Friday , May 20 2022

Creating another story of a personal


Ofir Raul Graizer The Cakemaker

Photo: Thomas Lohnes / Getti Images

This story about "The Cakemaker" first appeared in the edition of The Vrap's Oscar magazine.

Ofir Raul Graizer was studying for the first time when he met a story that would turn into The Cakemaker, the winner of Israeli Ophir awards for the owner of an Israeli baker and a German man who entered her world that hides the secret of her late husband.

The film is the release of Israel at this year's Oscars for best foreign language film, and this interview is one of the series of conversations that The Vrap has with foreign directors.

This story came from personal experience, right?
OFIR RAUL GRAIZER: Yes. It's not mine, but I've known a guy for a long time 10 or 12 years ago – and he had a double life. He had a wife and three children and a very respected job, he was director of the museum in Italy. We were friends and I knew he had a double life and that he was with men.

After I had not been in touch with him for a long time, I received an email from his wife who told me he had died. I do not know exactly what happened, but I was sure of the email tone that he found out about a double life. I was hit by this story – it's a woman, her husband is dead and it's a huge loss, and then she finds out how lied and manipulated her, so what does she say about their relationship?

I've been thinking a lot about how I could use this story and make it my first feature film. When I finished my studies, I went to Berlin for the project, and I found that I had been there for nine years. One day I was riding on a bus and I saw this guy ride a bicycle, and immediately the whole story came to me. All that. I had a synopsis in two days.

I took the basic idea of ​​wife and lovers, death and discovery, and I put my life into it. Environment, Jerusalem and Berlin. I have love for food and love for baking. My father is religious and my mother is secular, so I grew up between these two worlds. I'm gay, I got out of the closet when I was 16 years old. So I took the story of my friend and the story of his widow, and I put my life on my own.

What was the biggest challenge film?
That was mostly financing. All the challenges came from that. We have a little money, like $ 70,000 from one movie, but the conditions were that we need to raise 300,000 or 400,000 dollars to get $ 70,000. In six years, we were not able to raise any more. We had 19 letters of refusal from the film funds in Israel and Germany and France.

And in the end, we returned to the first film fund and we agreed with us that they would give us $ 70,000, and we will shoot with this money. We convinced them that we could do it. We launched another $ 15,000, I shelled the house and shot in 20 days. One week after we ended up shooting, I got the first rough cut, and on the basis of that rough cut, we managed to raise another $ 90,000 for post-production.

It took eight years to make a movie, and all this time the scenario changed and changed and changed. I cut the characters, I tried to do more condensing and easier recording. But in the end, what I realized when I looked at the final cut was that it was similar to the first synopsis I wrote after I took over that bus.

To read more about the TheVrap's Foreign Language problem, click here.

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