Magazine article Screen International

Efrat Corem, Ben Zaken

Magazine article Screen International

Efrat Corem, Ben Zaken

Article excerpt

Sapir College graduate Efrat Corem explores the very personal universe of her hometown of Ashkelon.

"This is the kind of film that expects its viewers to have the patience to listen and watch, even if they don't agree with what they see on the screen," says Efrat Corem, writer-director of Ben Zaken, one of the first two films to come out of Sapir College, in the south of the country and very close to the Gaza Strip.

For the last five years, Corem was artistic director of Festival Darom (Cinema South Film Festival), an event organised by her alma mater and Sderot Cinematheque for the benefit of a popu- lation deprived of the film luxuries that abound in cities such as Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa.

Cannes screened Corem's first short film, Your Younger Daughter Rachel, in 2007, but embarking on a feature film was a completely different matter.

"Moving from a graduation short to a full-length feature was a major step, mentally. It took me no less than six years to write the script, and once I

met my producer, Itai Tamir, I needed yet another year to organise the pre-production, cast the picture and shoot it, though that was the shortest process of them all -- only 16 days."

The funds to complete the film, $335,000 (ils1.14m), came from several sources. "Israel Film Fund was one of them, the Gesher Fund whose purpose is to encourage productions in the periph- eries, added their contribution and even Festival Darom and my school, Sapir College

pitched in with a grant, which was very encouraging," Corem says. …

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