Israel Cinema Project – An Overview

The Yehoshua Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts has been operating Israel Cinema Project – An Overview since 1988 within the framework of the Foundation and under its management. The project is independently funded and supported by the Cultural Administration at the Israeli Ministry of Culture and Sport, and the Israeli Council for Cinema.

The aim of the project is to encourage the production of high quality original Israeli films. It provides assistance to films by Israeli artists in the fields of production, completion and project development, according to criteria of quality, cinematic experience and personal expression, combining all of these with considerations of commercial success. In this way, the project contributes to creating an Israeli cinematic oeuvre that has depth and relevance, is unique and meaningful and will bring about a genuine pluralistic debate on the problems of Israeli identity and heritage, as well as current topics.

Within the framework of its activity, the Cinema Project supports the production of:


a. Full length Israeli feature films by both experienced and new directors.

b. Documentary films dealing with fundamental problems in Israeli society and culture.

c. Non-mainstream films originating from the Israeli periphery or from groups that lack a voice in Israeli mainstream cinema, such as immigrant directors, artists from the Arab sector, etc.

d. Student graduation films made for cinema in universities and film schools (at college level) throughout the country, with an aim to enable graduates to expand their cinematic experience.

One of the Project’s goals is to promote and nurture a variety of initiatives in Israeli cinema. Help is provided to artists from the level of graduation projects in film schools through the new generation of filmmakers, to those who are better established, encouraging them all to realize their original ideas in both feature films and documentaries. The films are screened in cinemas and cinematheques around the country, as well as broadcasted on television, and often enjoy high viewer ratings.

Since Cinema Project was established, it has become an influential force in Israeli cinema in general and has helped towards the production of some of the best films created in the country during that period.

To date the Foundation has supported the production of more than 1000 films. Among some of the more prominent projects that the Foundation has been recently involved with are:

  • Synonymes (Dir. Nadav Lapid). Winner of the Golden Bear Award at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival.

  • The Cakemaker (Dir. Ofir Raul Graizer). Winner of the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the 2018 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Winner of the Best Film Award at the 2018 Israel Film Academy Awards.

  • Sand Storm  (Dir. Elite Zexer). Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema at the 2017 Sundance International Film Festival. Winner of the Best Film Award at the 2017 Israel Film Academy Awards.

  • The Kindergarten Teacher (Dir. Nadav Lapid). Winner of the Grand Prize at the 2015 Taipei International Film Festival. Winner of Best Director Prize at the 2015 Goa International Film Festival.

  • The Gatekeepers (Dir. Dror Moreh). Nominated for Best Documentary Film at the American Academy Awards 2013 (The Oscar awards); Winner of the Best Documentary award at the Israel Academy Awards 2013.
  • The Policeman (Dir: Nadav Lapid). Winner of the Best Script Award at the Jerusalem Film Festival 2011; Winner of the Special Jury Award at the Locarno Film Festival 2011.

  • Precious Life (Dir: Shlomi Eldar). Shortlisted for Best Documentary Film at the American Academy Awards 2010 (the Oscar awards); Winner of the Audience Award at the Locarno Film Festival 2010

  • The Human Resources Manager (Dir: Eran Riklis). Winner of the Israeli Film Academy Award for Best Film 2010; Winner of the Audience Award at the Locarno Film Festival 2010.

  • Beaufort (Dir: Joseph Cedar). Nominee for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2008 American Academy Awards; Winner of the Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlin Film Festival 2007.

  • Seven Days (Dir. Ronit Elkabetz, Shlomi Elkabetz). Opening film for the Cannes Film Festival "Critic's Week" 2008, and winner of the Mostra de Valencia's 2008 Golden palm for The Best Director prize & The Best Performance for Female actress prize.

  • The House on August Street (Dir: Ayelet Bargur). Winner of the 2008 Best Documentary Award by the European Association of Regional Broadcasters (CIRCOM).

  • My Father My Lord (Dir: David Volach). Winner of the Best Film Award at the Tribeca Film Festival 2007.

  • Tehilim (Dir. Raphael Nadjari). Screened at the Festival de Cannes 2007.

  • Disengagement (Dir. Amos Gitai). Screened at the Toronto Film Festival 2007.

  • Bridge Over The Wadi (Dir. Barack and Tomer Heymann). Winner of the Best Asian Documentary Film Award at the Shanghai TV Festival 2007.

  • Faitless (Dir. Layos Koltai). In Competition – The Berlin Film Festival 2006. Nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Soundtrack at the European Film Academy Awards 2006.

  • Forgivness (Dir. Udi Aloni). Screened at The Berlin Film Festival 2005; In Competition at The Tokyo Film Festival 2005.

  • Or (Dir: Keren Yadaya). Winner of the Golden Camera Award for Best New Director at the Festival de Cannes 2004.

  • Atash (Director Tawfik Abu Wael). Screened at Critics Week at the Festival de Cannes 2004.

  • And You Took a Wife (Dir: Ronit Alkabetz). Screened at Critics Week at The Venice Film Festival 2004.


Chair of Cinema Project: Mr. Leon Recanati

Director General of the Foundation: Giora Einy, Adv.

Joint Director General: Mr. Yoav Abramovich

International Relations Manager: Ms. Osnat Bukofzer

Head of Productions: Mrs. Yael Simhony

Artistic Director, Head of the Professional Advisory Committee for Feature Films: Mr. Yoav Abramovich

Artistic Director, The Professional Advisory Committee for Documentary Films: Mr. Pini Schatz

Artistic Director, Head of the Professional Advisory Committee for Student Graduate Films: Ms. Orly Malessa


The Rabinovich Foundation can accept submissions only from filmmakers who are Israeli residents. We can only support Israeli films, or international co-productions between a producer that is a resident of country that the State of Israel has an international coproduction agreement with, and an Israeli co-producer.

For any questions regarding the subject of film production in Israel or international co-production with an Israeli co-producer, please contact us at:

[email protected]