One of our favorite clients, Emmanual Benbihy, who allowed us to help with Paris, Je T’aime (ISA:Celsius) and even New York, I Love You (ISA:QED International), has since moved to Shanghai to make Shanghai, I Love You (ISA:WestEnd) and during the Berlinale, Berlin, I Love You was announced. He sold the rights to Rio, I Love You (ISA:WestEnd) and now, The Hollywood Reporter announces directors are set for Jerusalem, I Love You (ISA:WestEnd). Congratuations Emmanuel on the Cities of Love franchise!
Jerusalem, I Love You, this “Cities of Love” episode takes us to one of the most venerated cities in the world. Jerusalem’s shifting moods, varying colors and profound religious and historical significance makes people of all faiths long for this great city.
“Jerusalem” will feature ten short films and, true to form, each story will take place in a different neighborhood of the city. Three will be directed by Israelis, three by Americans and four by other international filmmakers. With a city as storied and contested as Jerusalem is, this sort of film seems destined for some sort of controversy. Producer Scott Berrie, is confident the film will unite, not divide. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he says, “The conflict will always be in the background, but won’t be the main focus of the film…we have to be representative of the people living in Jerusalem. Jews, Christians, Muslims, Ethiopians, Copts — everyone. Film is a beautiful way to understand what is happening over there today.”
“Jerusalem” is expected to premiere in early 2012. The cities featured were not chosen randomly. “Cities” founder Emmanuel Benbihy explains, “We picked Paris because it’s nicknamed the city of love. New York is the city of romantic comedies. Rio represents sensual love. Shanghai is the city of exotic love…Jerusalem represents spiritual love. Each of these cities has its own love myth.”
The “Cities” series is one of the only mainstream outlets for short filmmaking; it is wonderful Benbihy and Berrie are continuing the franchise. As an added treat, there is a strong possibility Natalie Portman, who starred in “Paris” and “New York” will be back for another round, in Israel, maybe even as a director this time.