Between Both Worlds

Published: April 25th 2010
in Culture » Movies

Igal Hecht
Pic: Igal Hecht
Igal Hecht with cameraman Lior Cohen
Pic: Igal Hecht
The Story of Furious Pete official poster
Pic: G.I. Productions


Nowadays Hecht is finding himself beginning to do some narratives in addition to the documentaries. And if you think he only produces Jewish- and Israeli-themed films, think again. About a year and a half ago he formed a company named G.I. Productions together with another filmmaker, George Tsioutsioulas. G.I. Productions deals with films of all kinds, from corporate videos to television shows.


“Working with someone like George is great,” says Hecht. “First of all, he’s a great person. He comes from a different place than I do. His style is completely different than mine, and it’s fun to be able to work with someone who has a different style than you and succeed in doing so.”


Hecht and Tsioutsioulas’ first joint film (which Hecht produced), The Story of Furious Pete, will be shown at Hot Docs festival which begins in Toronto this Thursday, April 29. The film tells the story of a man who almost died from anorexia seven years ago, and today is one of the world’s top competitive eaters. “I’m very proud of this film. It’s almost sold out at Hot Docs. There were supposed to be two screenings at the festival and they added two more. It’s an exciting yet entertaining story.”


Hecht is very proud of The Story of Furious Pete, as he is of all the films he has made, whether they are Jewish-themed or not. At the end of the day, he says that Israel and Judaism thrill him the most. "I’ll continue to make films about Israel, whether I have a budget or not,” he proudly exclaims. “The stories that take place in Israel, the hot button issues, stories which people may not know about, or they do know about but to which I bring a new perspective – that’s what excites me the most.” He emphasized that Chutzpa Productions is not going anywhere and he will continue to produce films in Israel under the umbrella of Chutzpa Productions.


His films continue to be featured in festivals, not just in Canada but around the world. Besides The Story of Furious Pete (which will have its first Hot Docs showing this Friday, April 30, at 7:30pm at the Royal Cinema on College Street in Toronto), My Flag opened two festivals this past month: one in Buffalo, where it opened a Jewish film festival on Yom Ha’atzmaut, and one in Detroit. It was also purchased by Harvard University to be featured as part of their Judaic Studies program.


Hecht took a break for a year after filming 17 movies in a period of 17 months. “I needed a break and only started filming again in July,” he said. “I want to work on new projects and I want to work with young directors who are starting out. It’s great to work with new people, especially ones who make films about Israel. It’s very exciting to see what others in the genre are doing, and help them out if I can. There’s not enough material out there about Israel, and what you do see is usually negative. So if anyone reading this wants to work on a specific film, I will be more than happy to help them with it.”


One movie he hopes to finish this year is The Hilltops, which he and Lior Cohen have been filming for about a year and shows what happens on the hills of Judea and Samaria. “It’s a totally different perspective,” says Hecht. “It’s not going to be anti-Israel at all. It’s the story of six individuals, three women and three men, who live on those hills. I’m going to go back there and film a few more times. I hope that it will turn out to be a good film. It was very interesting to film it. Sometimes it was scary, for example being in Jenin or Ramallah at 2 o’clock in the morning. That wasn’t the smartest thing to do,” he laughs.

Related articles: (igal hecht, chutzpa productions, g.i. productions, furious, pete, films)

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