Talented film professional Gal Greenspan has been making an impact on the Israeli cultural scene, both locally and internationally, through his creativity and innovation.
Gal Greenspan, 34, was born in Tel Aviv. In 2009, he and his business partner, Roi Kurland, founded Green Productions, which, besides producing commercial spots for television and the internet as well as promotional videos, focuses on feature films and television dramas for an international audience.
Another initiative of theirs is the Jerusalem Film Workshop, a six-week program for young filmmakers to learn the ins and outs of filmmaking, camera shooting and editing while working and networking with Israel’s leading producers and directors. The program is organized in cooperation with leading names in cinema from both Israel and the United States.
The Jerusalem Film Workshop is the first high-level film education course of its type to be based in Israel. Among the instructors of the course are leading names in Israeli cinema, including recent Academy Award nominees. Students expand their knowledge in cinematography, editing, screenwriting and directing. With hands-on support from teachers and mentors, they create two short films.
Last year, the workshop hosted participants from diverse places, including, for example, the US, the UK, India, China and Brazil. This year it will be held in partnership with the New Fund for Cinema and Television and the Jerusalem Film Festival.
“Our inaugural program showed us how Israel truly offers an unparalleled location for learning cinema and producing great works of film,” Greenspan said. “Based on the first year’s success we are looking to attract a new class of budding filmmakers who recognize the film-making potential that exists here in Israel, and we are deeply proud to have some of our country’s most heralded cinematic minds among our instructors.”
Following is a conversation United with Israel had with Greenspan.
UWI: What inspired you to found Green Productions?
GG: I love film as a medium for storytelling and I love helping brilliant storytellers tell their stories through film. I founded Green Productions together with my partner Roi Kurland in order to facilitate the telling of innovative, less heard, important stories for the whole world to hear.
UWI: How did you end up going into film as a career?
GG: I began my film career at a summer day camp for filmmakers when I was a teenager. From there it was a given that I would join the Film Unit in the IDF when it was my turn to enlist.
UWI: What are some of your favorite films?
GG: The Band’s Visit by Eran Kolirin – such a well done, sensitive but bold film.
(Also a favorite of this writer, The Band’s Visit is about an Egyptian police band that gets lost in Israel.)
UWI: What advice would you give to others looking for a career in film?
GG: I advise anyone wanting to have a career in film to get out there and start making films! It takes practice and now is the time to start. That is the concept we have behind the Jerusalem Film Workshop. We understood that for so many people around the world studying film that they are not given the opportunity to actually go out there and make films. The workshop provides participants the opportunity to make two films over the summer, one of which will be screened as part of the Jerusalem Film Festival. These are critical opportunities for young filmmakers to turn their passion into a career.
UWI: How is Israeli film unique?
GG: Israeli films are not afraid to make a statement about our society and the issues that are faced by the people living in the region.