Raj Kapoor is my childhood hero: Israeli filmmaker

Kolkata, Nov 11 (IANS) Indian films are a great success in Israel, especially the classics, said Israeli filmmaker Dorn Eran, for whom Raj Kapoor has been an inspiration.

"Raj Kapoor is my childhood hero. I have been very influenced by his spontaneous acting, flawless direction and the subjects of his films. Realism has always dominated most of his films like 'Awara' and it has really inspired me," Eran told reporters at the 14th Kolkata Film Festival here.

Eran said Israelis are very fond of Indian films.

"Indian films are great hits in Israel. But we mostly watch the old classics of Indian cinema," Eran said.

Having produced about 42 films in his 20-year long career, Eran said he makes films not just for his people but also for the international market.

"Of course, I want to make films about my people (Israelis) till the last day of my career. But the local market in Israel is so small that I have to think internationally. After all, there is no point in making films without making any profit, especially when movies now are the best channel for corporates to merchandise their products," the 54-year-old producer-director said.

Eran said producing films in Israel is quite risk-free.

"Till now I have made only 10 films with government funds. For the rest, there are private investors who are interested in putting money into films as they get tax rebates if they invest in this field. Besides, if a film flops, the government refunds 50 percent of their investment," Eran said.

Five of Eran's films, "Stalin's Disciples", "The Voice of Ein Harod", "God's Sandbox", "Over Dose" and "Marriage Licence" are being screened at the film fest.

While "Stalin's Disciples" is a comical exploration of the 50s in the Israeli Kibutz movement, "The Voice of Ein Harod" is a tale of friendship during the political turmoil and military occupation of the country. "God's Sandbox" is a love story between a western tourist and an Arab Bedouin. "Over Dose' is based on the real life story of an young actress who dies of drug overdose - a crucial problem in Israel. "Marriage Licence" is about a married couple who seek lost passion after 20 years of marriage.

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