The Bloom/Spiegel Partnership, an alliance between New York’s IFP Marcie Bloom Fellowship in Film and Jerusalem’s prestigious Sam Spiegel Film School, has selected 8 filmmakers from around the world who will participate in the program’s second edition.
This year’s participants, Alik Barsoumian, Daliso Leslie, Clare Sackler, Ostin Fam (selected by Bloom), and Dana Blankstein-Cohen, Avishay Kahana, Maya Fischer and Sol Goodman (selected by Sam Spiegel), will spend time with other directors, industry professionals, and attend screenings and events over a period of five days. Tribeca Film Festival provided passes to all participants of the Bloom/Spiegel Partnership.
“We started this program last year as a bit of an experiment and the experience was so inspiring that we have entered into a second year of the partnership. Through this program we seek to expand our community, build international friendships and enrich the next generation of filmmakers,” said Dylan Leiner and Alex Uhlmann, the co-directors of the IFP Marcie Bloom Fellowship in Film.
Barsoumian, a New York-based Armenian-American filmmaker, graduated from NYU and had her thesis film, “Antouni,” premiere at Toronto in 2016. Barsoumian is currently developing a web series set in New York and a feature film set in modern-day rural Armenia.
Born in Zambia and raised in Florida, Leslie is a student of NYU’s graduate film department. He received the Spike Film Production Grant for this upcoming thesis film, “White Wedding.” His next film, “Mothers of the Dead” will center on a a black woman whose son was killed by police and who attempts to rebuild her life with the help of his white girlfriend.
Sackler is an American filmmaker who worked in development and production in L.A. before graduating from NYU in 2017. Her short film “Humpty” was recently distributed through PBS’s Film School Shorts program. She is currently developing several projects including a science fiction comedy pilot and two feature film comedies — one of which is being written by Todd Bartels and Michael Mitnick and produced by Tanya Wexler and Laura Ivey. Expected to begin shooting New York this Summer, the film will follow a free-spirited woman grappling with the realities of adulthood and long-term commitments as she nears her 30th birthday.
Born in Vietman and based in New York, Fam graduated from Wesleyan University and received the Steven J. Ross Prize for his senior film thesis. Fam is currently finishing the screenplay of his first feature, “Small Wars.” Taking place in a rural village in Vietnam, the story is about a family of three.
Dana Blankstein-Cohen, who graduated from Sam Spiegel Film and Television School with honors in 2008, is the executive director of the Israeli Academy of Film and Television. Her first short “Camping” played at Berlin in 2007. During her studies, Blankstein-Cohen assisted Savi Gabizon on “Nina’s Tragedies” and Renen Schorr on “The Loners.”
Avishay Kahana is the content development manager at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque and director of the Kolnoa Darom Film Festival which is dedicated to up and coming Israeli filmmakers. Kahana graduated from the producers track of Sam Spiegel Film School and worked alongside the school’s founder, Schorr, on the launch of the Sam Spiegel International Film Lab.
Maya Fischer graduated with honors from Tisch Film School in Tel Aviv and has been associate producer and head of development at leading Israeli outfit Green Production for the last three years. She notably worked on Matan Yair’s “Scaffolding” and Eitan Anner’s “A Quiet Heart.” Fischer is also studying entertainment and copyright law in Israel.
Sol Goodman, who studied at Sam Spiegel Film School to become producer, is currently working with Oscar-nominated Dror Moreh on an American film. He will have two projects presented at the upcoming Sam Spiegel International Film Lab: “The Taste of Apples is Red” from Ehab Tarabieh, and “The Final Stop,” Nizan Gilady’s follow up to “Wedding Doll” which won best film at Jerusalem Film Festival and earned 9 Israeli Academy Awards nominations.
The Bloom/Spiegel Partnership is backed by the Israeli Film Fund and Tadmor, the NYC based Film and TV financing and production entity.
The IFP Marcie Bloom Fellowship, which just celebrated its 10-year anniversary at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, also announced the launch of a new grant, the Nick Louvel Breakthrough Filmmaker Award.
The young director Cathy Yan, whose “Dead Pigs” won this year’s Special Jury Prize at Sundance, is the first recipient of this $5,000 grant. The Award was created to honor the legacy and memory of director Nick Louvel (“Domino One”).
“We are thrilled to give Cathy Yan this award. Her film so skillfully weaves together intersecting narratives to tell the larger story of a fast changing society,” said the Louvel family. “Nick was passionate about every little detail of the filmmaking process and was drawn to telling human stories with empathy and humor, something we see reflected in Cathy Yan’s impressive work,” added the Louvel family.