Filming in Israel
The Mayor of Jerusalem has announced plans to develop a film studio in his city to help boost the local economy. Jerusalem recently hosted productions from Natalie Portman and Richard Gere, and was also the initial filming location for the US drama series Dig.
Mayor Nir Barkat plans to build a 5,000 sq m studio facility that he says has been six years in the planning.
Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem and filmed her directorial debut A Tale of Love and Darkness in the city last year. Richard Gere, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Dan Stevens are among the cast of upcoming political drama Oppenheimer Strategies, which also shot in Jerusalem.
The Dig production team ended up relocating to Croatia and New Mexico when violence flared between Israel and Gaza in 2014.
Israel and the ancient Middle East remain popular settings for international productions, but Malta has now largely become the filming location of choice for these stories.
Even before the 2014 conflict prompted security concerns for productions considering a Jerusalem shoot, Brad Pitt chose to double Malta for Israel for a major action set piece in his zombie drama World War Z.
The northern and coastal regions of Israel have a Mediterranean climate characterised by hot and dry summers and cool rainy winters. The southern and eastern areas of Israel have an arid climate.
The rainy season lasts from October to May, but rainfall peaks from December to February. Rainfall varies considerably depending on the region.