The Israeli Treasury has agreed to increase this year's annual film budget by almost 16% to $16m (67m shekels).

The Israeli Film Council will continue to be in charge of distributing this sum between the various funds, foundations and institutions involved in film activities across the country.

Only a few months ago, the Israeli film industry looked set to lose almost 50% of the subsidies it was accorded by the Treasury.

The existing $14m (58m shekels) funding agreement was set to expire, and state officials had let it be known they intend to reduce the sum to less than $7.6m (32m shekels). A united lobbying effort from all sides of the industry to avoid that result has unexpectedly succeeded at the last minute following months of haggling.

And in another united front, the country's film and TV unions have joined forces following the announcement by Israel's commercial TV channels that, given the current economic crisis, they unlikely to fulfill their home production quota.

According to Israeli law, the operators of the Second Channel, as well as Channel 10, are granted their licenses on condition they make a significant contribution to the local industry, including a specific investment in feature films and documentaries.

Separate unions representing some 4000 producers, directors, screenwriters, editors, actors, and other film and television workers intend to go on strike next week to demand that the broadcasters fulfill their obligations.