‘Foxtrot’ Director Samuel Maoz, Eitan Mansuri Reteam on Political Film

Eitan Mansuri, who attended Series Mania Festival to pitch season 2 of “No Man’s Land” (pictured), is re-teaming with award-winning Israeli director Samuel Maoz on his next film “It’s Good to Die For Your Country.”

The project will mark Maoz’s follow up to “Foxtrot” and “Lebanon” which won Venice’s Silver and Golden Lion awards, respectively. Mansuri told Variety that “It’s Good to Die For Your Country” will be like the third opus of a trilogy on war, completing “Foxtrot” and “Lebanon.”

“‘Lebanon’ was about being a soldier, ‘Foxtrot’ was about the implication of war on families and ‘It’s Good to Die For Your Country’ will be about trauma itself,” said Mansuri, whose produced Maoz’s last two movies.

While the exact plot remains under wraps, Mansuri revealed that it will revolve around two childhood friends in their late 50’s and 60’s who grew up believing that (serving in the army) was a good thing,” he continued.

The project is being backed by The Match Factory in Germany and Sophie Dulac in France who are attached to co-produce, as well as take international sales and French distribution rights, respectively.

Certainly to the political nature of the project, Mansuri has struggled to raise any financing in Israel and says “It’s Good to Die For Your Country” has been rejected from the top two local schemes, Rabinovich Foundation and Israel Film Fund. The veteran producer also said he was terrified by the current Israeli government which is the most right-wing that Israel has ever known. He said the country is torn like never before by this new order which poses a threat to the democracy, and by extension to the freedom of expression of artists.

“Samuel Maoz is a director that has Golden Lion and Silver Lion out of Venice, but the fact that his new film is being rejected is an illustration of what’s happening right now in Israel,” says Mansuri. Without local funds on board, the producer says it’s nearly impossible to enlist the backing of an Israeli TV network, such as Yes, Keshet, Hot or Kan (which the government is threatening to shut down).

“It’s very difficult to produce in Israel counting solely on Israeli broadcasters so you have to find partners around around the globe in order to produce local content,” said Mansuri, adding that his banner Spiro films has been partnering with international producers on films for years and is now doing it for TV. “No Man’s Land,” for instance, is co-produced with Haut et Court in France for Fremantle.

But Mansuri is concerned that international co-producers “can’t sustain and compensate the loss of investment by Israeli broadcasters” and “always looking for the next ‘Fauda’ and ‘high concept’ shows.”

“I think that along the years the lack of local financing will change the DNA of the Israeli creation,” said Mansuri, citing “In Therapy,” an intimate series that would have struggled to get financed in today’s market because it’s not a splashy show.

Spiro Films’s slate includes season 2 of “No Man’s Land,” a spy thriller that “Fauda” director Rotem Shamir is directing.

Originally published at variety.com

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