Tell us how Wishmakers evolved.
WishMakers began from a visit to a liquor store in Jerusalem in
order to buy a bottle of wine to bring as a gift to a friend. The
owner of the store suggested that I purchase the Black Tulip
wine..which I did. After enjoying the wine with my friends I
returned to the store to buy several more bottles to share with
others. The owner of the store then told me that there was a unique
history to the Tulip winery which he continued to share. I was
intrigued and asked if he could connect me with the founder of the
winery? Then and there he called Ro'i with whom I spoke and made a
date to visit the winery on the following day. The rest is in the
Q: Did you have any unusual difficulties during filming?
There were some unique challenges during the filming. Not all of the
residents of KfarTikvah, the special needs community, were
comfortable with proximity to a camera. It was important to be
sensitive with regard to their emotions and to be respectful when
addressing their concerns. I needed to be ever mindful of the
individual limitations of these wonderful people who were allowing
themselvesto participate in the storytelling.
In addition, it was challenging to work with the Make A Wish
Foundation-Israel to find a child whose wish was granted by the
winery and whose parents would allow their child to appear on
camera. It took an incredible amount of courage for a child, in this
case Neta, to expose herself to the camera and discuss her very
personal fight for life.
Q: Will winning awards help promote the film? How so?
My goal as a documentary filmmaker is to share stories that are
educational and inspiring with as broad an audience as possible. One
never knows how a viewer will respond and what actions might be
forthcoming on that individual's life's journey.
Screening WishMakers at international film festivals provides the
opportunity to introduce a global audience to people who celebrate
their diversity with respect and compassion, regardless of personal
handicaps and challenges. Presenting awards that have been won in
the festivals to these wonderful people who appear in this
documentary lets them know how much they are appreciated!
Q: How much money did it cost?
WishMakers was not a costly endeavor. Every member of the team, from
the videographers to the editors, wanted to give of themselves and
their skills in order to tell this story. We were all humbled by
Ro'i and the Tulip winery family as well as by Neta and the Make A
Wish Foundation-Israel connection.
Q: Where were the locations?
The documentary was filmed entirely in Israel at the Tulip winery
Q: Any bites yet from distributors?
WishMakers will be represented and screened in February at the
European Film Market/Berlinale by New World Cinemas.
Q: What was it like working with the special needs people as
I was humbled to be in the presence of these amazing people who
embraced me without hesitation. Nothing was scripted. Everything
that they said and every action that was forthcoming came from the
What has the feedback been so far?
WishMakers has been acknowledged as a story that knows no
limitations as it celebrates doing good for one another. It has been
described as a "feel good" message that needs to be shared.
Q: Tell us about your own background. Where you were born?
Where did you study film? What was your first movie? What was your
previous job? Are you a full-time filmmaker?
I was born in New Haven, Connecticut, a small college town. My
father was a Congregational Rabbi and our home was open to people
from all walks of life. Both of my parents were on call 24 hours 7
days a week to answer the needs of others. I was raised in a home
where I was constantly exposed to the stories of others who required
sensitivity, discretion and compassion. It was in this home
environment that I learned the art of "storytelling."
My parents taught me through their actions that we all have a
responsibility to do what we can to make a difference; regardless of
gender, race, ethnicity or religion.
I have been guided by these values and the sense that every day is
an opportunity to listen, learn and make a difference. This
awareness has taken me, the girl who grew up in a small town, to
visit places and meet people whose stories have gone beyond the
borders of my imagination. As such, I have felt a compelling need to
share the experiences of these remarkable individuals with others.
When I went to Barnard College of Columbia University in New York
City I joined WKCR-FM and had a weekly radio program. I also engaged
in on- campus freelance photography. Both the radio and the
photography were storytelling platforms. Years later, President
George H.W. Bush appointed me to serve as a director of the Board
for International Broadcasting. Afterwards, President Clinton
appointed me to serve as a member of the Broadcasting Board of
Governors. During the administration of George W. Bush I was
appointed to serve on the board of the Corporation for Public
Broadcasting that I was subsequently elected to chair. Now I am a
partner at HQ Creative LLC. , a multifaceted digital production
Q: What was the best part of the project?
Bonding with the residents of KfarTikvah and the Tulip winery family
is the most precious part for me of the WishMaker experience. Every
time that I return to the winery I am hugged and then told how much
I have been missed. They have all become a part of my extended
Q: Are you pleased with the overall outcome?