Magazine article Screen International

Jerusalem Pitch Point Set to Welcome Seven Projects for 12th Edition

Magazine article Screen International

Jerusalem Pitch Point Set to Welcome Seven Projects for 12th Edition

Article excerpt

Maya Kenig, Idan Hubel and Tawfik Abu Wael set for 2017 Pitch Point.

A black comedy revolving around breastfeeding, a Palestinian transgender drama and a coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of an Israeli settlement are among the features due to be unveiled at Jerusalem Pitch Point presentation today and tomorrow (July 16-17).

The competitive event, which takes place within the framework of Jerusalem Film Festival’s (JFF) industry programme, is designed to connect local filmmakers and their producers with international partners.

Past participants include Maysaloun Hamoud’s In Between, Talya Lavie’s Zero Motivation and Rama Burshtein’s Fill The Void, as well as Scaffolding, The Cakemaker and Doubtful, which are competing in this year’s Israeli Feature Competition strand.

A total of seven feature projects and four rough cuts will be presented at the meeting. “We focused on quality over quantity,” says JFF industry chief Ariel Richter, who oversaw the selection. “Throughout the process, we asked ourselves, ‘Do we need to see this film?’”

Lucky seven

Maya Kenig will present dark comedy Milk, which is set against the backdrop of a human milk parlour where women are pumped like cows as part of a commercial dairy operation.

“We went crazy over this project when we were reading it. It’s so well-written. I told her [Kenig], ‘It’s the upbeat cousin of The Handmaid’s Tale,’” says Richter, referring to Margaret Atwood’s dystopian story of female suppression which has undergone a revival following its recent TV adaptation. Milk is Kenig’s second feature after her well-received 2012 comedy Off White Lies, which played at several festivals and was acquired by Film Movement for the US.

Palestinian filmmaker Tawfik Abu Wael will unveil drama Wise Hassan, about a young man sent on a mission from his Palestinian town to Tel Aviv to murder an Israeli known as Lulu, who turns out to be a loveable transgender prostitute.

It is Wael’s third feature after Thirst (Atash), which won the FIPRESCI prize at Cannes Critics’ Week in 2004 and scooped the best Israeli feature award at JFF the same year, and his more recent 2011 work Last Days In Jerusalem, which premiered at Locarno. “It’s a strong, sexy and packed story,” says Richter of Wise Hassan.

Idan Hubel will present crime-drama AGreat Light, about a female detective investigating the murder of a young girl by her father. …

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