Israel Halts Production and Closes Cinemas as Filmmakers Join Relief Efforts

Industry professionals are aiding efforts to raise funds and locate missing civilians

A group of people in a dim shelter, including women, children, and a dog.
People take refuge Saturday in a shelter in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Getty Images)

Following the Hamas terrorist attacks Saturday directed at Israeli civilians, the country’s film and television industry has shut down production and closed movie theaters.

Work has ceased on in-progress projects shooting in Israel. The closure of theaters came as the Israel Defense Forces’ Home Front Command mandated that the industry shift to aid and on TV exclusively air news coverage of the ongoing crisis.  

“The entire industry is shut down,” Israeli Producers Association chairman Adar Shafran told Screen Daily. The director and producer stated: “We are still in shock. Nothing will be the same after this war, but for now, we’re just concentrating on survival.” 

Israel officially declared war on Hamas on Sunday. Meanwhile, the ongoing violence has resulted in more than 1,000 dead in Israel and – according to the BBC – 800 dead in the Palestinian territory of Gaza from Israeli reprisals.  

Local filmmakers and related crews are working together to help soldiers and civilians. Producers are helping with cooking and organizing food donations and lending their equipment and expertise to get provisions to impacted areas. Others are producing videos featuring the families of those abducted to help locate missing people via conventional and social media channels.  

Israeli Actor Lior Raz Shares VIDEO Under Rocket Fire on Rescue Mission

 “Everyone is coming together. Everyone is helping everyone,” Shafran said. “We have a group of around 2,000 people from the industry and we’re all doing what we can to help.”  Shafran is a producer on Netflix’s Hebrew-language original series “Bros.” He stated that a crew member delivering the series to Netflix on Saturday was killed while in transit.  

“He pre-sent an email to us for Saturday at 9 p.m., and by the time we received it, we knew he was dead,” Shafran stated. 

Meanwhile, Israeli filmmaker Yahav Winner was reported missing on Saturday. According to a Facebook post from one of his family members, he was found dead on Tuesday.  

Among those in the industry called into action is “Fauda” star, Lior Raz. He was supposed to star in “Gladiator 2” but has currently joined volunteer relief efforts. The actor posted an Instagram video declaring that he had left to “join hundreds of brave brothers-in-arms volunteers.”  

International actors are continuing to voice their support for Israel on social media including the likes of Israeli actress Gal Gadot, Israeli-born Natalie Portman, Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Gad, Naomi Watts, Edgard Ramirez, Erin Moriarty and Jessica Chastain

Screen Daily first reported this news


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