The second annual Israeli Forum for International Coproductions, held in Tel Aviv from April 23-24 alongside the DocAviv film festival (April 21-26), brought exposure to local doc-makers and resulted in at least one confirmed deal.
The pitch for Diamond and Rust – The Spirit of Namibia, directed and produced by Adi Barash and Ruth Shatz, convinced Rudy Buttignol, creative head of documentaries for Canada’s TVOntario, to sign on. ‘I love the project . . . to me it’s a real Upstairs, Downstairs.’ The doc looks at life on a diamond mining vessel, and the sharp contrast in living conditions between the ship owners and the workers. TVO’s financial contribution to the US$138,000 has not yet been finalized, but Israel’s Channel 1 is in for $40,000 and the New Israel Foundation for Cinema and Television is in for an equal share.
Twenty-six projects were pitched in all, to a panel consisting of four commissioning editors: the BBC’s Nick Fraser; Rudy Buttignol from TVO; Katherine Brinkmann from ZDF/ARTE in Germany; TV2 Denmark’s Mette Hoffmann Meyer.