Hollywood meet Holy-wood: Israel’s big screen potential

“We will put ‘made in Israel’ on countless screens around the world.”

JASON ISAACS (right) and Ori Pfeffer on the set of the US TV show ‘Dig.’  The show, produced by NBCU

Jason Isaacs (right) and Ori Pfeffer on the set of the US TV show ‘Dig.’  (photo credit: RONEN AKERMAN/USA NETWORK)

Anyone who’s been to Dubrovnik in Croatia in recent years can see how the HBO series Game of Thrones, part of which was filmed there, has impacted the city.

Dubrovnik’s Old City, its central tourist attraction, is filled with themed souvenir shops, and has a thriving cottage industry of Game of Thrones tours, where visitors can follow along with Cersei’s walk of shame, or sit on the balcony of the castle where Joffrey’s wedding was filmed, or see the site of the fight between The Mountain and Oberyn Martell. Tourism has gone up so much in Dubrovnik that the city has decided to cap the number of people who can enter each day.

Now imagine if the Game of Thrones effect came to Jerusalem, or if James Bond or Ethan Hunt of Mission: Impossible were filmed dashing from rooftop to rooftop in Acre.

That is the vision Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Michael Oren has had in mind in recent months, while working on creating the conditions necessary to attract major Hollywood and Bollywood studios to what he is calling “Holy-wood.”

Oren posited that the plan will have a massive, positive impact on Israel’s public diplomacy, which will “break BDS and other attempts to delegitimize and isolate us.

“We will put ‘made in Israel’ on countless screens around the world,” Oren said.

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