Shazam, a live-action movie about a group of underwater film makers who film underwater, will open on July 12.
The film, directed by Israeli-American filmmaker Niv Ben-Yehuda, follows the story of Ben-Zvi, an Israeli filmmaker who makes underwater documentaries in Israel.
The film’s story revolves around his attempts to create a film with no political message and is a testament to the power of film to capture the humanity of a community in distress.
The Shazams film is based on the story by Amos Yitzhak, who was imprisoned for his filmmaking work in Israel in the late 1980s and was released in 1998.
Ben-Yezid is a former director at the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), and he also directed the critically acclaimed underwater film The Island, which was released earlier this year.
Shazam will screen at the Tribeca Film Festival in the United States, where it is the first Israeli film to be nominated for an Academy Award.
The movie’s production company is known for its Israeli and Palestinian projects.
“I am so honored to have received an award for Underwater, one of the most important films of the year,” Ben-Eli, a native of Tel Aviv, said in a statement.
“This film captures the essence of a city under siege, and its people are struggling to survive.”
Shazams story was featured in the documentary Under the Sea by Israeli journalist Avi Issacharoff, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival earlier this month.
Issachuroff also shared a story of a filmmaker named Hani who was detained for his underwater film work in the Gaza Strip and who was released by the IDF.
“Underwater is the story and the experience of a family that was separated by a barrier that has been built by Israel and its allies for a purpose of creating a virtual reality, so that the families can be connected in a way that is not possible in real life,” Issachiroff told the audience at the festival.
“Shazamed, this film, is an important step forward in the struggle for the freedom of Gaza and the people of the occupied West Bank.”