A program aimed at connecting promising American and Israeli filmmakers, the inaugural edition of the Bloom/Spiegel Partnership is set to introduce its eight fellows at Tribeca Film Festival.
The Bloom/Spiegel Partnership, an alliance between New York’s IFP Marcie Bloom Fellowship in Film and Jerusalem’s prestigious Sam Spiegel Film School, selected Albert Tholen, Antoneta Kusijanovic, Elianette Foumbi, Richard Miron, Ariel Richter, Benjamin Domenech, Eitan Mansuri and Stav Meron to participate in the five-day program.
As part of the initiative, the four Sam Spiegel film grads (Richter, Domenech, Mansuri and Meron) traveled to New York to meet with their American counterparts (Tholen, Kusijanovic, Foumbi, Miron), as well as participate in Tribeca festivities. Hosted at the New York offices of production/financing banner Tadmor, the program allows its participants to meet with several professionals, including Anthony Bregman, Nick Britell, Tristine Skyler, Sarna Lapine, David Kaplan, Alysia Reiner, Sonia Hines, Terence Hines and David Alan Basche.
From those meetings, which are taking place in an intimate salon-like atmosphere in the tradition of the Marcie Bloom Fellowship, filmmakers will learn about entrepreneurship through a variety of creative lenses.
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“This collaboration with the Sam Spiegel Film School extends the MBFF’s outreach across borders, and connects an ever expanding Israeli film industry with our local New York based film culture,” said Bloom, who is working hand-in-hand with Dylan Leiner, the exec VP of acquisition and production at Sony Pictures Classics, and Alex Uhlmann, an indie producer.
“Since its inception nearly a decade ago, the IFP Marcie Bloom Fellowship in Film has created an environment that fosters talent by encouraging curiosity and risk taking as the Fellows pursue rich and meaningful ideas in their work,” said Leiner and Uhlmann.
“Sony Classics has not yet been involved with a filmmaker who has come through the Marcie Bloom Fellowship in Film but it would be so wonderful if and when that does occur,” Leiner told Variety. “We love getting to know young filmmakers from Israel and already have a long track record of working with them,” added Leiner, citing Eran Kolirin’s “The Band’s Visit,”Nir Bergman’s “Broken Wings” and Samuel Maoz’s “Lebanon,” among others.
Eyal Rimmon, who runs Tadmor, said the outfit was backing the Bloom/Spiegel initiative to help elevate “unique voices to the top” and get them to create “quality content” which is more crucial than ever in today’s crowded marketplace.
The eight participants of this first Bloom/Spiegel Partnership edition have wide-ranging backgrounds and experiences.
The Cameroon-born Foumbi, who is currently pursuing her MFA in directing at Columbia University, produced “Nocturne in Black,” the 2016 Gold Student Academy Award-Winning film which went on to be shortlisted for the Oscars in the live-action short category.
Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic is a daring Croatian-born, New York-based filmmaker whose most recent short, “Into the Blue,” a tense coming of age exploring the dark side of desire, played at the Berlinale this year and won the special international jury mention.
The Yale-educated Miron, who previously received the IFP Marcie Bloom Fellowship in Film, is currently directing, producing and editing his first feature documentary, “For The Birds” which participated in the 2016 IFP Documentary Labs.
Tholen is the co-founder of artist/filmmaker collective Zakkubalan and member of NYC production companies Good Baby Films and People’s Television.
Meanwhile, from Israel, Mansuri was a producer on Ari Folman’s “The Congress,” Elad Keidan’s “Afterthought,” Hagar Ben Asher’s “The Burglar” and Nimrod Eldar’s “The Day After I’m Gone” which won the Sam Spiegel 2015 Alumni Fund).
Stav Meron created and produced “Love Letter to Cinema,” a series of 10 short films made by leading Israeli directors which traveled to the Berlinale, Locarno, MOMA, Tokyo, among others. She is currently in pre-production for two narrative features.
The L.A.-born Richter directed the short documentary “The Mute House”, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Oscar.
Lastly, Domenech, who participated at the Sam Spiegel International Film Lab twice, runs his own production banner, Rei Cine, and has produced “History of Fear,” “Sand Dollars,” “Leones” and most recently “Kill Me Please.”