ISRAEL: Decades Long Alleged Corruption at the Rabinowitz & Gesher Film Funds

Categorized as Alleged Conflict of Interest, Alleged Financial Misconduct, Community Posts

Giora Eini, Eti Cohen, Moshe Edery, Yoav Abramovich & others.

Following our report on the revolving doors at the Israeli Film Fund, where a significant portion, if not the majority, of feature film financing is allocated to a small group of individuals affiliated with the fund, either as script readers or in other capacities, we have been approached by Israeli filmmakers who have shared further details with us, especially concerning Israel’s largest film fund, The Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts, and the smaller Gesher Fund, depicting the Israeli film industry as allegedly being highly corrupt, insular, and monopolistic.

The following information was provided by highly knowledgeable members of the Israeli Film industry, readers, as well as public information. Please use this report as a blueprint for reporting corruption or conflict of interests in your own countries and contact us with such information. This article is also meant to be used for further academic study, and as an example for the type of academic research that we’re interested to promote. Please visit our scholarships page for more details.

Alleged Corruption at the Rabinovich Film Fund

Since 1995 the Rabinovich film fund has been led by Giora Eini, an individual with significant connections who has maintained close relationships with the late Israeli Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres. The following report details accusations of alleged corruption and conflicts of interest in various forms.

For background and context, Israel has established multiple film funds with the intention of them to compete with one another. Each year the Israeli Film Council, a governmental body, decides how much funding each fund will receive, based on different criteria, decided by the Council.

In addition, over the years, Giora Eini has employed the leading film journalists in Israel—Yair Raveh, Erez Dvorah, Ron Fogel, and others—as reader and employees in the fund so they would allegedly & seemingly protect and promote him, the fund, and the films it financed, and never expose to the public the information contained in this page. Eini, a lawyer and politician, is known to have allegedly told Katriel Schory (former head of the other Israeli film fund), “You care about the industry, I only care about the money,” and that he couldn’t care less about the film industry itself or film as an art. What interests him is “winning” in the game that he plays, regardless of whether it’s a film fund or shoe manufacturing. As it is well known, one allegedly rotten apple is enough to corrupt and destroy an entire system; the allegedly rotten apple infects everything around it, with allegedly destructive results and nearly impossible to escape the grip of someone who apparently (allegedly) values power and personal and professional benefit as his highest and only value. An example of alleged control over key people and roles in the system through the creation of alleged conflict of interest and economic dependency is Adar Shafran, head of the Israeli Producers Union. On one hand, Shafran received repeated financing from the Rabinowitz Fund as a producer, and later from the Israeli Film Fund as a director (which he was not qualified in). Simultaneously, Shafran is supposed to represent the producers and the interests of the entire industry before those exact entities—a situation that allegedly resembles the operation of a banana republic, where all role holders act in unison to allegedly preserve the allegedly corrupt system and their personal power, by each protecting the other’s power and status. As these lines are being written, it has just been announced that Moshe Edri, a close friend to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s family, will be this year’s Israel Prize laureate for the Lifetime Achievement Award. This decision should surprise no one, as those involved in alleged corruption are always busy distributing roles, money, and awards among themselves in a cyclical manner. Because Eini apparently also allegedly controls the journalists themselves, as well as allegedly the heads of the unions, and the members of the Film Council, and anyone who could threaten his long-held alleged control over budgets of hundreds of millions of shekels, it is upon the Israeli film industry members themselves to spread the information on this page and demand a change in the identity of the heads of the film funds, and to establish that the identity of the heads of the funds should be legally fixed in advance for a limited time of no more than two to three years.

The accusation of alleged corruption were made in the following areas:

  1. Alleged Revolving doors between the The Rabinovich Fund and members of the Israeli Film Council.

    These alleged conflicts of interest, spanning years, were orchestrating economic and business dependence with council members in order to promote votes that benefited the fund, as well as the Gesher fund, over the other funds. These include:

    • 2 Film Council members received funding from the Rabinovich fund for films or a TV series that they created while in office.
    • 3 Film Council members worked and were paid by the Rabinovich fund for initiatives while in office.
    • 6 Film Council members took part in films that received funding from the Rabinovich film fund while in office.
    • 1 Film Council members was employed as a reader by the Rabinovich Fund after her term in office.

      Additional and detailed information regarding these allegations are further detailed below, in a separate section.

  2. Alleged Revolving Doors policy between project readers who were employed by the funds, who also received funding for their projects (full article here.)

    • 20 reader received funding for films close to the time of their employment by the funds.
    • 9 readers received funding for films at the same time they were were employed by the funds.
    • 1 reader served as a script consultant, while employed by the fund, while the project was funded.
    • 7 filmmakers who were writers or directors in films that they presented in Israeli film festivals, while simultaneously serving as jury members in the same festivals.
    • 1 writer / director was employed at a festival while it was selected to be screened in the same festival.

  3. Alleged use of insider information:

    Inside information from within the Ministry of Culture which was passed to the CEO of the fund, Giora Eini, by the former head of the Israeli Film Council, Eti Cohen, along with Cohen’s alleged intervention and support of the fund, in all processes at the Film Council, with a very sophisticated concealment over the years. This is in conjunction to an alleged romantic relationship between the two. This includes continuous promotion of legislative changes in favour of the fund, over many years.

  4. Alleged or suspected “falsification of corporate documents” (רישום כוזב במסמכי תאגיד):

    A criminal offense, where the fund had registered income and expenses in identical amounts, over several years, in order to create a false representation of the fund’s activity and increase it’s income artificially, so it would justify receiving more funding the following year.

    The funds were received by UnitedKing film, a long time partner of the fund which is owned by Moshe Edery, as detailed below, as well as from the ‘Israeli Association of Filmmaking.’

  5. Alleged Participation of the fund’s Artistic Director or CEO of the fund, against the rules, as readers in the project evaluation committees and in the appeal stages:

    On behalf of the Rabinovitch Foundation, Yoav Abramovich was present in 26 applications, Giora Eini in 4 applications and Nachman Ingeber in 4 applications. According to the reports of the Rabinovitz Foundation in the years 2013-2021, the names of Yoav Abramovich and Nachman Ingeber were not listed as directors of the foundation. That is, the report submitted to the Film Council do not match the report submitted on the foundation’s website.

  6. Accusation of an alleged monopoly in film production and distribution, with financing coming from the Israeli tax payer:

    Moshe Edery – one of the senior leaders of the Israeli film industry, together with his brother, Leon, purchased theaters throughout the country and founded the “UnitedKing” company, which today distributes many Israeli and international films. In the early 2000s they founded the “Cinema City” chain, the largest cinema chain in Israel. In other words – Moshe Edery is a producer, distributor, and also owner of the largest cinema chain in Israel, a monopoly in film production, distribution and exhibition of films, which is financed, to a large extent, by the Israeli film funds, in the form of production financing given to films he is involved with as a producer and distributers:


    • In the years 2015-2021, the two major funds invested – The Rabinowitz Fund, and the Israeli Film Fund, invested an aggregate amount of NIS 261,347,115 (66,071,422 Euros) in the production of feature films.

      Out of these amounts, in total, Moshe Edry (as a producer) received from the two funds a sum of 26,376,655 Euro for 85 films he produced, which constitute 35% of the funds’ total investments. From the 85 films which were produced by Edry, 68 (78%) were supported by the Rabinovitch Fund, and the rest (22%) were supported by the Israeli Film Fund.

    • A staggering 49% of all funds distributed by the Rabinovitch Foundation were given to films produced by Edry and distributed by United King.

      The funds’ investment amounts in films produced by Adri constitute a staggering 37% of the total investments in films in those years. In other words, 37% of the total amount invested in film production by the Israeli film funds, went to films produced by this monopoly. Note that UnitedKing is the same company mentioned above in relation to the falsification of corporate documents (point 4 above.)

  7. Funding for films without readers scoring, alleged nepotism and alleged corruption:

    Funding of films in the years 2012-2016: 464 films were approved for support by the funds. 99 of the films received support from the funds without any feedback from readers, which make up 21% of all supported films. The Adri brothers were involved in the production of 24 films out of the 99 (67% of those 24 films were supported by the Rabinovich Foundation.)

    In addition, about 5% of the project applications that were submitted, and that received general negative or moderate feedback, received support from the funds despite their low scores.
    • Against “good practice”, the Artistic Directors were present or employed as project readers for the funds: at the Gesher Fund, the Artistic Director or CEO were present or employed in approximately 72% of the funded applications. At the Rabinovich Foundation, the Artistic Director or CEO were present or employed in about 45% of the funded applications.

      This is done so the CEO or Artistic Director can influence the work of the so called “independent” readers, who are themselves, as we’ve shown, were compromised. This influence is important as it allows the CEO or Artistic directors to divert the funding to projects that they favors for personal reasons, rather than for artistic merit.

    • During the years 2012-2016, the Rabinovich Fund and the Gesher Fund were the only funds in which script readers appeared both in the original committee to examine the applications and in the appeal stage. According to our sources, when projects that Giora Eini wanted to support were not supported by the script readers, and did not receive a high enough average, the producers of those films, usually involving Moshe Edery, were asked to appeal, and then Giora Eini would approve funding for the projects himself.

      This “loop hole” was used for several years until it was discovered by the filmmakers community and new rules were put in place to prevent this abuse of power by the head of the fund.

  8. Eti Cohen – held the position of Director of the Film department at the Israeli Ministry of Culture 1999-2021 – which overseas the work of the Film Council

    Allegedly, Cohen thwarted the Council’s responsibility regarding the qualification of project readers by automatically accepting over 300 candidates without their examination, among them most of the recognized readers which were employed extensively by funds, as mentioned above. In addition she is accused of:
    • Acting to cancel or postpone meetings of the Film Council in order to promote the interests of her allies when there was not a majority of compromised members in the meetings.

    • Held Film Council meetings without the knowledge of the council’s chairman and while some employee or members were on forced leave. This was done to further the interests of the Rabinovitch and Gesher Foundations.

    • Consistent intervention in the meetings of the Film Council in favor of the Rabinovitch and Gesher Foundations.

    • Allegedly acted to deliberately omit her name from those present at the Cinema Council meetings, as it was against the rules, or in order to hide the fact that she was working to further the interests of these two funds.

    • Alleged suspected assistance to some incumbent film council members to get various positions at film festivals or other roles, in order to later receive favors in promoting her agendas, which were to further the interests of the Rabinovitch and Gesher Foundations.

      The interference by Eti Cohen in the work of the Film Council parallels changes in the criteria influencing how funds were distributed to the various film funds in the years 2014 and 2019. These changes resulted in an increase of 9% and 29% in the funding allocated to the Rabinovitch film fund.

  9. Ziv Neve and the Gesher Fund:

    • Ziv Neve is a former documentary film director and producer who currently serves as CEO of the Gesher Fund for Multicultural Cinema. Dr. Daniel Trooper, the father of Hili Trooper, the Minister of Culture at the time, established the Gesher Foundation. According to the allegations, when Trooper was appointed as the Minister of Culture, Ziv Neve showed up at his office and “closed a deal” to favour the fund (which the minister’s father had established), and is considered a good friend of Minister Trooper.

    • In 2014 and 2019, when it was decided to change the criteria influencing how funds were distributed to the various film funds, the changes resulted in a significant increase in the total amount of support to the Gesher Fund, by 149% and 82% respectively. This was done on the account of the other funds.

    • In the Gesher Fund too, artistic consultants or the Artistic Director were present both during the project application stages themselves, and during the appeal stages, against the rules. On behalf of the Gesher Fund, Sharon Shamir was present six times.

    • Ziv Neve is considered a good friend of Eti Cohen, director of the Film Department at the Ministry of Culture and former director of the Israeli Film Council. According to our sources, every year, Neve, Eini and Cohen would allegedly meet at the Cannes Film Festival, and plan how the next year of Israeli cinema will look like. In other words, the head of the two funds, and the person responsible for the Israeli Film Council, which makes decisions relating to the financing of these two funds, would allegedly meet and conspire as to what projects or filmmakers or producers would receive financing the following year, and other such matters.

    • Neve managed to pass a ruling that supported film fund that specialize in projects by peripheral creators, a clause that was clearly created in order to support the Gesher Foundation, as it is the only fund dedicated to those types of projects. This was presented as a measure encouraging peripheral cinema but was designed to help Gesher Foundation for personal reasons.

    • Alleged claims that Neve employed serving Film Council members as project readers.

    • The different film funds are supposed to be completely separated from each other. However, Oren Reich, who worked both at the Yehuda and Samaria Fund, and as a consultant at the two regional funds in the south, also appeared on the Gesher Fund website as working for the fund. The Gesher Fund claims that it no longer has no connection to Judea and Samaria fund anymore, and has cut off their links with the two regional funds.

    • The Gesher Fund was caught publishing on their website that a certain individual severed as a reader on the fund, who in fact, he didn’t.

    • The Gesher Fund was a favorite of Limor Livnat during her tenure as Minister of Culture – Livnat transferred additional funding to the fund, from external budgets, on top of the funding allocated to the fund through the Film Council.

    • In 2014, a case was filed to the Israeli Supreme Court against Eini regarding a legislative amendment that passed in the Film Council without a proper hearing, an amendment that benefited Neve and Eini (the Rabinowitz and Gesher funds) , legislation that was discriminatory against the other funds. Despite the appeal to the Supreme Court, the amendment came into effect.

  10. Alleged manipulation of project’s scoring in order to fail them from advancing for consideration.

    In order to prevent projects that the fund’s management does not want to support from advancing to the second round of consideration, project readers who are part of the fund allegedly give these projects lower scores to artificially reduce their average scoring. For instance, here is a project that received an average score of 8.8/10 across ten different reviews but scored only 5/10 in this specific Rabinowitz review. The purpose was to sabotage the project’s chance of advancing to the second round of consideration. The descriptions in the Rabinowitz review lack detail and specific criticism, offering only generalities such as “plot is lacking.” This is in stark contrast to the more than ten other reviews for the exact same project.

Alleged Revolving doors between the The Rabinovich Fund & Members of the Israeli Film Council:

The following is detailed information about the revolving doors between the film funds, and members of the Israeli Film Council, which is responsible for ongoing decisions relating to financing of the various Israeli film funds. These connections are a blatant conflict of interest and a form of institutional corruption. This is not a “bug”, but a feature of the Israeli film financing system. As you can see below, this did not happen once or twice but multiple times, with multiple council members:

  1. Two Film Council members who received funding from foundations for films/series they created while in office:

    • Yair Rave (יאיר רוה): Received support, while serving as a member of the Film Council, for a series he created called “Kathmandu” (2012) from the Gesher Foundation. In addition, he received support for the film “Sharon Amarni: Remember the Name” (2010) from the Rabinovitch Fund.

    • Arnon Zadok (ארנון צדוק): eeceived support for his film “Nika” (2010) from the Rabinovitch Foundation, while serving as a council member.
  2. Three Film Council members were paid by and employed by funds while in office:

    • Eve Divon (חוה דיבון): served as a mentor in the film incubator for ultra-Orthodox women in 2012 at the initiative of the Gesher Foundation, while serving as a council member.

    • Merlin Venig (מרלין וניג): served as a mentor and consultant in the film incubator for ultra-Orthodox women in 2012 at the initiative of the Gesher Foundation, while serving as a council member.

    • Rabbi Israel Galis (הרב ישראל גליס): served as a mentor and consultant in the film incubator for ultra-Orthodox women in 2012 at the initiative of the Gesher Foundation, while serving as a council member. In addition, was employed in a mentor in a similar incubator, mentoring Orthodox men.

  3. Six council members took part in films that received funding from foundations while in office:

    • Osnat Bukoptzer (אסנת בוקופצר): served as post-production producer and in PR for the film Baba John (2015) which received funding from the Rabinovitch Foundation and the Gesher Foundation, while serving as a member of the Film Council. In addition, she serves as the director of external relations for Rabinovitch Foundation since 2017.

    • Noam Shanhav (נועם שנהב): participated as an actress in the films “Portrait of Victory” (2021) and “The Winners [Euphoria]” (2021) which received financing from the Rabinovich Foundation, while serving as a council member.

    • Golan Azulai (גולן אזולאי): participated as an actor in the film “Barrenness” (2022) which received support from the Rabinovitch Fund, while serving as a council member.

    • Aryeh Cherner (אריה צ’רנר):

      • Participated as an actor in the film “Circles” (2014) which received support from the Israel Cinema Fund while serving as a council member.

      • Participated as an actor in the film “Paper Wedding” (2015) which received support from the Gesher Fund, the Makor Fund and the Israeli Cinema Fund, while serving as a council member.

      • Participated as an actor in the film “Capo in Jerusalem” (2015) which received support from the Jerusalem Development Authority Film Fund, the Cinema Fund and the Gesher Fund, while serving as a council member.

      • In addition, participated in the following films – “The Rooms of the House” (2016), “Foxtrot” (2016), “The Sins” (2016), “Makatub” (2017), “Lady Titi” (2018), “Voice Over” (2018), “Shakhim” (2019), while serving as a council member, films which were funded by the Rabinovitch Fund, Jerusalem Development Authority Film Fund, Israeli Film Fund, and the New Film and Television Fund, in various combinations.

    • Gabriel Amrani Gur (גבריאל עמרני גור): participated as an actor in “Get” (2014) and “The Journey of the Ring” which received support from the Israel Cinema Fund, while serving as a council member.

    • Irit Kaplan (עירית קפלן): participated in “A very quiet heart” (2016) and “Saving Neta” (2016) which received support from the Israel Film Fund, while serving as a council member.

    • Inbal Shuki (ענבל שוקי): Designed costumes and makeup in the following films: “Virgins” (2022), “Hummus Full Trailer” (2022) – films that received the support of the Israel Film Fund, “The Silence” (2022), “Monkey Garden” (2023) – films that received the support of the Rabinovitch Foundation, while serving as a council member.

  4. Ravital Belly Zimmering (רביטל בללי צימרינג) – a film council member who was employed as a project reader after her term in office.

Alleged Corruption at the Jerusalem & Haifa Film Festivals

In the cases below, filmmakers who participated in the production of certain films that were presented at the festivals, were simultaneously serving as jury members in the competition at the event:

  1. Jerusalem Film Festival: (while Noa Regev, currently the head of the Israeli Film Fund, was serving as the CEO of the festival. This goes to show how small and insular the Israeli film industry really is)

    • Neely Fleur (נילי פלר) – served in the jury of the international film competition in 2021 while two films she edited “Where is Anne Frank” and “The death of the cinema and of my father too” were screened at the festival and took part of the competition.

    • Hilla Medalia (הילה מדליה): served as jury in the Israeli short film category in 2021 while a film she produced called “Why did I say – back to the Hanit Kikos case” was screened at the festival.

    • Shay Goldman (שי גולדמן) served as jury in the international film competition in 2021, while the film “Here We Are”, which he worked on as a Director of Photography, was screened at the festival.

    • In addition, Ety Itsco (אתי ציקו) presented a short film in the festival (“Rousseau” in 2021) while working at the festival as “Head of Guests & Hospitality”. Ashe was employed starting in 2014 at the Jerusalem Festival.


  2. The Haifa Film Festival:

    • Dror More (דרור מורה) – served as jury in an Israeli documentary film competition in 2022 while his film “Corridors of Power” was screened at the festival.

    • Saar Yogev (סער יוגב) – served as a jury in an Israeli feature film competition in 2021 while a film he produced called “Petah Tikva” was screened at the festival.

    • Einat Glazer Zarchin (עינת גלזר זרחין) – served as a jury in the “Golden Anchor” competition while a film she edited called “Plan A” was screened at the festival.

Project Evaluators Who Received Project Financing Repeatedly by The Same Funds They Work For

Alleged conflict of interest and corruption by creating a revolving door between project evaluators and filmmakers who themselves work for the funds. It is important for the fund managers that in the first round of evaluation, their “people” would make the pool of evaluators who grade projects, to ensure that only projects that they would like to support (regardless of merit, based on financial reasons, family ties, friendships etc) would receive high scores and would advance to the second round of evaluations. Being an evaluator benefits filmmakers because they “align” with the fund manager’s needs, who then remember them favorably when they submit scripts, and thus receive support and funding for their projects.

A complaint was files with the Israeli police about a film that received funding, but was not scored highly or recommended by the evaluators.

Below is a table listing Israeli filmmakers who also worked as evaluators for the funds, while receiving funding from them, creating a revolving door:

1)      Amir Manor – עמיר מנור

The name of the fundYeardue inRouteFilms that received fundingsleepA financing fundRemarks
The Israeli Film Fund2013MayScript development    
The Israeli Film Fund2013NovemberScript development    
The Israeli Film Fund2014NovemberIndependentFlowers of marzipan2014The Israeli Film Fundscript editing[6]
Gesher Foundation2015    
The Israeli Film Fund2015NovemberScript developmentI can’t believe I’m a robot2015The Israeli Film Fund[7]This film is among the 99 films that did not go through the approval process and received funding[8]
Rabinovitch2016students    
The Israeli Film Fund2018JulyScript development step one    
Rabinovitch2019studentsThe house on Finn Street2018Rabinovitch[9]This film is among the 99 films that did not go through the Lectora process and received funding[10]
The Israeli Film Fund2019Septemberdebutantes    
The Israeli Film Fund2019Decembercentral    
Gesher Foundation2020    
Rabinovitch2020diploma    
The Israeli Film Fund2020Maydevelopmentthe swimmer2021The Israeli Film Fundscript editing[11]

2)      Lee Gilat – לי גילת

The name of the fundYeardue inRouteFilms that received fundingsleepA financing fund
The Israeli Film Fund2013NovemberScript development   
The Israeli Film Fund2014NovemberIndependentrounders2014The Israeli Film Fund[12]
The Israeli Film Fund2014JuneScript development   
Gesher Foundation2015   
Rabinovitch2015AFeaturesThe good words2015Rabinovitch[13]
The Israeli Film Fund2015AprilComedy/genre   
The Israeli Film Fund2015NovemberScript development   
Rabinovitch2017 Featuresopposites2016Rabinovich[14]
Gesher Foundation2018  An ordinary day (short film)2018bridge[15]
Gesher Foundation2019     
The Israeli Film Fund2020Aprilcentral track   

3)      Amnon Zelait – אמנון זלאייט

The name of the fundYeardue inRouteFilms that received fundingsleepA financing fundRemarks
The Israeli Film Fund2013NovemberScript development    
Rabinovitch2014BFeatures    
The Israeli Film Fund2014Novemberdebutantes    
The Israeli Film Fund2014JuneScript development    
Rabinovitch2015BFeatures    
The Israeli Film Fund2015NovemberScript development    
Rabinovitch2016FeaturesTzipuri Khol [16] [17], G’ankshan 48 [18] [19]2016Rabinovitchphotographer
The Nerd Club [20] [21] [22] [23]2017
Gesher Foundation2017    
Rabinovitch2019FeaturesA hero in the clouds2018Rabinovitch [24] [25] 
Rabinovitch2020diplomathe meal2020Rabinovitch[26]photographer

4)      Tal Granite – טל גרניט

The name of the fundYeardue inRouteFilms that received fundingsleepA financing fundRemarks
Rabinovitch2015AFeatures    
The Israeli Film Fund2015AprilScript development    
Gesher Foundation2019    
The Israeli Film Fund2019Aprilcentralthe prom2018The Israeli Film Fund[27]This film is among the 99 films that did not go through the approval process and received funding[28]
The Israeli Film Fund2019Septemberdebutantes    
Rabinovitch2020diplomaOmi Ralia2019Rabinovitch[29] 
Rabinovitch2020Featureshappy ending2021Rabinovich[30] 

5)      Sharon Maimon – שרון מימון

The name of the fundYeardue inRouteFilms that received fundingsleepA financing fundRemarks
The Israeli Film Fund2013Novembercentral    
Rabinovitch2015BFeatures    
Rabinovitch2015AFeatures    
Rabinovitch2016Features    
Rabinovitch2019FeaturesBaby Bombay[31] 2019Rabinovitch 
Omi Ralia[32]
The Israeli Film Fund2019Aprilcentralthe prom2018The Israeli Film Fund[33]This film is among the 99 films that did not go through the approval process and received funding[34]
Rabinovitch2020Featureshappy ending2021Rabinovich[35] 

6)      Efrat Korem – אפרת כורם

The name of the fundYeardue inRouteFilms that received fundingRemarks
2014Old Man
Gesher Foundation2015
The Israeli Film Fund2015JulyIndependent
The Israeli Film Fund2015NovemberScript development
The Israeli Film Fund2016NovemberCompletion of production
Rabinovitch2019Features
The Israeli Film Fund2019Septemberdebutantes
Gesher Foundation2020
The Israeli Film Fund2020SeptemberIndependent
Rabinovitch2019FeaturesA woman is sitting in the director’s chairparticipation

7)      Dita Geri – דיתה גרי

The name of the fundsleepdue inRouteFilms that received funding
Source fund2005“Kafka’s Magic”
The Israeli Film Fund2014Novemberdebutantes
The Israeli Film Fund2016An Israeli love story
Gesher Foundation2015
Rabinovitch2017students
Rabinovitch2017diploma
The Israeli Film Fund2018JulyScript development step b
Rabinovitch2019students
Rabinovitch2019diploma

8)      Israela Shaar – ישראלה שאער מעודד

The name of the fundsleepdue inRouteFilms that received fundingsleepA financing fund
Rabinovitch2014Bdiploma   
Rabinovitch2014Adiploma   
Rabinovitch2015Bdiploma   
Rabinovitch2015Adiploma   
Gesher Foundation2016   
Gesher Foundation2017   
Gesher Foundation2019   
Gesher Foundation2020   
Rabinovitch2020diplomaWife2019Rabinovich[36]
Rabinovitch2020Features   
Rabinovitch2021Bstudents   
Rabinovitch2021Adiploma   

9)      Netali Brown – נטעלי בראון

The name of the fundsleepdue inRouteFilms that received fundingsleepA financing fund
The Israeli Film Fund2013MayScript development
Rabinovitch2014Bdiploma
Rabinovitch2014Adiploma
The Israeli Film Fund2017Maydebutantes
Gesher Foundation2019
Rabinovitch2019diploma
The Israeli Film Fund2020Maydevelopment
The Israeli Film Fund2021MayproductionFeature production

10)   Raphael Balolo – רפאל בלולו

The name of the fundsleepdue inRouteFilms that received fundingsleepA financing fund
Rabinovitch2014Bstudents   
Gesher Foundation2015   
Rabinovitch2015Bstudents   
Rabinovitch2015Astudents   
Rabinovitch2019diploma   
Rabinovitch2020diploma   
Rabinovitch2020FeaturesGood spies2021Rabinovich[37]

11)   Leon Prodovsky –   לאון פרודובסקי

The name of the fundsleepdue inRouteFilms that received funding
The Israeli Film Fund2009Production financingFeaturesFive hours from Paris
Rabinovitch2013BFeatures
Rabinovitch2013AFeatures
Gesher Foundation2015
Rabinovitch2015BFeatures
Rabinovitch2015AFeatures
Gesher Foundation2017
The Israeli Film Fund2017MayIndependent
The Israeli Film Fund2017FebruaryScript development step one
Rabinowitz2022Production financingMy neighbor is Adolf

12)   Eric Caplon –אריק קפלון

The name of the fundsleepdue inRouteFilms that received fundingsleepA financing fund
The Israeli Film Fund2013MayScript development   
The Israeli Film Fund2015AprilScript development   
The Israeli Film Fund2019Decembercentral   
Rabinovitch2020Features   
The Israeli Film Fund2020Aprilcentral trackHome HOME2021The Israeli Film Fund[38]
Rabinovitch2021AFeatures   

In addition, he is employed as a workshop leader in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, the Rabinovitch Foundation, the Gesher Foundation and the Screenwriters’ Union[39]

13)   Suha Aref – סוהא עארף

The name of the fundsleepdue inRouteFilms that received fundingsleepA financing fund
The Israeli Film Fund2013NovemberScript development   
The Israeli Film Fund2014JuneScript developmentVilla Toma2014The Israeli Film Fund[40]
Gesher Foundation2015   
Gesher Foundation2016   
Rabinovitch2016Features   
Gesher Foundation2019   
The Israeli Film Fund2020Aprilcentral track   

14)   Gor Heller –  גור הלר

The name of the fundsleepdue inRouteFilms that received fundingsleepA financing fundRemarks
The Israeli Film Fund2016AprilScript development    
Gesher Foundation2018    
The Israeli Film Fund2018JulyScript development step oneare in doubt2017The Israeli Film Fund[41] [42]script editor
Gesher Foundation2019    
Rabinovitch2019diploma    
Rabinovitch2019Features    
Rabinovitch2020diploma    
The Israeli Film Fund2020SeptemberIndependent    

15)   Ronnie Kidar – רוני קידר

The name of the fundsleepdue inRouteFilms that received fundingsleepA financing fund
Rabinovitch2013Bstudents   
Rabinovitch2013Astudents   
Rabinovitch2014Apocalypse
The Israeli Film Fund2016MaydebutantesFamily2015The Israeli Film Fund[43]
Gesher Foundation2017The woman who wanted to kill someone2016Gesher [Goethe Institute, import-export project][44]
The Israeli Film Fund2017FebruaryScript development step one   

Her film “Sofolam” is among the 99 films that did not go through the approval process and received funding [45]

16)   Yevgeny Roman – יבגני רומן

The name of the fundsleepdue inRouteFilms that received production fundingsleepA financing fund
Gesher Foundation2015Area A2014bridge[46]
Rabinovitch2015BFeatures   
Rabinovitch2015AFeatures   
The Israeli Film Fund2016MayChildren   
The Israeli Film Fund2016AprilScript development   
The Israeli Film Fund2019SeptemberdebutantesBackground noises2018The Israeli Film Fund[47]

17)   Idan Hubel – עידן הובל

The name of the fundsleepdue inRouteRemarksFilms that received fundingsleepA financing fund
2012the water disconnector
Gesher Foundation2015In the spirit of cinema [November 5]a slice of bread2015bridge[48]
Gesher Foundation2019In the spirit of cinema [November 5]   
Rabinovitch2019students   
Rabinovitch2020students   
Rabinovitch2020diploma   
Gesher Foundation2021Marchshorts   

18)   Tawfik (Agbariya) Abu Wail –   תאופיק (אגבאריה) אבו ואיל

The name of the fundsleepdue inRouteFilms that received fundingsleepA financing fund
The Israeli Film Fund2013Aprilcentral   
The Israeli Film Fund2013NovemberCompletion of productionthe freedom train  
Gesher Foundation2015Love on Demand: Love Letters to Cinema2014Bridge [49] [50]
The Israeli Film Fund2015NovemberScript development   
The Israeli Film Fund2020Aprilcentral trackHassan the wise2019The Israeli Film Fund[51]

19)   Mia Dreyfus – מיה דרייפוס

The name of the fundsleepdue inRouteFilms that received production fundingsleepA financing fundRemarks
Gesher Foundation2019    
Rabinovitch2019studentsthe diving2018Rabinovitch[52] 
Rabinovitch2019diploma    
Gesher Foundation2020youth2020Bridge [53] [54] 
A woman is sitting in the director’s chairVerbinovich Bridge[55]Participated in the film[56]
bridge2021opendedicated    

20)   Samdar Zamir – סמדר זמיר

The name of the fundsleepdue inRouteFilms that received fundingsleepA financing fund
Gesher Foundation2019   
Rabinovitch2019diploma   
Rabinovitch2020FeaturesA woman is sitting in the director’s chair2020Verbinovich Bridge[57]
Gesher Foundation2021Decemberfinal   
Gesher Foundation2021Marchshort ones   

21)   Verdit (Vidy) spent –  ורדית (וידי) בילו

The name of the fundsleepdue inRouteFilms that received fundingsleepA financing fund
2013production“The End of the Age of Innocence”
Gesher Foundation2015   
Gesher Foundation2016Wires (short film)[58]2017bridge
Belly Fire (short film)[59]
The Israeli Film Fund2019Decemberdebutantes   
Rabinovitch2021BFeatures   
Rabinovitch2021AFeatures   

Her film “The End of the Age of Innocence” is among the 99 films that did not go through the approval process and received funding [60]

22)   Kobi Mizrahi – קובי מזרחי

The name of the fundsleepdue inRouteFilms that received fundingsleepA financing fundRemarks
Gesher Foundation2017Ben Gurion, Epilogue Bridge and source [61] [62]Used as post production
Gesher Foundation2018    
Gesher Foundation2019    
Gesher Foundation2020    
Rabinovitch2020studentsTaketsubo2021Rabinovitch and the New Cinema Fund[63] [64] 
The Israeli Film Fund2020MayCompletion of production    
Gesher Foundation2021JanuaryFinal – feature pitching    

23)   Sherry Azuz- Berger – שרי עזוז- ברגר

The name of the fundsleepdue inRouteFilms that received fundingsleepA financing fundRemarks
Rabinovitch2017Features    
Rabinovitch2019Features    
Gesher Foundation2020sweetie2019bridge[65]editor
polygraph (short film)2020 
Rabinovitch2021Adiploma    
Rabinovitch2021AFeatures    

24)   Dana Goldberg –  דנה גולדברג

The name of the fundsleepdue inRouteFilms that received fundingsleepA financing fundRemarks
The Israeli Film Fund2014JuneScript development    
Rabinovitch2016students    
The Israeli Film Fund2019Junedevelopment    
Rabinovitch2019students   Received funding for the book of poetry she published “Shemesh Ishira” (2019) from the Rabinovitch Fund[66]
Rabinovitch2019FeaturesA woman is sitting in the director’s chair2020Verbinovich Bridge[67]Participated in the film

25)   Esti Alamo-Wexler – אסתי עלמו-וקסלר

The name of the fundsleepdue inRouteFilms that received fundingsleepA financing fundRemarks
Gesher Foundation2017    
Gesher Foundation2019    
Rabinovitch2020FeaturesA woman is sitting in the director’s chair2020Verbinovich Bridge[68]Participated in the film
Rabinovitch2021AFeatures    

Supporting information and sources:

The original report was prepared in Hebrew and is available below. It includes 163 footnotes and links to sources and further information. More sources, links and screenshots are provided in the Hebrew version of this article.


3 comments

  1. This is incredible piece of investigation, well done. Israel has become a dumpster fire so this doesn’t surprises me at all, it is turning into South Africa, with the apartheid of the 1950s-1990s mixed with the corruption and security issues of 2000s, so the worst of both worlds. The corruption described in this article is a sign of a deeply disturbed and crumbling society.

  2. These are problems conflicts and issues that confront pretty much every single country that has a film industry financed through public funds. The reality and the arguments are simple; to whom does one turn, to fairly evaluate the merits of a submitted project within a specific social context? Do you hire sanitation employees? How about dentists, they like to see films? Perhaps agricultural workers, or sales people in a high-end clothing stores? How about the guy who prepares your espresso every morning, surely he’s got something to say about the merits of any given film submission? As it happens all over the world, national film funds have to turn to the very community which benefits from their presence; filmmakers. Yes, you can get in the odd playwright, choreographer, practitioner in fine arts, writers of fiction, but principally the group you need to turn to for expertise in evaluating a project that is destined to be a film are the people who are making films. There are many checks and balances that can be put in place to prevent what you call the revolving door, and what I referred to as “logrolling.” But it takes political will and the integrity of the stakeholders. Unfortunately, Israel appears to have become a country where such backscratching is so common that the public does not even react. Cynicism tends to rule because of corruption not only in the film industry, but throughout society. Everybody knows someone who has influence or “schlep” in order to get things done. There is no judgement of what this is right or wrong, but there is an opinion about whether or not this is how it society wants to function and that is for the Israeli people to decide. It might be interesting for Film Industry Watch to take a deep dive into a country that has a similar system of film financing, to see if does any better. For that I would suggest Canada as a test case for the incidence of revolving doors, or log rolling and backscratching. Telefilm and Quebec’s SODEC have been coming under scrutiny for some of the reasons raised in this report. Now, that would be a great study.

    1. Thank you for your comment. There are simple ways to combat nepotism and conflict of interests. Heads of funds and the people who make artistic decisions could easily be replaced every 2-3 years. Project evaluators should be full time employees under contract, and should not be working as directors at the same time as they make evaluations. Evaluations could also be made by outsiders who are brought in from other countries, so they evaluate the scripts based on merit only, and not according to their social network. There are many ways to combat these issues.

      The point of these articles is that system is rigged everywhere not because of a bug in the system but as a feature of the system. It is designed to allow certain people to give out money to whoever they want because tens and hundreds of millions of Euros are involved, and it is sure as hell easier to steal money in the arts, than walking into a bank with a gun, or setting up a multi million Euro business. Wherever a lot of money is involved, people will find ways to manipulate the system to gain control and influence over it, and then stay there, indefinitely. Having the same people manage films funds for 10, 15 and 20 years (as in the example above) is the result of a deeply flawed system that has been hijacked and then manipulated and controlled by the same individuals, not in the best interest of the industry, but in the best interest of the people involved, their families and friends. You can also be rest assured that these people don’t think that they’ve done anything wrong – like every defendant, in any court, in any country, they have ways to self justify their behaviors, to everyone and especially to themselves.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *