A new agreement between El Al Airlines and the award-winning Department of Film and Television at Tel Aviv University (TAU) has added short films by TAU students to El Al’s in-flight entertainment. The airline believes this agreement is the first of its kind.
“El Al is interested in profiling Israeli excellence onboard, and when the opportunity to create a new channel for TAU filmmakers presented itself, we were happy to jump on board,” says Reuven Hecker, head of TAU’s Department of Film and Television. “We’re proud that our students are regarded as the top of the class among young filmmakers around the world.”
El Al’s Boeing 777s will offer a menu of short films on two dedicated channels, one for documentaries and the other for scripted films. The movies were created over the last five years by young directors while at TAU. They include Student Academy Award nominees and films featured at the Cannes Film Festival.
Over the last four decades, the department has educated an entire generation of writers and directors – with influence reaching far beyond Israel’s borders. In Treatment, HBO’s smash hit series starring Gabriel Byrne, for example, is based on an Israeli television series created by TAU graduates.
Two of the films to be featured are Pinhas and Late Marriage. Directed by Pini Tavger, Pinhas looks at the life of Pinhas and his mother, new immigrants to Israel from Russia. Late Marriage, directed by Dover Kosashvili, has been screened at theaters around the world.