Adopt Films Takes U.S. On Israeli Thriller ‘Bethlehem’

Adopt Films has acquired all U.S. rights to Yuval Adler‘s debut feature Bethlehem. The movie premiered in Venice before heading to Telluride and Toronto. It’s also received 12 nominations at the Israeli Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Taking place largely in Jerusalem and the West Bank, it focuses on an Israeli Secret Service officer and his teenage Palestinian informant, the younger brother of a sought-after militant. Adler, who was signed by WME this month, co-wrote the screenplay with Ali Waked. Tsahi Halevi, Sahdi Marei, Haitham Omari, and Hisham Suliman star. Producers are Talia Kleinhendler and Osnat Handelsman-Keren for Tel Aviv based Pie Films, and Diana Elbaum and Sebastian Delloye of Entre Chien et Loup. Adopt’s Tim Grady and Jeff Lipsky negotiated the deal with WestEnd Film’s Maya Amsellem. Grady and Lipsky liken the film to Argo, except that the audience “doesn’t know in advance what will happen to the very charismatic characters at the end of the film and, thus, the suspense is unyielding from the very start. We were literally shaking when we left the Toronto screening and were determined to release it.” They will do so in late winter next year.

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