Miri Regev
Miri RegevHadas Porush, Flash 90

The Knesset passed Monday night in second and third readings Culture Minister Miri Regev’s amendment to the “Cinema Law.” The law passed with 44 votes in favor, 32 against.

The law aims to open up the Israeli film industry to a broader range of filmmakers within Israeli society.

According to the law, 20 million shekels will be added to the annual film budget, and the number of “readers” appointed in Israeli film funds, most of which rely heavily on government funding, will increase. Readers go over film scripts and determine the eligibility of filmmakers to receive funds.

The law also stipulates that the film funds must employ readers exclusively according to criteria detailed in the law and from a pool of candidates approved by the Israeli Council for Cinema in the Culture Ministry. Further, funding will ideally be directed towards private producers whose films were successful, or towards the encouragement of filmmaking in the Israeli “periphery” and in Judea and Samaria.

Regev described the law ahead of its passage as a way of opening up the film industry to “the entire Israeli public.”

“There are those who choose to sow hysteria, and there are those who choose to make history. No longer an exclusive club, but specifically the entire Israeli public will take part in the Israeli film industry, our ambassador around the world, as well.

“The time has come for the Cinema Law to allow film for the various sectors: Haredim, Arabs and more. For a year and a half, the committee [appointed by Regev to investigate the film funds] investigated Israeli cinema - where else do you find something like this, that readers are chosen by the funds? It’s like leaving the cat to guard the cream.”

“The time has come to bring new voices into the closed forum. We will enable Zionist, Jewish, Arab and Haredi cinema, and these are new things that didn’t exist before,” she said.

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