Yoram Honig to leave Jerusalem Film & Television Fund

Honig, responsible for bringing both homegrown and Hollywood productions to the city, will be replaced by Eyal Benvenisti.
Yoram Honig to leave Jerusalem Film & Television Fund

After fourteen years at the helm of the Jerusalem Film & Television Fund, Yoram Honig will be leaving his post. Honig was the founder of the fund -- the first municipal film fund in the country. Since its inception, it has become a leading force that invests in the development of Israeli and international film and television productions, animation projects, digital content and more.

Past projects funded by the JFTF include Eran Riklis' 2014 film Dancing Arabs (renamed A Borrowed Identity) and his 2010 titleThe Human Resources Manager, as well as Natalie Portman's 2015 film A Tale of Love and Darkness, which was adapted from the work of Amos Oz. Honig drew Israel’s most celebrated directors to Jerusalem, including Avi Nesher, who made three films there, and significant portions of Joseph Cedar’s Norman, starring Richard Gere, were shot there.

During his tenure, there were also several TV series filmed in Jerusalem, including Shtisel which has already filmed three seasons in the city and is available to stream on Netflix. Honig noted: “From 1948 to 2008, there were over 700 movies made in Israel, and only about 30 were filmed in Jerusalem. And of those filmed in Jerusalem, about 90 percent featured stereotyped religious characters. But since we started up, we’ve funded dozens of films set in Jerusalem, and also many television series.” The fund has supported over 80 films and television series.

Honig figured out a way to offer cash rebates to those making movies in Jerusalem, years before it was an issue that was seriously discussed on the national level. He also managed to provide work for ultra-Orthodox women among the fund's employees.

Lately, Honig could be seen in an acting cameo in Nadav Lapid's 2021 film Ahed's Knee but it is not to pursue an acting career that he's leaving the fund. He is working on The Social Space, a new venture that will combine artistic projects with therapeutic and other community services, and also plans to renovate and make use of abandoned buildings throughout Jerusalem. Maybe those will turn into future film sets, or even a much needed production facility in the city.

Eyal Benvenisti will replace Honig. Benvenisti graduated from the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel School of Film and Television with honors, and his short films have been shown in international festivals. Most recently he was creative director of television at KAN -- the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation.

The Jerusalem Film & Television Fund will host a special program of events in the “Industry Days” section of the Jerusalem Film Festival, highlighting the Jerusalem film industry, where Honig and many members of the film industry will speak about their work.

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