The New Fund for Cinema and Television, the Israeli nonprofit whose support helped produce such films as “5 Broken Cameras” and “Waltz With Bashir,” on March 2 issued a call for submissions for a new incubator project designed to nurture Jewish and Arab female filmmakers in the region.
Greenhouse Women is based on the highly successful Greenhouse, a development workshop for documentary filmmakers initiated by the NFCT in conjunction with Turkey’s Ankara Cinema Assn., the Netherlands’ VOF Appel and Honigmann and Spain’s Zebra Prods. That program, which targets film school grads and emerging filmmakers from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Syria and Tunisia, selects up to 24 filmmakers each year for three intense five-day seminars paired with mentorship, feedback and training.
Greenhouse Women will start smaller, with NFCT execs saying they are seeking 12 talented young female filmmakers who together will represent all aspects of Israeli society – Jewish and Arab, religious and secular, as well as Ethiopian, Druze, Bedouin and others. The women will be matched with mentors and will also attend their own trio of five-day seminars, which will cover issues like storytelling, cinema production, proposal writing and how to pitch buyers.
“We realized the strength of a dialogue between filmmakers, who tend to be people who are very much committed, with a lot of political and social awareness,” says Sigal Yehuda, Greenhouse’s managing director. “There is a strength in dialogue among filmmakers.”
She and her staff decided to create a program specifically for women in Israel, she says, because Israeli society consists of several distinct communities who rarely interact with each other, all of whom can benefit from knowledge and training in the art of film.
Greenhouse Women is targeted at first-time filmmakers with some training in the field. Applicants must come with an idea for a full-length documentary film and supply a synopsis, statement of intent and rough budget. The deadline for submissions is April 15, 2014, and the first seminar will begin this summer.
“When women come from their own communities and talk about those communities in a film, it’s always stronger,” Yehuda says. “Its important for us to strengthen the filmmakers coming from these societies, so they can talk about their own issues.”