Producer Aurit Zamir has been named as the new director of the Jerusalem-based Sam Spiegel International Film Lab (JSFL), replacing Renen Schorr who created the lab in 2011 under the auspices of the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School (JSFS) which he also spearheaded.
Zamir is a graduate of the school and has been head of the entrepreneurial producing programme since 2018. She is also the co-founder of Tel Aviv-based Gum Films alongside Yoav Roeh, which she launched shortly after she graduated in 2008.
Its credits include Amichai Greenberg’s The Testament, which premiered in Venice’s Horizons section; Noam Kaplan’s immigration drama Manpower, and Maya Kenig’s father and daughter drama Off White Lies, which played in the Berlinale’s Generation 14plus in 2012, and Ruthy Pribar’s upcoming drama Asia.
Focused on first and second-time features by Israeli and international directors, the JSFL is the only lab in the world initiated and run by a film school. Productions it has helped develop include Son Of Saul, The Kindergarten Teacher, Run, One Week And A Day and Fig Tree.
Under the seven-month programme, the selected projects are developed with the support of Israeli and international script editors. They are then presented to international producers, sales agents and festival programmers at a special pitching event in Jerusalem in July.
”Directing the JSFL is an exciting challenge for me. I expect to continue in the pioneering spirit in which the JSFL was born and run, and with a belief in exceptional stores – and those who tell them,” said Zamir.
Dana Blankstein Cohen, who succeeded Schorr as director of the JSFS in October, said she had confidence in Zamir to continue the lab’s work
“She is a combination of extraordinary abilities and a deep knowledge of the school as well as the international film world,” she said.
Schorr, who stepped down from both his roles at the school and lab in a long-planned move, endorsed Zamir’s appointment, saying: ”Aurit is a great and courageous graduate of our school.”
The lab is supported by the Beracha Foundation, Mifal Hapayis, the Jerusalem Foundation, the Sam Spiegel Foundation, the Jerusalem Film Fund. Additional support has been given by the Israel Film Council, and the Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts.
The lab will open calls for its ninth edition in mid-March.