Also, Hiam Abbass’ debut feature, drama The Inheritance will shoot in early 2011.
Preparations for the new Emir Kusturica project, a crazy comedy entitled Cool Water, are going into high gear, with the shoot scheduled to start this November, in Israel and Palestine.
A fresh, new and wildly irreverent approach to the Middle East conflict, the script written by Hamburg-based Israeli Gabi Burstein spins the story of two Palestinian brothers from East Jerusalem who have to fulfill their late father’s last wish. He wanted to be buried in his home town, Ramallah, only about 40 minutes away from East Jerusalem, if not for the border separating them and the strict Israeli rules that forbid taking the body across. This means the two brothers, who don’t get along very well with each other, have no other choice but to smuggle his corpse into the Palestinian territory.
This is just the opening gambit for a typical Kusturica surreal sequence of adventures which sets out to touch every exposed nerve in the area, including Russian criminals, terrorism and suicide bombers. The co-production is a joint venture between Marek Rozenbaum’s Transfax Productions in Israel, Frank Geiger in Germany and Wild Bunch in France and the budget is $5.5m (Euros 4.5m).
In a completely different take on Palestinian life in Israel, Parisian-based, Nazareth-born Palestinian actress Hiam Abbass debut feature, a drama entitled The Inheritance intends to tell the story of a Palestinian family living in a village close to the Lebanese border and the crises erupting between the siblings as the health and the authority of the patriarch who was running them all with an iron fist, is declining. To be shot mostly but not only in Jish, an Arab village in northern Galilee, the cast will re-unite Abbass, who plays one of the leads, with some of her Syrian Bride colleagues, including Makhram Khoury and his daughter Clara.
A co-production between Israel, France and Canada with hefty participation of the Israeli Film Fund, the project is due to start shooting early next year, under producers Yaniv Mozer (Mozer Films) and Arik Bernstein (Alma Films) in Israel, Nicholas Blanc (Agat Films) in France and Ina Fichman (Intuitive Pictures) in Canada for a budget of $2.5 million.