Jewish Journal

Woody Allen Film in Israel: “Certainly a Possibility”

by JewishJournal.com

July 13, 2012 | 12:41 pm

Woody Allen and his wife Soon-Yi Previn. Photo by REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Woody Allen is open to the idea of filming a future movie in Israel.

That’s the official response from a spokesperson for Woody Allen’s publicists, who responded to an inquiry from The Jewish Journal.

“While it is certainly a possibility at some point,” wrote Ashton Fontana of 42West, Allen’s public relations company, “they are fully committed for the next few films.”  Allen’s production company is run by Letty Aronson, Allen’s sister and producer.

While Fontana did not elaborate, he clearly left open the possibility that the 76 year-old filmmaker, who makes one film each year, would one day make a movie in Israel.

Two weeks ago, Jewish Journal Editor-in-Chief and Publisher Rob Eshman wrote a column proposing that funders step up and offer to fund a Woody Allen film in Israel.  The director has said in several recent interviews that one criteria for him in deciding where to place his movies is whether the countries themselves offer funding and artistic freedom.  Eshman suggested friends of Israel pay up to get the director to consider shooting a movie there.

The idea gained steam when Israeli actress, producer and activist Noa Tishby, co-founder of ActforIsrael.org, cut a video with The Jewish Journal making the case directly to Allen.  The video has garnered thousands of views on YouTube.

The call to “crowd fund” Woody Allen’s Israel Project via the web site Jewcer elicited international media attention.  Vanity Fair, BBC, Canadian Broadcasting, and Russian and Spanish newspapers—as well as numerous American papers—picked up the story. 

In Israel, the leading entertainment show has featured a countdown on the fundraising totals, and Tishby has been interviewed on the idea by all major media.

For weeks, there was no word from Allen’s people.

Then, on Friday morning, came the e-mail from Fontana.

“He’s not saying yes,” said Eshman, “he’s not saying no.  He’s saying, make me an offer, and I’m open to it.”

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