Is Hollywood Returning to the Holy Land?



By: OMER SHACHNAI  
Published: January 11th 2011
in Culture » Movies

Hollywood Sign

Is Hollywood returning to the Holy Land? That is the (more than a) million dollar question. After a long absence from Israel, due to Israel's security situation, Hollywood's mega production sets could be heading back to the promised land, that is only if they will be insured against threats of terrorist attack. So, will we be seeing mega-stars such Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Tom Cruise in Israel? These next few days will tell.

 

Recently, a representative of one of Hollywood's largest studios (currently undisclosed) visited Israel and met with representatives of Israel's Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry and both the Finance and Foreign Ministries, to discuss making movies. "We want to produce films in Israel," he told them, "but we are having a hard time to come up with an insurance company, that will agree to insure us against hazards of war and terror," he added.

 

You see, Israel's government would love to have the guys from Hollywood coming back to shot films in Israel- the way it once was. So, in order to achieve that, the bureaucrats took a note of the man's insurance remark and decided to launch a new insurance program that will guarantee insurance for the aforementioned professional hazards and will be marketed to international film-production companies.

 

Back in the 80's, Israel was grounds for more than 20 foreign film productions and it was the government's decision back then to insure those productions that enabled that "golden age". Amongst the movies that were produced in Israel at the time: Rambo 3, Delta Force, Sahara, Iron Eagle and more. The stars which landed in Israel included Al Pacino, Chuck Norris, Silvester Stallone, Brooke Shields and Robert Mitchum and others.

 

The new planned insurance policy will cover and compensate Hollywood companies that are shooting in Israel, in case their production is hurt or delayed due to a difficult security situation such as war or a terror incident. The reason, is that international insurance companies are unwilling to do so.

 

Moreover, if the agreement will be signed, it will definitely help Israel's treasury and tourism. Landing the movie industry in Israel, means landing hundreds of production men, actors and more, which will help create job opportunities in a wide variety of fields. Due to the expected economic boom, Israel is willing to invest $50 million in the matter. The state will purchase the policy from the Israeli insurance company of INBAL.



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