Magazine article Variety

Indie Sales Lights Zoabi's 'Fire'

Magazine article Variety

Indie Sales Lights Zoabi's 'Fire'

Article excerpt

SAMEH ZOABI is set to direct "Tel Aviv on Fire," a high-concept comedy starring Kais Nashef and Lubna Azabal, who both starred in the Oscar-nominated Palestinian film "Paradise Now." Indie Sales has acquired the film, which marks Zoabi's third feature.

The Paris-based sales outfit is at the Venice Film Festival with a slate that includes Ziad Doueiri's Lebanon-set drama "The Insult," which world-premiered in competition on the Lido.

Zoabi, who is Arab-Israeli, graduated from Columbia University and won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival's Cinefondation with his 2005 student short, "Be Quiet." His feature debut, "Man Without a Cell Phone," played at the Jerusalem Film Festival, and his sophomore outing, "Under the Same Sun," is set in a near future where peace between Israel and Palestine has been made. Zoabi also collaborated with Hany Abu-Assad on the screenplay of "The Idol."

"Tel Aviv on Fire," set in contemporary Israel, revolves around Salam, a 30-year-old Palestinian living in Jerusalem who works as an intern on a hugely popular TV soap called "Tel Aviv on Fire," which is about an illicit love affair between a Palestinian female spy and an Israeli general in 1967. …

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