School teams with ARP Selection for award; Cameron Bailey, Alberto Barbera among jury.

A $500,000 film fund for first-time filmmakers has been launched in Israel for graduates of Jerusalem’s Sam Spiegel Film School.

The school has teamed up with French producer and distributor ARP Selection to invest $100,000 in one feature project a year for five years. Both partners will contribute $50,000 a year, with ARP taking French distribution rights to the project.   

The winning script will be selected by an international jury comprised of Cameron Bailey, artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival, Alberto Barbera, director of the Venice Film Festival, Michèle Halberstadt of ARP Sélection, France), and Renen Schorr, founding director of the Sam Spiegel Film School, in the first year.

They will announce their decision on March 24, 2015, as part of the School’s Silver Jubilee celebrations.

“Initiating a platform like this for our alumni is an exciting and special moment for us,” said Schorr. “Our fund is a fast lane for a film that must be made. The money itself, as well as the prestigious international jury, will give the project a stamp of faith, quality and prestige, shortening the funding process still to come. This way, each film can be made with the best possible production value the script deserves.”

Sam Spiegel alumni include Talya Lavie, writer-director of the award-winning festival hit Zero Motivation and Nir Bergman, whose credits include Broken Wings, Intimate Grammar and TV series In Treatment.