The Israel film fund was established in 1979 answering the need to create a public fund that will support Israeli filmmakers to realize their vision and talent, primarily supporting "art house" movies.
With an annual budget of 6 million Dollars, the main goal of the Fund is to facilitate the production of full length Israeli Feature Films produced by Israeli Production Companies and to support their marketing and distribution in Israel and Worldwide. Throughout the years the "Fund" has positioned itself as the central organization in the Israeli film industry supporting full length feature films.
Since its establishment the Fund is proud to have supported the production of more than 450 full length feature films which reflect the fascinating, complex and turbulent Israeli social and cultural fabric.
Many of the Israeli Films that were supported by the Fund have become milestones of the Israeli cultural heritage, among many: Hamsin; Shuru; Zohar; Beyond the Walls; Avanti Popolo; Late Summer Blues; Song of the Siren; Tel Aviv Stories; Life According to Agfa; Shchur; The Summer of Aviya; Love Sick on Nana St; Pick a Card; Yana's friends; Late Marriage; Broken Wings; Turn left at the End of the World; The Syrian Bride; Waltz with Bashir; The Band's Visit; Ajami; Lebanon; Eyes Wide Open; 5 Hours from Paris; A Matter of Size; Footnote; Gett; Zero Motivation; The Farewell Party; Foxtrot; and many more.
Every year, about 140 new scripts are being submitted, out of which 12-15 Films are selected and granted the support of the Fund. The Fund supports the development of about 30 scripts a year. The selection of the Films is based on the recommendations of the Fund’s directors, the professional consultants it employs and on the approval of the Board of Directors.
From the Idea to the Poster: Over the years and especially in the last decade the scope of the Fund's support has expanded and it now incorporates the whole production process - from the "Idea to the Poster" - the Israel film fund assists, consults and funds film projects from the initial starting point of the idea and development of the script to the full film production including marketing and distribution in Israel and Worldwide.
First Feature: In the last 10 years 37% of the Israeli films that were produced with the support of the Israel Film Fund were debut films.
The decision to support first features was not the outcome of a deliberate policy it is based solely on the cinematic merits of the scripts and the projects. The Fund's policy of taking risks and giving chances has proven itself as many of the Israeli films which led the breakthrough of Israeli cinema came from first time directors. The debut films brought with them a renewed spirit that has revived Israeli filmmaking.
Film Promotion: As part of its activity the Fund acts as a film promotion unit and is present in all the major international festivals promoting Israeli cinema worldwide.
Audience development: Over the last 15 years the Israel Film fund has put special emphasis into audience development and the development of Israeli Film culture, recognizing the need to have a solid audience to Israeli films. The task of reaching out to the audience cannot be left only to the distributors and exhibitors and as a film funding agency it is within the Fund's responsibility to be committed to support the films via audience development.
The Israel Film Fund reaches out to audiences throughout the country and keeps on maintaining the audience for Israeli Cinema through marketing and publicity as well as film literacy, film education and film culture.
The main objective of these activities is to keep the brand "Israeli Films" alive and visible, connect with the audiences and maintain thier engagement and interest in Israeli Feature films.
Genre Films: Reaching out and developing a local audience includes tapping into “niche” audiences. This promoted the senior citizens outreach and also opening up to "genre" films which have mostly a large young audience. To reach this goal the Fund initiated special production support schemes for genre films" – such as horror, thrillers, sci-fi, comedies and zombie movie. The Israel Film fund has acknowledged the importance of the Genre films in keeping the dynamic and creative energy of the local film Industry.
The “Guerilla” section: The fund initiated the "The Guerilla super-law-budget films” which enables filmmakers to submit to the fund with a relatively quick selection process. If the Fund's directors and consultants decide that the script has a good potential and the production is feasible, i.e. – a total budget of Euro 225,000 and with the fund’s support of up to Euro 100,000, the project gets a green light and gets the Fund's support.
This section gives young filmmakers an opportunity to make a first feature and build a professional portfolio for themselves. The films submitted in this section have proven themselves to be daring, powerful and innovative and some of them gained local and international success.
The Fund is committed to keep on supporting and encouraging Israeli filmmakers to be truthful to themselves and to realize their creativity and vision with total creative freedom. Keeping an open eye and mind on policy and action the The Israel Film Fund is committed to keep on safegurading the free spirit of Israeli cinema.