The acclaimed Russian-French director Pavel Lungin is being directing his first English speaking film based on the eponymous book by internationally renowned Israeli author Meir Shalev, with award winning actors Lior Ashkenazi, Mark Ivanir and Harvey Keitel. Notably, the film’s team includes Hungarian-German cinematographer Fred Kelemen (“The Turin Horse”).
Ashkenazi’s credits include “Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer” and “Foxtrot” – Israel’s most controversial film of the year that won best film award (Arca Cinema Giovani Award) at the 2017 Venice Film Festival.
Ivanir’s long film and TV career includes notable roles in “Homeland” and ” Schindler’s List”.
Keitel appeared in films such as Martin Scorsese’s “Mean Streets”, “Taxi Driver” and Paolo Sorrentino’s “Youth” and appears in Wes Anderson’s upcoming “Isle of Dogs” and in Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman.”
Cast members also include Yulia Peresild (“Battle for Sevastopol”), Kseniya Rappoport (“The Unknown Woman”) and Shira Haas (“Princess”, “Foxtrot”). Israeli diva Gila Almagor is to give guest appearance.
The film will be produced by Lungin’s company and 2-Team Productions whose “Sand Storm” won Grand Jury Prize at Sundance film festival and became Israeli’s Oscar entry in 2016.
“Esau” is being shot in Israel and is slated to hit theaters in 2019.
Photo by: Daria Shumakova
Pavel Lungin started his career in film as a screenwriter. He directed his first break-out feature “Taxi Blues” in 1990 which the same year was awarded the Best Director Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. In the two following decades Lungin directed a dozen films, both in French and Russian. His films “Luna Park” and “The Wedding” have also shown at Cannes Film Festival, and were nominated for the Golden Palm. His film “The Island” was a closing film of the Venice Film Festival. In 2009 Lungin’s film “Tsar” was an official selection at Cannes in the program “Un Certain Regard.” Pavel Lungin’s next directorial work “The Conductor” won the award for the Best actor at Shanghai film festival in 2012. His latest film “The Queen of Spades” won the audience award at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.A master dramatist Pavel Lungin is one of the most acclaimed Russian film directors working in the world cinema today.
Photo by: Dan Porges
One of Israel’s most celebrated novelists, Meir Shalev has written over 30 books which have been published in over 25 languages becoming best-sellers in Israel, the USA and other countries. Honors he has received include the National Jewish Book Award and the Brenner Prize, one of Israel’s top literary awards, the American National Jewish Book Award and the Book Publishers Association’s Gold and Platinum Prizes. Shalev is a regular columnist in the Israeli press. Notably, “Esau” will be the very first film adaptation of Shalev’s books.
Photo by: Ella Barak
Fred Kelemen is an award-winning director and cinematographer. For his first feature film “Fate” he received the German National Film Award. His work as a cinematographer includes Béla Tarr’s “Journey to the Plain”, “The Man from London” and “The Turin Horse”. Kelemen has been teaching in film schools and universities, including Harvard, all over the globe since 1995. Retrospectives of Kelemen’s films are being presented every year in world’s most reputable cultural centers such as the Anthology Film Archives New York and Tate Modern in London. Kelemen is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences (AMPAS) (USA), the European Film Academy (EFA) (Europe), the German Film Academy (Germany) and of the European Cultural Parliament (ECP).