PM Olmert and UK PM Brown have decided to initiate a joint film co-production agreement between the two countries, aimed at reinforcing cultural ties.

(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson)

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown have decided to initiate negotiations on an agreement for the joint production of films, due to begin in the next few weeks.

Prime Minister Brown announced this decision at the joint press conference held yesterday (Sunday, 20 July 2008) with PM Olmert. The agreement will allow Israeli and British film producers to engage in film co-production and enjoy the economic, professional and creative benefits offered by both countries.

To date, Israel has signed eight similar co-production agreements with France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Australia, Canada and Sweden. Many films have been produced within the framework of these agreements, and many of them were commercially successful and participated in film festivals around the world.

The Israeli embassy in Great Britain, which initiated the early stages of the negotiations, expressed satisfaction at the joint announcement by the two prime ministers. Ron Prosor, Israel’s ambassador to Great Britain, noted that this was an important step in strengthening the relationship between London and Jerusalem. "The signing of the coproduction agreement will attest to the friendship between Britain and Israel beyond all shadow of doubt, and administer a heavy blow to all the extremists who call for the ostracization of Israel and of  Israeli academics and academic institutions in Britain."