Steve Tisch, a world-renowned filmmaker and a co-owner of the New York Football Giants, has donated $10 million to Tel Aviv University's Department of Film and Television. The donation comes amidst a boom in the Israeli film and television industry – with much of it driven by TAU alumni - and will help fuel its continued growth across the globe, a spokesperson for Tisch said. With the expansion, the prestigious department will become a full school named "The Steve Tisch School of Film and Television" at Tel Aviv University.
The money will be used to expand programs, and provide scholarships and assistance for more students, Tel Aviv University said. Tisch's donation and name will also bring Hollywood know-how and increased visibility to the department, currently ranked among the top 15 international film schools, and help further cement Israel's growing reputation as "Hollywood on the Mediterranean,” Tel Aviv University said.
Tisch is the only person to have won an Academy Award - as a producer of Forrest Gump, which won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1994 - as well as two Super Bowl rings as Chairman of the Giants.
"The ability to tell stories is critical to increasing dialogue and understanding, something the world is certainly in need of," said Tisch. "Tel Aviv University is at the forefront of nurturing and growing creative, talented and diverse voices from across Israel and the region. I'm very pleased to support their efforts and honored by their recognition."
"Steve Tisch's commitment to the film school is a tremendous vote of confidence in the talent of our students and faculty members," said President of Tel Aviv University Joseph Klafter. "The new Steve Tisch School of Film and Television will not only enhance academic training and knowledge in the discipline, but will also strengthen Israel's influence on the cinematic arts globally," Prof. Klafter said.