaries), we find latest updates from the likes of docu-helmers Doug Block (112 Weddings) and Lana Wilson (After Tiller), and among the narrative items we find headliners in Andrew Haigh (coming off the well received 45 Years), Sophie Barthes (Cold Souls and Madame Bovary), Terence Nance (An Oversimplification of Her Beauty), Lawrence Michael Levine (Wild Canaries), Jorge Michel Grau (We Are What We Are), Eleanor Burke and Ron Eyal (Stranger Things) and new faces in Sundance’s large family in Charles Poekel (Christmas, Again) and Olivia Newman (First Match). Here
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

What’s Up Doc?: Wiseman Rises to New “Heights” & Rivers Shooting “The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers” in Morocco

It’s been a surprisingly interesting month of moving and shaking in terms of doc development. Just a month after making his first public funding pitch at Toronto’s Hot Docs Forum, legendary doc filmmaker Frederick Wiseman took to Kickstarter to help cover the remaining expenses for his 40th feature film In Jackson Heights (see the film’s first trailer below). Unrelentingly rigorous in his determination to capture the American institutional landscape on film, his latest continues down this thematic rabbit hole, taking on the immensely diverse New York City neighborhood of Jackson Heights as his latest subject. According to the Kickstarter page, Wiseman is currently editing the 120 hours of rushes he shot with hopes of having the film ready for a fall festival premiere (my guess would be Tiff, where both National Gallery and At Berkeley made their North American debut), though he’s currently quite a ways away from his $75,000 goal.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Jewish Film Institute Launches VOD Platform of 35 Titles (Exclusive)

Jewish Film Institute Launches VOD Platform of 35 Titles (Exclusive)
The Jewish Film Institute's new VOD platform, Jfi On Demand, includes festival favorites from the Sfjff archives over the past three decades, including "5 Days" by Yoav Shamir, "Aliyah" by Elie Wajeman, "Out in the Dark" by Michael Mayer, "Forgiveness" by Udi Aloni, "Live and Become" by Radu Mihaileanu and more. The 35th edition of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival returns to the Bay Area this year from July 23 to August 9, 2015 at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, the CinéArts Theatre in Palo Alto, the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, The California Theatre in Berkeley, and the Lakeside Theater in Oakland. Since 1981, the festival has screened over 1500 films. Read More: Noir City and Jewish Film Festival Compete for San Francisco Cinephiles To view all 35 film titles on Jfi On Demand, visit jewishfilminstitute.org.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

What’s Up Doc?: Sheffield & AFI Docs Signal the Summer Fest Drought

Well folks, after a rather long and brutal winter (at least for me here in Buffalo), we are finally heading into the wonderful warmth of summer, but with that blast of sunshine and steamy humidity comes the mid-year drought of major film fests. After the Sheffield Doc/Fest concludes on June 10th and AFI Docs wraps on June 21st, we likely won’t see any major influx in our charts until Locarno, Venice, Telluride and Tiff announce their line-ups in rapid succession. In the meantime, we can look forward to the intriguing onslaught of films making their debut in Sheffield, including Brian Hill’s intriguing examination of Sweden’s most notorious serial killer, The Confessions of Thomas Quick, and Sean McAllister’s film for which he himself was jailed in the process of making, A Syrian Love Story, the only two films world premiering in the festival’s main competition.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Cannes Isa of the Day: Philippa Kowarsky of Cinephil

The Isa of the Day segment of SydneysBuzz resumes for the Cannes Film Festival 2015. ISAs, or International Sales Agents, help to bring films into global distribution by selling distribution rights to distributors worldwide. Topics include new trends in distribution and sales, inspirational success stories, film slates and more. A worthy read for any serious filmmaker looking to have a better understanding of the chain of business between producing a film and sharing it with the world.

Philippa Kowarsky is the Managing Director of Cinephil, an international sales company that is renowned for securing financing and distribution for documentaries from all around the world. Kowarsky started Cinephil 18 years ago on the first of January in 1997.

Cinephil has a solid history of working with award winning films including Academy Award nominee, “The Gatekeepers“ (for which Kowarsky was a nominee, with Cinephil as the producer); the 2014 Academy Award nominee, “The Act of Killing, and Dror Shaul’s “Sweet Mud”, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.

Kowarsky, the first ever film sales agent of Israel, shares more about her background and the success of Cinephil:

I’ve was doing sales, marketing and production before I started Cinephil. I worked for some studios in Israel, and got into sales because there were no companies dedicated to sales only. I was representing films at the previous company I worked at — when I left, people just kept coming to me, saying “Will you take my film?” I started Cinephil and we got a film into Rotterdam’s mocumentary section. It was the first Cinephil festival. I didn’t even have a proper concept or mission for my company, but I did meet sales agents from around the world, and thought, “Perhaps we could have some sales agents in Israel!” Then it became a bit more formal.

We started doing everything - features, children’s programming, and documentaries -working with Israeli and Palestinian films. Over the years, we decided to drop children’s programming, and then let go of feature films (which I still love). Now Cinephil focuses on documentaries.

About 8 years ago, we decided to go International to represent films to the world, from the world – everywhere. It doesn’t matter where you’re based: Tel Aviv, Paris, Montreal or New York. Everyone is traveling to all the festivals, and everything is done by emails and phone. Thanks to technology, we have a very international career and life, and to make matters better, we also have Heather Wyer working for us out of Montreal. Having a North American base is great!

How did you enter the film industry?

A lot of this happened to me by chance. I received an Ma in London for communication policy studies. At the end of the day, it’s been helpful, because it has given me a deeper understanding of the media world. That’s been a strong part of Cinephil – being able to strategize with all this know-how.

When I started 20 years ago, there was very little international film and television activity in Israel. In the meantime, the Israeli industry has developed, but getting Israeli films into festivals was a big deal back then. Now our cinema is well received everywhere. There are fabulous agencies based in Israel, including our TV channels which selling product around the world.

How is Cinephil expanding?

We do sales and distribution and act as Ep’s on films. We’ve always been into development and raising finance for films, but recently the films we’ve been working with are of a higher profile. One of the highlights is when we came in as producers for “The Gatekeepers”, for which we were nominated for an Academy Award in 2012. In 2013, we were back in Los Angeles with “The Act of Killing”, which was nominated as well. We are proud to work with Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sorensen again on “The Look of Silence”, which premiered in competition in Venice last year and won the Grand Jury Award on top of four other awards. Since then, it has won countless awards worldwide. We’re now working with Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi on “The 50 Year Argument”.

Please discuss your slate for Cannes.

We‘re thrilled to be working on a Cannes Classics premiere “By Sidney Lumet” by Nancy Buirski. Cinephil will present several films in the market. One is “Invasion”, by Abner Benaim, about the USA’s invasion of Panama.

Another is a film that we just picked up in Tribeca where it made headlines, titled “Among the Believers”, which follows the growth of the Red Mosques in Pakistan. It portrays a system that offers young children free food and accommodation, and, in return, the young adepts are force fed the principles of radical Islam from the moment they can read.

Other films in the Cannes Market include “Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon”, which premiered in Sundance, and “The Yes Men are Revolting”, which will open in the Us this summer.

“Thank You for Playing”, follows a family struggling with a terminally ill boy. Ryan, his Dad, an indie video game developer, is building a poetic, autobiographical video game to document his pain and to tell the story of his baby. It’s sophisticated, touching and timely.

Learn more about Cinephil’s new releases here.

See Cinephil’s full catalogue here.

More About Cinephil:

Cinephil is an international sales and advisory firm, which has a strong reputation for securing international distribution, broadcasting and financing deals for documentaries from all over the world on behalf of film producers and directors.

With a history of selling unique and award-winning films,Cinephil also acts as a strategic advisor and co-producer.

Cinephil has facilitated the sale and financing of well over a hundred films. Cinephil represented (and produced) the 2013 Academy Award nominee, “The Gatekeepers“; the 2014 Academy Award nominee, “The Act of Killing“, executive produced by Werner Herzog and Errol Morris; “Cathedrals of Culture“, a 3D project executive produced by Wim Wenders and including films by Wim Wenders and Robert Redford, and Martin Scorsese’s new documentary, “The 50 Year Argument“, about The New York Review of Books. Managing director, Philippa Kowarsky, has co-produced many films, including 2014 Academy Award nominee, Dror Moreh’s, “The Gatekeepers“, Dror Shaul’s “Sweet Mud”, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and the Crystal Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, “Defamation” by Yoav Shamir, “Watermarks” by Yaron Zilberman and the award-winning “Trembling Before G-d” by Sandi DuBowski.
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

What’s Up Doc?: Kent Jones, Asif Kapadia & Luc Jacquet Head to Cannes

It should come as no surprise that Cannes Film Festival will play host to Kent Jones’s doc on the touchstone of filmmaking interview tomes, Hitchcock/Truffaut (see photo above). The film has been floating near the top of this list since it was announced last year as in development, while Jones himself has a history with the festival, having co-written both Arnaud Desplechin’s Jimmy P. and Martin Scorsese’s My Voyage To Italy, both of which premiered in Cannes. The film is scheduled to screen as part of the Cannes Classics sidebar alongside the likes of Stig Björkman’s Ingrid Bergman, in Her Own Words, which will play as part of the festival’s tribute to the late starlet, and Gabriel Clarke and John McKenna’s Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans (see trailer below). As someone who grew up watching road races with my dad in Watkins Glen,
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Liv Ullmann, Carlos Saura, Darwins Nightmare: European Film Awards 2004

Hubert Sauper's Darwin's Nightmare Head-on, Javier Bardem, Imelda Staunton: European Film Awards 2004 European Film Academy Documentary – Prix Arte Aileen: Life And Death Of A Serial Killer by Nick Broomfield & Joan Churchill / UK * Darwin's Nightmare by Hubert Sauper / Austria / France / Belgium Die SPIELWÜTIGEN (Addicted to Acting) by Andres Veiel / Germany La Pelota Vasca, La Piel Contra La Piedra (Basque Ball, Skin Against Stone) by Julio Medem / Spain Le Monde Selon Bush (The World According to Bush) by William Karel / France Mahssomim (Checkpoint) by Yoav Shamir / Israel The Last Victory by John Appel / The Netherlands Touch The Sound by Thomas Riedelsheimer / Germany / UK / Finland European Film Academy Short Film – Prix Uip * Prix Uip Ghent: J'attendrai le suivant… by Philippe Orreindy / France Prix Uip Valladolid: Les Baisers des Autres by Carine Tardieu / France Prix Uip Angers: Poveste La Scara "C" by Cristian Nemescu / Romania Prix Uip Berlin: Un Cartus De Kent Si Un Pachet De Cafea
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Review | Manipulating the Past: "A Film Unfinished"

Review | Manipulating the Past:
The popular sentiment about Holocaust grief at the movies reached a breaking point in 2008, when backlash against "The Reader" suggested that audiences had grown tired of the predetermined gravitas that seemed to infuse such stories with an immediate sense of purpose. Last year, Yoav Shamir's perceptive documentary "Defamation" put an additional focus on the problem by following school children on a guilt-inducing field trip to Auschwitz. The kids are meant ...
See full article at Indiewire »

Survivors, Simon Schama On Obama's America and Defamation | TV review

The plot is ridiculous, the script poor, but somehow Survivors is quite entertaining, says Lucy Mangan

Clever. Clever. I see what they did now. They put Day of the Triffids on over Christmas – cunningly choosing as their leading man Dougray Scott, one of those rare performers who can be comfortably outacted by a rustling plant, and throwing the rest of their energies into assembling a script out of fridge magnets – in order to inoculate us against further stinging lashes of stupidity in 2010.

It worked. The return of the post-apocalyptic drama Survivors (BBC1) last night was indeed fitfully entertaining, despite the main impetus for the story having largely dispersed. We are really quite post-post-post apocalypse now, so in place of the plague come other perils. We pick up exactly where we left off at the end of series one. Abby has been kidnapped by doctors. Good doctors or bad doctors? We do not yet know.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Survivors | Simon Schama On Obama's America | True Stories: Defamation | Muslim Driving School | Watch this

Survivors | Simon Schama On Obama's America | True Stories: Defamation | Muslim Driving School


9pm, BBC1

It's still the end of the world as we know it, and things most definitely aren't fine as the post-apocalypse drama returns. Events pick up directly from last season's cliffhanger, which means Abby is in the hands of spooky corporate scientists, and Greg is dying from a gunshot wound. The latter problem finds Al and Anya searching for medical kit to save his life, only to become trapped in a collapsing hospital. An episode that, in merrily scattering characters hither and thither, suggests series two may offer plenty of surprises. For all its gloomy premise, hugely entertaining.

Simon Schama On Obama's America

9pm, BBC2

A typically magisterial survey of the Obama era so far by Simon Schama. He begins with the subject that has consumed much of the new president's first year on the job,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Who's hating whom?

Yoav Shamir's film about antisemitism has drawn both praise and criticism. So what's it like being dubbed 'the Israeli Mel Gibson'?

Having depicted modern Israeli life in his previous films, a run-in with several critics turned 39-year-old Tel Avivian film-maker Yoav Shamir on to the subject of antisemitism. In a quest to explore what the term means today he travelled from Israel to New York, Poland and Moscow and captured his startling discoveries in a Grierson Award-winning film, Defamation.

Why did you decide to make the film?

Some years ago I made Checkpoint, a film shot in checkpoints in the occupied territories where I'd been a soldier. It got alot of attention and I started noticing that I'd been referred to as "the Israeli Mel Gibson", antisemitic, mostly by American journalists. It got me thinking about what it means when somebody is called antisemitic. The word is used all around us,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Beaches of Agnes and Burma VJ Among European Film Academy Docu Noms

The European Film Academy have announced the documentary film titles nominations and out of the ten mostly unknown titles we find a pair of exceptions in Burma VJ (which received some solid buzz at Sundance) and The Beaches of Agnes... - The European Film Academy have announced the documentary film titles nominations and out of the ten mostly unknown titles we find a pair of exceptions in Burma VJ (which received some solid buzz at Sundance) and The Beaches of Agnes (which received a film festival red carpet treatment and was shown at the Film Forum this summer). Previous winners of Prix Arte award include: last year's Helena Trestikova's Rene (read here) and 2007 the prize went to Rithy Panh's Paper cannot Wrap up Embers. The winner will be announced on the 12th of December. The Beaches Of Agnes - Agnès Varda, France Below Sea Level - Gianfranco Rosi,
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Ain't No Party Like a Holocaust Party

by Eric Kohn

Anti-semitism lurks in unsuspecting places, but only to those who seek it out. Defamation, Yoav Shamir's provocative documentary, released in select theaters last week, conveys at least that much. But Shamir goes one step further, arguing that awareness of the eponymous offense is buried in a confusion of past and present. Adopting an intentionally naïve outlook, he cheerfully follows members of the Anti-Defamation League on missions to spread the international battle against Jewish hatred. Simultaneously, his camera trails a group of Israeli high-schoolers traveling to Auschwitz for a class. In both cases, the Holocaust engenders a peculiar backwards logic that Shamir knowingly assaults: He believes that battles against anti-semitism are too often defined by earlier infractions. If "Holocaust," "Nazi" and "Anti-semitism" remain the key buzzwords in a battle against shadows, then the purpose of Defamation is to turn on the light.

Continued reading Ain't No Party Like a Holocaust Party.
See full article at GreenCine Daily »

Yoav Shamir’s Defamation Opens in NY/La

European Film Award nominee and a very likely contender for the 2010 best documentary feature Academy Award*, Yoav Shamir’s Defamation opens on Friday, Nov. 20, in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities across the United States. The film info below is from distributor First Run Features’ website: "Intent on shaking up the ultimate ‘sacred cow’ for Jews, Israeli director Yoav Shamir embarks on a provocative — and at times irreverent — quest to answer the question, ‘What is anti-Semitism today?’ Does it remain a dangerous and immediate threat? Or is it a scare tactic used by right-wing Zionists to discredit their critics? "Speaking with an array of people from across the political spectrum (including [...]
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Twilight of the Bad Lieutenant

  • IFC
Twilight of the Bad Lieutenant
Holiday festivities are about to kick into full gear, but you wouldn't know it looking at this angst-ridden release slate, since the closest we come to Christmas is Nicolas Cage's "Bad Lieutenant" doing a lot of "snow." Instead, planets are discovered, new moons rise and suns set.

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"Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans"

Ever since Nicolas Cage was shown clinging to his "lucky crackpipe," cinephiles have been jonesing for Werner Herzog's re-imagining of Abel Ferrara's arthouse cop thriller. After months of backbiting between Ferrara, who suggested that the film's producers "burn in hell," and Herzog's admission that he had never seen the original film, audiences will finally see Cage in the shoes of Terence McDonagh, the hopped-up, hopelessly bent detective who shakes down suspects and random pedestrians on the trail
See full article at IFC »

Defamation: Let the Debate Continue

Note: These pieces were originally published as Discover: Defamation and Faces of the Festival: Yoav Shamir during the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival. Discover: Defamation By Zachary Wigon Congratulations to Yoav Shamir, director of Defamation, which won a Tff 2009 Special Jury Prize. Defamation is a film designed to raise questions and provoke discussion. Shamir, a young Israeli filmmaker, adopts a deceptively simple pose as he ventures into addressing the issue of contemporary anti-Semitism. 'What is anti-Semitism?' he asks his Israeli grandmother. 'I've lived in Israel all my life. I don't know.' So Shamir journeys out into the world to try to understand the nature of anti-Semitism today. What is it? Where does it pop up most often? Who is afraid of it? His journeys take him to a far-flung assortment of places, meeting a wide variety of people who provide this film with a startlingly wide web of different opinions on the issue.
See full article at Tribeca Film »

Defamation (Hashmatsa)

First Run Features

Reviewed for Arizona Reporter by Harvey Karten

Grade: A-

Directed by: Yoav Shamir

Written By: Yoav Shamir

Cast: Abraham Foxman, Norman Finkelstein, Stephen M. Walt, John J. Mearsheimer

Screened at: Review 2, NYC, 11/4/09

Opens: November 20, 2009

Michael Moore.s .Capitalism: A Love Story,. may be the funniest documentary seen this year by Americans, but consider .Defamation. for sheer power, audience interest, a look at diverse groups all dealing with a single big, global issue, the nonfiction picture that should be rained upon with awards. Yoav Shamir, serving as cameraman and director simultaneously, deals with a catch-all theme: the nature of anti-Semitism today, a motif that evokes such controversial questions as: Can you be against Israeli policies yet not be considered anti-Semitic? Is anti-Semitism an organic poison that infests the body politic no matter what the world.s Jews are up to? Yoav, in interviewing a wide range of subjects,
See full article at Arizona Reporter »

A Prophet wins the London Film Festival

The London Film Festival has folded its tent for another year, and Jacques Audiard's A Prophet took Best Film. At the event held at London's Inner Temple, Best British Newcomer went to The Scouting Book For Boys director Jack Thorne, and the Sutherland Award was nabbed by Scandar Copti bad Yaron Shani for Ajami. The Grierson Award - given to the best documentary of the fest - was handed to Yoav Shamir's Defamation. Finally, the BFI Fellowships - the highest accolade that the British Film Institute bestows - were handed out to John...

See full article at TotalFilm »

John Hurt, Tahar Rahim, Yoav Shamir: London 2009

Tahar Rahim, the star of Jacques Audiard’s widely praised prison drama A Prophet, winner of the best picture award at the London Film Festival and a likely best foreign language film Oscar contender, arrives for the Times BFI 53rd London Film Festival Awards Ceremony at Inner Temple on October 28. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images) John Hurt and Ann Rees Meyers arrive for the Times BFI 53rd London Film Festival Awards Ceremony. Hurt and filmmaker Souleymane Cissé were given BFI Fellowships at the awards ceremony. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images) Filmmaker Yoav Shamir, whose documentary Defamation won the London Film Festival’s top prize in that category, arrives for the Times BFI 53rd London Film Festival Awards Ceremony. Defamation [...]
See full article at Alt Film Guide »
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