Internationalfilm producers can now apply to Israeli film funds for financing thanks torecent changes in the Israeli Film Law.

A new clause recently added to the Film Law allows localfilm funds to invest in international film productions whose themes promoteIsrael's national interests - whether there is Israeli participation in thefilm's production or not.

The first film to benefit was Lajos Koltai's Hungarianfeature Fateless, which played in competition at Berlin. It received$250,000 from Tel Aviv's Cinema Project fund, run by Giora Eini.

An autobiographical account of a teenager's survival in theNazi extermination camps, it was seen as highly eligible for the new type ofsupport.

Eini said that his $250,000 contribution to Fateless coveredonly 2% of the film's budget, but helped to enhance the profile of the Israelifilm industry.

The move to open up the local funds to internationalproducers has caused complaints in Israel from producers who say there are onlymodest funds available for local film-makers.

Internationalproducers can apply direct to the main Israeli funds for financing. Thecountry's two main funds are the Israeli Film Fund, whose total budget is$5.4m, and the Cinema Project, which has $3.5m in funds to invest.