EXCLUSIVE: The latest projects from Mr Gaga director Tomer Heymann and Academy Award nominee Dror Moreh will be among the titles on show at the 25th CoPro market in Israel next month.
Organizers of CoPro 25 have announced a slate of 18 projects and three main tracks, titled Pitch Forum, Rough Cut and Close Encounters for the event, which seeks to bring Israeli doc creators together with U.S. and international networks, producers and distributors.
Moreh, who was nominated for at the 2012 Oscars for The Gatekeepers, about Israeli secret service Ben Shin, is debuting Dagan in the Close Encounters track. He will direct and co-produce the doc, with Sol Goodman producing and DMP Productions the production company. The doc is based on a rare series of intimate interviews with Meir Dagan, a former Mossad director and Israel Defense Forces general, who has “spent his life developing creative ways to win Israel’s wars.” He discusses his place in the country’s history and where Israel is today.
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Heymann is understood to be launching a project, though details are being closely guarded for the time being. Scroll down for the full list of projects in the Co-Production Pitch Forum and some from other tracks.
The Israeli Content Marketing Foundation will hold the event in Tel Aviv from June 5-7. A film tribute marking 25 years of CoPro films will then run June 8-10. Organizers estimate $40M+ of business has been facilitated through the event and more than 750 international doc co-production agreements have been signed over the years.
A fourth track happening online titled Screening Room will be officially unveiled in coming days, along with market programming and other news.
Execs from 50 companies are expected to attend next month, with reps from the BBC, Arte, NBC and Netflix among them. A group of international producers, plus studios from the U.S. and France are planning to make the trip.
“Israeli documentaries production value increases each year, and creators aim to tell stories that resonate with international audiences and meet the industry’s high standards,” said Pnina Halfon Lang, CoPro’s Executive Director.
25th Co-Production Pitch Forum competition
The annual CoPro pitching event will showcase 12 “outstanding and promising projects, handpicked by a special committee of international professionals.”
The project are selected after a “rigorous, months-long process of masterclasses, mentoring sessions, and simulations.” They are then publicly presented to commissioning editors, network executives, film fund managers, distributors, and producers seeking international co-productions – with subsequent private meetings.
Here are some of the most prominent projects.
A STATE OF EMERGENCY
The personal story of Stav Shaffir, a young woman who grew up in Israeli politics, and the price she’s had to pay for it – and an examination, through her perspective, of what led to the present threat to Israeli democracy.
Director: Jacob Tschernia
Co-director/DOP – Tomer Sluztky
Producers: Kirstine Barfod, Harry Vaughn
Production company: Nordland Pictures (US), Drive Studios (DK)
Country of production: Denmark/USA/Israel
Associated film institution: Danish Film Institute
ANGEL OF DEATH
Yehuda Meshi-Zahav was an Israeli Jekyll and Hyde. A beloved and respected man who founded an esteemed charity by day, he was a sexual predator, embezzler and murderer by night. How did he manage to fool us for so long? Or is it possible we simply didn’t want to know?
Director / Scriptwriter: Sharon Yaish
Producer: Yoav Leshem
Production company: Beyond Creative
Broadcasting Platforms: Kan – Israeli Public Broadcast Corporation
The rise and fall of Germany’s Jewish fashion industry during the Nazi rise to power. For the first time, the voices of that industry’s leading lights will be heard in a historical context, their legacy finally revealed to the world.
Director / Scriptwriter: Sigal Rosh
Producer: Michal Weits
Production company: HSCC – Slutzky Communications
Associated broadcasters: Hot – Channel 8, Israel
LEFT BEHIND CHILDREN
“Left-behind children” are an emblematic phenomenon of modern globalization: each year in China, 69 million rural children are left to manage alone while their parents travel to the cities to earn money. Following three children aged 12 to 16, this protest film enjoys extraordinary access to their complex lives, and allows their voices to be heard.
Director / scriptwriter/ Co-producer: Shosh Shlam
Producer: Ümit Uludag
Production company: Corso Production
Country of production: Israel, China, Germany
THE AMAZING TALE OF THE PEACE RIVER METEORITE
When a meteorite crashes into a remote farm in northern Canada, it spawns a local legend that endures for decades. This tongue-in-cheek documentary will explore this enigmatic rock’s transformative impact on those who’ve come in contact with it, unearthing stories of curses, greed, and family disputes. Along with a cast of fascinating characters and bizarre subplots, the film offers a thought-provoking examination of the role of storytelling in our live
Director / Scriptwriter: Yoav Shamir
Producers: Tanya Aizikovich, Yoav Shamir
Production company: Yoav Shamir Films
WALKING UNDER PALMS
In 1938, the 7-year-old “Cassel Twins” fled Nazi Germany, finding sanctuary in the tropical Philippine Islands while the war in Europe was raging. There, their haven is shattered by the brutal Japanese invasion of Manila, plunging them into a fresh nightmare. Post-war, family betrayal and envy separate the two – one to the US, the other to Israel. Now, in their 90s, destiny is set to reunite them.
Director / Scriptwriter: Adam Weingord
Producer: Kobi Mizrahi
Production company: KM Productions
Close Encounters films
The Close Encounters track initiates meetings between filmmakers and international commissioning editors, sales agents, producers and other investors. The 30-minute one-on-one sessions are billed as “an opportunity for Israeli filmmakers to secure new funding and international coproduction opportunities.”
The Close Encounters track supports projects at various stages of production, from development to late production and editing.
Meir Dagan has spent his life developing creative ways to win Israel’s wars. In early 2016, as cancer ravaged his body, he sat down for a rare series of intimate interviews to discuss his place in the country’s history and where Israel is today.
Director/Co-producer: Dror Moreh
Producer: Sol Goodman
Production company: DMP Films
The assassination of Rudolf Israel Kasztner, a Holocaust survivor accused of hiding the truth of Nazi deportations from his fellow Jews in exchange for the freedom of those he saved, is at the center of a lawsuit against Israel’s secret service, which claims even now, 66 years later, that declassifying the case files could harm state security.
Director: Yariv Mozer
Producer: Michal Weits
Production company: HSCC – Slutzky Communications
Associated broadcasters: Kan 11
THE MAN WHO DREAMED BOOKS
Michel George El-Raheb owns a bookstore café in Jaffa, a city where Arabic texts are difficult to come by. In his quest to provide Arabic books to the public, Michel discovers that their absence is not accidental, but by design of the Hebrew state.
Director/ Producer: Yaniv Berman
Co-director / co-Producer: Tony Copti
Production company: Fresco Films
Associated broadcasters: Kan – Israeli Public Broadcast Corporation
YIGAL AMIR – A JOURNEY INTO A KILLER’S SOUL
A month after assassinating Israeli prime minister Yitzak Rabin, Yigal Amir was interviewed for internal purposes. His interrogators found not just a killer but a confident young man eager to share his political beliefs and convinced that he sacrificed himself to save the Jewish people. This film challenges his ideas.
Director: Yossi Bloch
Producer: Osnat Saraga
Production company: Ananey Studios
Rough Cut films
The Rough Cut track is a screening program of selected documentaries at the rough cut stage.
During CoPro’s 25th Market, seven high-profile documentaries will be presented exclusively to a selected group of commissioning editors, distributors, buyers, and other professionals seeking to acquire documentary films. According to organizers, the goal of “is to generate creative, constructive discussions with the filmmakers that will assist the projects’ entry into the international market and promote their sales.”
AFTER THE EVIL
Gitta Sereny is an Austrian–British investigative journalist, author, and pioneering profiler of evil minds. She investigates the psychological mechanisms behind such people as child murderer Mary Bell and Nazi commandant Franz Stangl.
Director: Tamara Erde
Producer: Laurent Lavole
Production company: Gloria Films Production
Distributor / Sales agent: Urban Distribution / Reservoir Docs
Sapir Berman, the first transgender person to become a professional league soccer referee, is part of a global reckoning that is gripping the world of professional sports.
Director: Liran Atzmor
Producer: Orly Topel
Production company: Kol-Miney Hafakot
Distributor / Sales agent: Keshet
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