Toronto, Canada – April 10, 2019 – Unobstructed View has acquired from Indie Sales the Canadian rights to Sameh Zoabi’s award-winning film TEL AVIV ON FIRE, expanding its slate of award-winning films. TEL AVIV ON FIRE has just been announced to open this year’s Toronto Jewish Film Festival and a theatrical release is planned for the coming months.
Directed by Sameh Zoabi and written by Dan Kleinman And Sameh Zoabi, TEL AVIV ON FIRE took home Best Film and Best Actor (Kais Nashif) at the Venice Film Festival 2018. It was also awarded Best Film at the Haifa International Film Festival (2018), along with Best Screenplay at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (2018) and it was an official selection of the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.
“TEL AVIV ON FIRE works because it looks at the defining episode in Israeli-Palestinian history through the lens of a steamy spy soap opera doubly refracted through the geopolitics of producers living in today’s reality. This original treatment has a remarkably unexpected impact on the audience, no matter where they sit. On the issues that is,” says Jonathan Gross, President of Unobstructed View.
Unobstructed View’s Jonathan Gross and Kerry Kupecz negotiated the deal with Simon Gabriele of Indie Sales.
TEL AVIV ON FIRE Synopsis
Salam, a charming 30-year-old Palestinian living in Jerusalem, works as an intern on the popular Palestinian soap opera Tel Aviv on Fire, produced in Ramallah. Every day Salam must pass through an arduous Israeli checkpoint to reach the television studios. He meets the commander of the check point, Assi, whose wife is a huge fan of the show. In order to impress her, Assi gets involved in the writing of the show. Salam soon realises that Assi’s ideas could get him a promotion as a screenwriter. His creative career catches fire, until Assi and the show’s financial backers disagree on how the soap opera should end. Squeezed between an Army officer and the Arab backers, Salam can only solve his problems with a final master stroke.
Sameh Zoabi was born and raised in Iksal, a Palestinian village near the city of Nazareth. He graduated from Tel Aviv University with a dual degree in Film Studies and English Literature. Zoabi then received a Fulbright Fellowship to study Filmmaking at Columbia University, earning an M.F.A. in 2005. Zoabi’s work has been shown in many international film festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, Locarno, Sundance, Karlovy Vary, and New York Film Festival. A selection of Zoabi’s notable work includes a short film titled Be Quiet (2005) for which received a prize at the Cannes Film Festival-Cinefondation Selection. His feature film debut, Man Without a Cell Phone (2010), won several audience awards as well as the Golden Antigone at the 2011 Montpellier Film Festival. His second feature film, Under the Same Sun (2013) was about peace between Israel and Palestinians. Most recently, Zoabi wrote the original script of The Idol (2015), directed by Hany Abu Assad, which had its premier at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Unobstructed View (previously known as Video Services Corp.) is a full-service distributor with direct relationships and a commitment to tailor distribution strategies across all platforms, from theatrical release to home video, VOD, and television. Owned by former rock critic Jonathan Gross, Unobstructed View owns a catalog of hundreds of film and TV titles and has ongoing distribution agreements with Film Movement, Kino Lorber, and Synapse, just to name a few. Recent and upcoming film and TV releases include TIFF Selections Past Life and In Between, Sundance selection As You Are, Canadian film First Round Down, and Cézanne et Moi. For more information, visit unobstructedview.com.