Noting major film projects by Natalie Portman and Richard Gere in capital, Barkat says it’s time to make city a global production destination.
On the heels of several high-profile Hollywood productions filmed, or filming, in the capital, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat announced on Tuesday his intention to build a major film and television complex in the city to attract more international filmmakers.
“After Richard Gere and Natalie Portman made Hollywood films in Jerusalem, and NBC filmed here last summer for the series ‘Dig,’ now it’s time to move to the next stage in the development of the film industry in the capital,” Barkat said in a statement.
Portman filmed parts of her directorial debut about celebrated writer Amos Oz in Nachlaot last summer, while Gere began production for a film in Jerusalem in March.
The initiative, Barkat said, is part of his five-year plan, created with world-class economist Prof. Michael Porter, to overhaul Jerusalem’s foundering economy by 2020. He added that more details will be revealed on Sunday at an Israel Museum gala.
On May 17, the mayor said he will submit his plan in its entirety to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In the meantime, Barkat said the municipality and Development Authority have begun the process of scouting a location in the city that is suitable to house the 5,000-square-meter state-of-the-art production complex.