Israeli film-maker Amos Gitai is turning to French and Italian finance once again for his next film, Kedma. But he also hopes that the new picture will become the first of his oeuvre to gain official funding from his native Israel.
After TF1 and Les Films Balenciaga produced his Venice competition picture Eden, MK2 will bankroll Kedma, which is planned to shoot in December this year. Co-financiers are set to include Arte, Canal Plus and Italian pay-TV group TelePiu.
The 1948-set film follows the adventures of a group of Central European immigrants who arrive in the newly established Israel by boat. The story is entirely contained within the first 24 hours of their arrival and sees them become involved in skirmishes on the road to Jerusalem.
Gitai, who lived in the US and only returned to live in Israel in 1994, has until now had little contact with the local industry He says that he hopes to receive investment from the Committee for Quality In Israeli Cinema. "Parliament has recently passed a law that allows film financing and we hope to have matching investment from them now."
Casting is not yet finalised, but Gitai says that he is in talks to employ many of the actors who appeared in his previous film Kadosh and his most praised film to date Kippour.
Meanwhile, Telepiu, which is awaiting the government greenlight for its proposed merger with Stream, before stepping up its involvement in production, has already had a major impact at Venice. It pre-bought six films in competition: Giuseppe Piccioni's Light Of My Eyes (Luce Dei Miei Occhi), Antonio Capuano's Luna Rossa, Alejandro Amenabar's The Others, Goran Paskaljevik's When Harry Became A Tree, Clare Peploe's The Triumph Of Love and Gitai's Eden.
From the Cinema Del Presente section it also bought Giuseppe Bertolucchi's L'Amore Probabilmente, Giovanni Davide Maderna's L'Amore Imperfetto, Paolo Sorrentino's L'Uomo In Piu, Teresa Villaverde's controversial Agua E Sal and Benoit Jacquot's Tosca.