Katriel Schory, Executive-Director of the Israel Film Fund will step down from his position by the end of this year after 20 years. He notified the Fund's board of directors early November.
During the time Schory has been Executive-Director of the Israel Film Fund more than 300 full-length feature films were approved for production.
Schory said that he is stepping down with a sense of accomplishment due to having managed to contribute in a variety of actions to the successful journey Israeli Cinema has taken during his time. He said that among others he is proud of the fact that he managed to promote young and new filmmakers; to greenlight films that express Israel's cultural diversity; and to have regained Israeli audience trust in Israeli films.
Thorough out his term in office, Schory managed to establish a solid relationship with the heads of International film organizations who have become supporters and partners to the success of Israeli cinema. This support is evident in the millions of dollars that have been internationally raised and invested in Israeli cinema and have helped support Israeli cinema which faces constant financial difficulties.
Schory was a prominent partner in the policy making process which created changes that paved the way to the breakthrough of Israeli Cinema and has been engaged and committed to the struggles of Israeli cinema and its promotion in Israel and worldwide.
In the end of the 80's and beginning of the 90's, he was the chairman of the Producers guild and introduced structural changes within the organization's activity. In 1999, he accepted the role of executive director of the Israel Film Fund. During this time, he has led and influenced a significant process of renewal in Israeli cinema. In 2001, the New Cinema law came into effect, of which too, Schory was amongst its promoters and initiators.
At the request of the film community and the Fund's board, Schory agreed to continue and serve as a consultant on International Relations and activities.
In his letter, Katriel Schory writes:
"In my 20 years in the Fund, I tried my best to serve the Film community "without fear and without favor".
I am grateful that I was given the opportunity to greenlight and authorize the production of more than 300 full-length narrative feature-films, many of them – International Co-Productions.
I am thankful that I was able to take part and contribute to (I dare say) the dramatic comeback of the Israeli Cinema, which regained domestic and international recognition, success and acclaim.
This could not have happened without the spirit, talent, commitment, the creative energy and freedom of the Israeli Film Community.
This could not have happened without, our friends from all over the world, who have kept encouraging, promoting and embracing the Israeli Films and Filmmakers.
It has been for me a great source of strength and encouragement.
I will remain in my role and will be working with the Board and with the New CEO, when elected, in order to ensure a smooth transition.
In short, I am not yet "hanging the gloves" and will continue to do all I can to safeguard the complete creative freedom of the Israeli Filmmakers.
The Israeli Cinema, mainly because of its great achievements turned these days into an easy target for politicians, who in relentless efforts to change the existing cinema law and with a series of senseless and damaging regulations try to impose measures with the aim to curb the creative freedom and independent thinking.
We in the Israeli film community are determined to overcome these hurdles and continue to safeguard the Israeli cinema, which is so precious to us all.
We are all friends in a blessed community of storytellers, we live our dreams and work doing what we love most.
I am honored to be a member, and I plan to stay active and continue to contribute and share all I have learned in the many years in the world of films."