Kellan Lutz, who stars in ‘The Twilight Saga’ franchise and also a gossip-columns favorite, recently made a stealth landing in Israel, for a personal vacation organized by “America’s Voices in Israel,” a group that often invites celebrities to meet Israel up-close, by touring the country, being exposed to the culture, and slipping a prayer-note into the Western Wall.
Lutz, alongside other ‘Twilight Saga’ actor, Billy Burke (who plays Kristen Stewart’s father) are staying at ‘Inbal’ hotel in Jerusalem and are currently touring the holy sites of the city, after visiting the Golan Heights (and Tweeting: “Loved seeing and learning about the Golan Heights, and even more so randomly meeting and hanging with some amazing girls.”) Shalom!
Basketball player Omri Casspi has taken advantage of his short vacation from his NBA schedule to visit his native country, and during his stay in Israel, he got to meet his family and friends, but also got to come back to the US with a girlfriend.
Israeli gossip columns report that a former Miss Israel (2003), Sivan Klein (picture below), who’s now a model and a TV host, was seen leaving Casspi’s suite at the Hilton Jerusalem Hotel, after spending the night, and that wasn’t the first time. The reports of a romance between the two have become more solid than another fling that was reported a few weeks ago, with another former beauty queen (2007), Liran Cohaner.
‘Tamid Oto Chalom’ (‘Always the Same Dream’), a 4-episode mini-series that was broadcast on Israel cable-TV in 2009, is now finally brought to a wider audience, after it was bought to be screened as a movie in the US, entitled ‘Mary Lou’ and based on a music of Israeli famous composer and performer Svika Pick. The series was already screened in that format in a few other festivals in Europe, especially gay or Jewish festivals and received a lot of good comments. Audiences in San Francisco can catch this movie in the legendary ‘Castro’ movie theater this week (SAT September 17- WED September 21), and in the near feature there will be more screenings in LA and NYC.
The filmmaker behind the series is Eytan Fox, whose other films include the famous and critically acclaimed “Yossi & Jagger,” as well as “The Bubble” and “Walk on Water,” which were hugely successful in Gay Film Festivals around the world and especially in the US.
“People in America see the Israeli format in its American adaptation, like “In Treatment,’ but never get to see the original,” Eytan Fox told Mouse.co.il. “Instead of Assi Dayan they get Gabriel Byrne. I tried to edit the series into a feature film but it was impossible. This is why I was so happy to hear that there was a distributor who was interested in screening the series as is, a full two-and-a-half hour movie. That is such a great opportunity for me." Here's the Israeli trailer for the series from 2009:
An Israeli scientist, Dr. Inbar Friedrich Ben-Nun at Scripps Research Institute, California, is leading a team in breakthrough research that has resulted in producing the first stem cells from endangered species, which can eventually save animals from extinction.
Stem cells are biological cells found in all multicellular organisms, that can be turned into any type of cell in the body, even into sperm or egg cells. The stem cells were produced from normal skin cells and the research was conducted by both San Diego Zoo, whose workers have been preserving tissue samples of some 800 species, including skin cells, since the 1970s, and Scripps Institute scientists.
There is hope for the northern white rhinoceros (above photo), for example, who is one of the first two animals included in the new "stem cell zoo." Only seven specimens remain in existence, all in captivity with two of them housed in San Diego.
"The idea itself is interesting, but many years may pass until it can be implemented," Prof. Joseph Itskovitz-Eldor of the Technion's medicine faculty in Haifa (Israel), who took part in the first experiment to produce human stem cells told "Haaretz" newspaper in Israel, "the biotechnological development is so rapid that what seemed imaginary a decade ago is already happening. There are always surprises."
"It won't happen tomorrow," scientist Ben-Nun says, "but it could happen sooner than we think. Our research's goal is to show that it can work and we want to bring that to the attention of the people dealing with preserving species and stem cells."
There's an interesting rumor out there, that Prince Harry (above photo) has got the hots for Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli. A British tabloid posted that Prince Harry has made several unsuccessful attempts at dating Refaeli, including using his royal assistants. While most girls would be more than happy to date a prince, it seemed that Bar wasn't interested, but it could be it that either she thought it was a joke or maybe the date-request didn't really get to her.
Bad boy Prince Harry just broke up with Florence lingerie model Brudenell-Bruce a few weeks ago, and paparazzi photos of him partying all summer leaked to the internet, so in that area (other than the fact that they are both 26 years old) he and Bar (below picture: with Tommy Hilfiger at his after party in NYC, September 9) are quite compatible.
For Holocaust survivors who endured the Nazi work camps of Hungary, the end of World War II was only the beginning of a new chapter in the stories that describe the enduring human spirit to survive and make a new start in a foreign land. The choice to do an international co-production as the second feature for the company seemed a natural one, says émigré Amir Kovács (above photo), Israeli-American, actor, producer and writer for the project. "While this story is specifically about Jews who left to immigrate to Palestine, it is the story of most every person who, for the sake of their children, decided to try their luck in a new world. To get the right perspective, we needed to work at the source of the story's characters. Goodbye Komárom will be the first international co-production of Parting Seas Productions. Co-Producer and writer Sheldon Schiffer as well as Amir Kovacs were determined to shoot the harrowing story on location in Hungary where authentic architecture and landscape provide the visuals for a rarely told part of European and Jewish history. The attractive tax incentives and exceptional crews were also a factor in choosing to go for the authentic approach. Hungarian and Israeli production incentives are providing the spark. The producing duo are also tapping private investors and entertainment partners in Hollywood.
Israeli actor Yehuda Levi, who recently finished filming 'For the Love of Money' in Los Angeles, will play the lead male role (Avner Rottblatt), while the remaining characters remain a secret for the moment. The lead characters are a pair of decommissioned British-Jewish agents, once called the Hagannah : Avner (leading man) and Erszibet (leading woman), who collaborate to illegally facilitate the emigration of Jewish families toward Palestine. At the risk of death by patrolling Soviet and Hungarian soldiers, or by drowning in the icy Danube, a courageous group attempts the crossing against all odds.
While the budget remains undisclosed, Kovács and Schiffer nodded at the ten to fifteen million dollar mark. The project is slated to begin shooting in the winter or early fall. Director Szazs and producers Kovåcs and Schiffer are all hoping for an early snow. "We wouldn't want to disappoint," says Kovacs, "When you shoot history, it's quite persuasive to try to get as close to the documented reality as possible. The pictures of illegal emigration of Jewish refugees during the winters of 1946-47 were harrowing." If nature cooperates along with investors, the U.S.-Hungarian production team will have a film in the can for the Fall of 2013.
The results of this week's entertainment hits is surprisingly similar to last week's, which basically indicates that the Jewish High Holidays are about to arrive and the industry falls asleep a little. In movies, the top 5 blockbusters stayed exactly the same as last week's, only with lower grossing. 'The Smurfs' enjoy another week at the top, with a total gross of more than $5.5 million in Israel since the movie opened, which is A LOT compared to how small the country is, so it's certainly going to be the biggest movie of the year there!
On the international music scene, there's no change as well, besides the fact that Bruno Mars' 'Marry You' switches places with 'Loca People' by Sak Noel, who marks his first week at #1. There are 2 new entries in the domestic airplay chart, Harel Skaat (above photo) , who recently performed in Los Angeles, is new at #2 with his new song, '21st Century,' and Chen Aharoni is another new entry at #3 with 'Mami'.
In Television, this week we brought you an interesting anecdote-the current top 5 REMAKES of American shows in Israel. There are a lot of famous formats that are being bought by Israeli commercial TV stations, so you have to see what Israelis really like. It may come as a surprise to see how big 'Master Chef' is in the Holy Land.
Music: Airplay Chart – International
1. Sak Noel – Loca People
2. Adele – Set Fire to the Rain
3. Bruno Mars – Marry You
4. Maroon 5 Feat. Christina Aguilera – Moves Like Jagger
5. Milk and Sugar Feat. Miriam Makeba and Jungle Brother – Hi-A Ma (Pata Pata)
It’s less than a month ago since we told you about the 10 Israeli start-up companies to look out for in the next year, and the first one on the list is already cashing in. According to reports, Ron Gura’s ‘The Gifts Project,’ was just bought by eBay for an estimated tens of millions of dollars.
‘The Gifts Project’ describe themselves as a social gifting platform that helps consumers interact with their friends while shopping. With Group Gifting, friends can share their special occasions with their social group by actively participating in a Group Gift on their favorite retailer’s website.
What it basically means is that soon we’ll be able to type in the name of a friend (or to import it through Facebook Connect) and to choose an event for which the gift is intended. The user then receives a list of possible gifts for purchasing on eBay, based on the friend's areas of interest on Facebook.
In January this year, The Gifts Project signed a cooperation agreement with eBay, under which eBay offered group gift buying through the Israeli company's technology. Going forward, eBay plans to transition The Gifts Project into eBay’s Israel Social Center and focus on building social shopping platforms and product features for eBay Marketplaces.
This is eBay's third acquisition in Israel. In 2005, it bought Shopping.com for $620 million, and in 2008 it bought Fraud Sciences for $169 million.
Nathan Penlington is a British poet, writer, live literature producer and magician, and apparently, a huge fan of Uri Geller. His new stage show, entitled ‘Uri and Me,’ is an exploration of the spoon-bending mentalist's psychic magic and an attempt to deconstruct the icon. Penlington brings telepathy, clairvoyance and more to the stage.
In a special blog post that Penlington wrote to promote his show, he listed 3 Uri Geller memorabilia items that every super-fan should own in his/her collection. So here they are:
Uri Geller, the album
In the early 1970s, Uri started writing poetry, “some of them dealing with love or loneliness or sadness or cosmic intelligence”.He showed them to the composer Byron Janis and the result is this awe- inspiring, epic, melancholic new-age pop album released in 1974. I can think of no other album with lyrics of this quality: “Like a tiny drop of tear / that has fallen off the eye of a molecule / yes, it is that little”.
Matturi™ Kickboxing Fitness Video
This VHS is a collaboration between martial arts master Matt Fiddes, who takes you through the exercise sections, and Uri Geller who takes you through psychic warm-up sessions. I still feel stupid for not realizing that Matturi™ is not a particular kind of kickboxing – but just a combination of the names Matt and Uri. This video also confirms Uri’s position as the leading practitioner of motivational poetry: "You are alive / kick out into the sky / you are alive / punch the clouds / you are alive / leap for the moon".
Positive Energy Watch
Uri first appeared on the home shopping channel QVC in July 2000 with his debut range of crystal-based jewelery. His recent designs incorporate Egyptian, mathematical, scientific and religious symbols of many denominations, often with confusing effect. As is to be expected from a man who is known for his ability to stop and start watches, it is a very unreliable timepiece, but it does have his name on it five times which makes up for it not working
Israeli beauty queen turned actress, Gal Gadot, was presented in the June 2011 issue of the British ‘Loaded’ magazine, with a sexy-new and barely dressed photoshoot that was uploaded to the internet over Labor Day Weekend.
The ‘Fast & Furious’ star, whose resume also includes being Mark Wahlberg’s sexy girlfriend in the hit comedy ‘Date Night,’ admits in a magazine that she never aspired to be an actress, nor a model, “but a casting director from London came to Israel and she was looking for a Bond girl,” she reveals about her road to fame. “My Israeli agent begged me to go there and I said ‘No I’m not going to audition, I’m not an actress, I don’t know how to act,’so my agent was like ‘out of respect, go there and do it.’ So I did.”
Recently Gal had moved back to Israel with her husband, business man Yaron Versano, and announced her first pregnancy ( a daughter) at the beginning of August. Mazal Tov!