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Filipino director scouts filmmaking options in Israel

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WITH Bahai Garden representatives during their visit in Haifa.

Renowned Filipino director Sigrid Andrea Bernardo is currently in Israel with her director of photography Roberto “Boy” Yñiguez, touring the destination and visiting the major sites in the country to explore co-production possibilities.

She is visiting Israel as a guest of the Israel Ministry of Tourism and is escorted by Ms. Anna Aban, marketing manager for Israel Ministry of Tourism, Philippines.

Bernardo is an award-winning director whose latest movie Kita-Kita (2017) ended its theatrical run with worldwide gross earnings of 320 million ($6 million), making it the highest-grossing Philippine independent film.

For the film, she was nominated in the Best Director and Best Screenplay/Screenwriter category in 2018 and won in both categories at the Star Awards for Movies.

CNN Philippines considered Kita-Kita to be one of the best romantic comedy films of the last 25 years. Bernardo has also been recognised by her peers in international forums for her other projects, most notably Ang Huling Cha-Cha Ni Anita (2013).

While in Israel, Bernardo is visiting different historical sites in the cities of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Caesarea, Haifa, Jerusalem and the Dead Sea Region.

While in Caesarea, she toured the Caesarea National Park, in Jerusalem she visited the Old City, as well as a tour of some other sites of the city.

In Tel Aviv-Yafo she enjoyed a tour of the old city and the beach promenade followed by an exciting nightlife tour that showcased the vibrant culture of the city after dark.

In Haifa, Bernardo strolled through the city’s picturesque German Colony and toured the famed Bahai’i World Centre and Hanging Gardens.

No trip to Israel is complete without a visit to the famous Dead Sea Region where Bernardo toured the historic Masada National Park followed by the unique and exciting floating experience in the dense saltwater and mineral rich environment.

The purpose of this visit was to showcase to the Filipino director the unique terrain and vibrant culture of Israel, set against a uniquely intriguing historic backdrop.

Speaking of Bernardo’s visit to Israel Sammy Yahia, director — Israel Ministry of Tourism, India & Philippines, said, “Israel is a destination that has a lot to offer to travelers. We have seen a growing interest from the market with over 30,000 visitors from Philippines to Israel this year (January through November), and film is a great way to showcase the destination to the Filipino audience. I am happy to see there is an interest from Philippines film industry to showcase this beautiful country. Ms. Bernardo is a well-respected director with a keen eye and I am looking forward collaborating with her.”

Israel offers a plethora of things to do and see to cater to the discerning traveler. From the historical city of Jerusalem to the beach city of Tel Aviv; from the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, to the marvellous underwater marine life of Red Sea in Eilat, Israel is truly a dynamic destination.

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