The Israel Documentary Screen Market

It is pitching session edition number 13 that is arranged by Orna Yarmut and her crew. Amazing how it has developed, take a look at the site and see the many activities that are offered Israeli filmmakers. Here is a quote for what it is about, from the site:

”Copro is the first and only organization of its sort in Israel that serves as an independent marketing channel for documentary films. CoPro is a registered non-profit organization that promotes the making of documentaries in Israel by arranging for Israeli filmmakers and producers to meet television network executives and producers from around the world, thereby creating a cultural dialogue and encouraging joint productions… CoPro works to pass on to millions of households around the world the message of Israeli and Palestinian documentary filmmakers and their angle on the complexities of Israeli society. This way it provides audiences with fresh viewpoints and understandings of life in Israel…”

I spent three days in Tel Aviv meeting the filmmakers of the 24 projects that have been selected to be pitched to a panel of film fund representatives and broadcasters from all over the world at the ned of May. Many of the projects had a link to holocaust and to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For the latter category all with a criticism of the Israeli policy as it unfolds right now, many with quite a courageous attack on the settlement policy or the activities around the checkpoints or interviews with soldiers who took part in the non-media-coverage war in Gaza. Luckily there were also positive, yet conflicted stories, like one that has a young Arab Israeli teacher as the leading character, who teaches arabic language and tolerance to kids in a Jewish school.

Israeli documentaries have been quite strong in the past decade. Compared to many other countries the filmmakers have quite a few options for funding – tv stations like YesDocu and several funds play a role, to put it in another way, there are many doors to knock on for the filmmakers. And with Orna Yarmut and her initiative they have the best promoter they could ask for. 

Still: A Film Unfinished by Yael Hersonski (2008) was pitched at CoPro some years ago.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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