A group of Israeli actors, which includes local stars such as Gila Almagor, Amos Lavi, Sami Houri and Shmil Ben Ari, has formed a breakaway actors'' union.

Called Screen Actors Union (SAU), the organisation competes with existing union EMI (the initials stand for "Artists Union" in Hebrew), which SAU''s founding members claim no longer serves their needs. The new organisation says it is poised to sign contracts with all major film and TV companies in Israel.

SAU''s first meeting took place last week during which a temporary board was elected consisting of actors Sharon Alexander, Avital Dikker, Danny Shteg, Harel Nof, Yoram Hatav and Moshe Ivgi.