JERUSALEM– The Jerusalem Film Festival’s Pitch Point, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary, awarded its two prizes to Maysaloun Hamud’s “In Between” and Udi Aloni’s “The Last Verse.”
Presented in the work-in-progress section, “The Last Verse” is a social and musical drama revolving around the true story of Tamer Nafar, a Palestinian rap artist who grew up in a project in the city of Lod where Jews and Palestinians live together and thrived in creating a vibrant hip-hop scene. Aloni described the film’s atmosphere as a mix between “8 Mile” and “Ghost Dog.”
Budgeted at $1.3 million, “The Last Verse” is produced by David Silber at Metro Communications, Lawrence Inglee and Stefan Arndt.
“In Between,” pitched at script stage, is a bittersweet coming-of-age tale turning on Leila, Salma and Nour, three twenty-something Palestinian women who are citizens of Israel and live under the same roof in Tel Aviv. Leila is a criminal lawyer who parties hard every night, Salma is a lesbian, DJ/Musician from a liberal Christian family, while Nour is a religious Muslim girl who is engaged. The movie examines the internal duality that these woman experience as they are caught between hometown traditions and their urge to be independent, as well as face sexism and racism, per Hamud.
Pic is produced by Shlomi Elkabetz, the co-writer/co-director and producer of Golden-Globe-nominated “Gett, The Trial of Viviane Amsalem,” which world premiered at Cannes’ Directors Fortnight in 2014. “In Between” has been backed by the Israel Film Fund.
The Pitch Point jury comprised vet industryite Ira Deutchman, managing partner of Emerging Pictures, Karni Ziv, head of drama and comedy at Keshet Media Group, Miroslav Mogorovic, topper of Arts&Popcorn Motion Picture shingle and Nelleke Driessen, managing director of Fortissimo Films Amsterdam.