Israel and Britain signed a cooperation agreement in the field of cinema on Wednesday after 10 years of intense negotiations. According to the agreement, Israel will become a favorite filming location for British films while production companies will get financial incentives and tax benefits from Israel to shoot in the country.
The deal was signed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his British counterpart William Hague, who is currently visiting Israel.
Israel's Foreign Ministry estimated that British films may start being filmed in Israel very soon. One option that is being considered is shooting parts of the next "James Bond" flick in Israel.
The deal was signed after a decade of diplomatic efforts at a time when many UK cultural and academic establishments are calling to boycott the Jewish state. The agreement's financial and economic potential is huge: The British film industry makes over £5 billion ($8 billion) a year and is ranked third in the scope of production after the United States and India.
The deal will provide Israeli cinema with massive exposure and will increase the film budgets Israel recieves from overseas sources.
Meanwhile, UK filmmakers are already at work to produce two films about the British mandate period which may be filmed in Israel. A British delegation is slated to visit Israel in the coming months to consider future collaborations.
Israel's Ambassador to Britain Ron Prosor, who played a major role in brokering the deal, said: "Signing the agreement was one of the important goals I set for myself."
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