Holocaust Informs Coming of Age Tale ‘A Room of His Own’ – HAF

Celebrated Israeli filmmaker Matan Yair, whose “Scaffolding” has had festival play at Cannes, Zurich and Singapore, is nearly ready with his new film, coming-of-age drama “A Room of His Own.”

The film, which is in the work-in-progress strand of Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF), follows 17-year-old Uri, who has botched his first army interview. Since Uri’s father moved out, his mother has been sleeping in Uri’s room. However, Uri is seeking his own path and his own room to deal with this world.

“A ‘Room of his Own’ has been accompanying me for many years as a personal story, almost autobiographical, over a period of time when my mother and I shared the same room. My father left home and my mother did not go back to the bedroom that they shared,” Yair told Variety.

“My mother and I continued to stay together and we didn’t not think that there was anything inappropriate or wrong with this arrangement. We gave each other warmth and love and we felt as though we were in a rhapsody of a churning sea. We shared a huge red blanket and I used to wear the same shirt to school, almost every day. We had our rituals such as going to the beach and swimming in the sea, shopping at the supermarkets, and falling asleep with a book in our hands, to the light of the bedside lamp.”

“I was looking for a way to tell this story of the coming of age of a kid who is afraid of the future, of the army, and who wants to be like everyone else but who understands slowly but surely that even if he tries to be like everyone else, that he won’t succeed,” said Yair.

“At the time I read vastly about the Holocaust the subject raised my curiosity. No one from my family was lost during the Holocaust but I identified with this subject and I tried to understand this event and it gave me comfort.”

“This world of a family falling apart, the absence of a father figure and a kid who has a close intimacy with his mother, being afraid of the future, army recruitment, and the presence of the Holocaust in his life, are the foundations on which this movie is based,” Yair added.

The Israel-Italy co-production is produced by Maya Fischer (“Shake Your Cares Away”) for Green Productions. Some $982,000 of the total budget of $1,020,000 has been raised so far. The plan at HAF is to attract potential sales agents and distributors.

“Currently we’re in the final stretch of the offline editing process, we plan to finalize the film by the end of August,” Fischer told Variety. “We hope to have an international premiere around the beginning of next year.”

Yair and Fischer are collaborating again on drama series “The Accident,” selected for this year’s Pitching Forum at Series Mania.

Coming up, Fischer also has; “Milk,” a feature film directed by Maya Kenig, an Israeli-French co-production, which starting shooting this week; and “Dead Language,” a feature by Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis, based on their short film “Aya,” Oscar-nominated in 2015, an Israeli-Czech-Polish co-production set to shoot later this year.


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