Israeli Cash Enticing Hollywood to Film in Jerusalem
Israel is fed up with Hollywood’s duplicating Jerusalem in other countries for movie sites and is offering filmmakers cash incentives.
The latest financial offers follow interest from the Indian ”Bollywood” film industry to produce movies in Israel.
The fear of terror has proven too great for most Hollywood filmmakers to take advantage of ancient and modern Jerusalem, as well as other popular spots such as Tel Aviv and the Dead Sea, despite a three-year-old law offering insurance for terror attacks.
The 2008 law was too complicated to be of practical use .
The Jerusalem Film Fund was set up as the same time to attract Hollywood but has not been able to overcome the constant fear that a terrorist attack would explode in film stars’ faces.
The Fund’s director Yoram Honig told the Associated Press, "It's absurd. Movies set in Jerusalem are filmed in Malta, Morocco and Greece. If they think it's expensive and dangerous, they won't want to come."
Jerusalem now is adding cash incentives so that millions of movie-goers around the world will be able to see the real Jerusalem, possibly encouraging them to visit.
Not all of the films would be welcome by the religious community. One prospective film involves a story of an Italian nun wanting romance with a hareidi religious Jew.
On the other hand, another movie that may be filmed in Jerusalem concerns the 1961 Eichmann trial in Jerusalem.
Films produced outside the country and using replicas of Jerusalem include “World War Z” and "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," which shows an escape from a Jerusalem prison.