Woody Allen Fans Start Campaign for Israeli-set Film
New York was central to most of Woody Allen's film career until he headed to Europe in the mid-2000s, with features set in London, Paris, Rome and Barcelona, but if some Allen fans have their way, he'll be shooting in Israel. Now that he has To Rome With Love making its way to screens in the U.S., the Oscar-winning filmmaker is reportedly headed to San Francisco for his next project, which will star Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Bobby Cannavale and curiously, Andrew Dice Clay. But if a group of L.A.-based Jewish campaigners have any say, his follow-up will be in Israel and they're looking to put their crowd-funding wares to the test in order to lure Allen to film in the Jewish state.
The Jewish Journal in Los Angeles is spearheading the campaign, according to Vanity Fair. "As far as I know, Allen himself has never been to Israel. For a man who has done much to define the image of ‘Jew’ in our time, this needs repair," the publication's editor Rob Eshman told VF. He is hoping to motivate his readers to donate money toward a $9 million would-be production via Jewcer, a Jewish crowd-funding platform.
Born Allan Stewart Konigsberg, Woody Allen has solid New York-Jewish pedigree. His grandparents were German immigrants who spoke Yiddish, Hebrew as well as German and his mother worked at her family's delicatessen. Allen also attended a Hebrew school for a number of years. Despite the heritage, Allen has not headed to Israel. He has noted in interviews that his latest stints in Europe were because those were places he was able to get financing for his films. Despite decades of adulation, Allen still allegedly struggles with raising money, though Midnight in Paris made over $150 million worldwide (his biggest success of his career in terms of box office) and the recently released To Rome with Love has cashed in at just under $16.6 million so far.
So, with a little boost from his new-found crowd-funding L.A. friends, Allen will have an Israeli production. All he'd need to do is write it up (perhaps swinging Tel Aviv will provide an inspirational backdrop). Still as of now, only $6,000 has been raised and there is only 45 days to go for the $9 million. The Jewish Journal is offering various incentives including an email subscription to the blog HollywoodJew as well as others including a home-cooked dinner from Rob Eshman personally for a $5,000 donation.
[Source: Vanity Fair]