It’s the 16th film produced by Moriah, the film division of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. The production company generates documentaries focused on the Jewish experience as well as contemporary human rights. Two of its films, “Genocide” and “The Long Way Home,” have won the Academy Award for best documentary feature.
Nine months before he died last year, the 92-year-old Peres asked Moriah Films to create a documentary on his life story. “Never Stop Dreaming” includes interviews with President Clinton, President George W. Bush, President Obama, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Barbra Streisand. The film will be released later this year.
“We deferred production on our documentary about David Ben-Gurion to start working on ‘Never Stop Dreaming,'” director Richard Trank said. “We wound up with about 50 hours of footage of Shimon and I was struck by how he wanted to keep learning. He said that dreams are what kept him young.”
Trank said that “Never Stop Dreaming” has been scheduled for a June 13 showing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The release will likely coincide with the anniversary of Peres’ passing on Sept. 28.
Peres served twice as prime minister of Israel and negotiated the 1994 Israel–Jordan peace treaty, winning the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize together with Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for the Oslo Accords.
Clooney had met Peres several times and agreed recently to come on board as narrator. He’s the latest in a long line of notable names who have narrated for Moriah Films, including Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Douglas, Ben Kingsley, Nicole Kidman, Kevin Costner, Brooke Shields, Morgan Freeman, Anne Bancroft, Martin Landau, Richard Dreyfuss, Sean Astin, Michael York, Richard Dreyfuss, Patrick Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, and Ed Asner.
Moriah Films is headed by Rabbi Marvin Hier, the founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. He’s also a two-time Oscar winner and the only clergyman who is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Hier told Variety that he’s indebted to many in Hollywood, including Fay Kanin, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Ron Meyer, and Sidney Sheinberg, for their advice on how to make films that resonated.
“I was born on the Lower East Side of New York City and I loved going to the movies at the New Delancey and the Palestine Theater,” he recalled. “We’re very proud of how this has turned out.”
Other Moriah titles include “Echoes that Remain,” “In Search of Peace,” “Beautiful Music,” “Unlikely Heroes,” “I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal,” “Ever Again,” “Against the Tide,” “Winston Churchill: Walking With Destiny,” “It is No Dream: The Life of Theodor Herzl,” “The Prime Ministers: The Pioneers,” “The Prime Ministers: Soldiers and Peacemakers” and “Our Boys.”