23 January 2018 - 8 Shevat 5778 - ח' שבט ה' אלפים תשע"ח
Arts & Culture
Israel aims to attract Bollywood producers E-mail

In an attempt to lure Bollywood producers to work in the country, Israel sent a senior minister to India in October to meet top producers in the film and television industry.

For a long time now, Israel has been eyeing opportunities with Bollywood, and has been mulling over possible incentives that can be extended to attract them to film in the Holy Land.

Michael Oren, deputy minister for diplomacy in the Prime Minister’s office, went on a five-day trip to India from 6 to 10 October, and met with producers to explore opportunities in the areas of film-making in Israel, scripts, media technology and co-production between India and Israel.

About 20 leading producers, studios and companies, including Yash Raj Films, Dharma Productions, Fox Star, Eros International, Red Chillies Entertainment and Balaji Telefilms, were invited to the meetings.

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Indian and Israeli artists collaborate to empower women E-mail

A male artist from India and a female artist from Israel collaborated in October to present a travelling art exhibition, The Plate and The Palette, in Chandigarh city, the capital of the northern Indian states of Punjab and Haryana. The exhibition was held at the Museum of Fine Arts, Panjab University.

Madan Lal, a painter from Chandigarh, and Shirley Siegal, an artist, archaeologist and lecturer from Israel, conceived the exhibition with a belief that if women of the Far East join forces with women of the Middle East, a change can be made and a better future can be achieved.

The amalgamation of two different applications of the same concept of female empowerment was put together in a showcase depicting a connection between two ancient civilisations.

“Women can help each other in finding creative solutions to their distress and agony and can empower each other and break the glass ceiling,” said Siegal.

The exhibition depicted a dining room. The dining table was laid with beautifully painted table linen depicting the five essential elements of life: earth, water, fire, air and space. In his works, Lal portrayed “food” as the sixth element that sustains the human body, and created sculptures using different food grains, with geometrical shapes forming the basis of the 25 sculptures.

The table was dressed with plates, cups and cutlery adorned with portraits of women who broke the glass ceiling — the first woman pilot in an Israeli airline, a diplomat preaching for peace, a Nobel Prize-winner… — all created by Siegal.

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Mayim Mayim folk song alive and kicking in Japan E-mail

What is the connection between Israel, Japan and video games? A pre-state Israeli song. Yes, you read that right. An Israeli folk song called Mayim Mayim (“Water, Water” in Hebrew), whose lyrics are based on a biblical promise for salvation, is now the wellknown tune accompanying countless Japanese video games.

How did this come about? According to the Jewish daily online magazine Tablet, US educator Ricky Holden, an expert on folk dancing, was asked by the Japanese after WWII to help them in the process of cultural transformation.

Holden, who was not Jewish, found the Israeli folk song Mayim Mayim to be a worthy addition to the folk dancing music he was set to introduce to the youth of Japan. The American folk expert, who probably became acquainted with the song during his visit to Israel in 1957, introduced it to the Japanese, never suspecting that it would become a massive hit. The song was popular with labour movements and youth groups, and was eventually even played in Japanese schools, possibly influencing would-be video game designers who were then elementary school students.

The original Hebrew song was composed by Emanuel Amiran-Pougatchov, who composed over 600 songs and is quite famous in the world of Hebrew folk music. He was inspired by one particular verse from the Bible: “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.” Isaiah 12:3.

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