Arts Professional Spotlight: Gal Yefet, Producer
edited by Natasha Dawsen
Hailing from Tel Aviv, Israel, Gal studied Theatre Arts and Philosophy at Tel Aviv University before moving on to major in Filmmaking in New York. Now he separates his time between New York and Los Angeles working on a project with executive producer Rotem Alima, an Israeli Academy Award winner and a Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient. Gal began his film career as writer/producer/director of “The French Touch,” a film winning the ‘la Ruban d’or’ award at the annual Festival international du film de la relation attentionnée (Paris, France, 2016). His later films have rewarded him with additional nominations and winnings in multiple film festivals around the world.
Recently, Gal began working with Playtika, a digital gaming giant, with productions across the country as well as in Mexico, the Bahamas, the United Kingdom, and Australia. And it doesn’t stop there. He adds WSOP (World Series of Poker) and UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), Bingo Blitz, and Caesars to his ever-growing list of collaborations.
Gal worked closely with some of the best talent in the American entertainment industry such as Drew Barrymore and Laurence Fishburne. He also produced a feature film with Rollin Studios for Mark Rapaport (Berlin International Film Festival) starring award-winning actresses Eliza Roberts (Toronto Independent Festival of CIFT) and Lilla Kizlinger (Berlin International Film Festival).
The pandemic didn’t stop this ambitious and energized filmmaker. In 2021, he produced – alongside Jeongwon Lee – a 200-episode English learning program for Darakwon, the leading publishing company in South Korea. In 2022, he teamed with Samsung, the Korean Cultural Center in New York, and e32 Technology. This past year, he produced a documentary feature for Channel 12 (Keshet 12) starring the network’s leading talent Assi Azar, the host of most of the network’s shows such as the Big Brother, Rising Star, the 2019 Eurovision, Ninja Warrior, and the creator and writer of the acclaimed romantic-comedy TV series The Beauty and the Baker, later acquired by Amazon Prime Video. Assi Azar – a household name internationally – not only for his work domestically. He and his husband, Albert – in 2016 – started their surrogacy journey; a journey that ended in March 2022 (surrogacy for gay couples wasn’t legalized in Israel at the time they started the process). “I was called last minute by the network to produce and fly to Indiana as the surrogate had gone into labor two weeks earlier than expected,” Gal begins to explain. “I was on a plane four hours after I got the call.” He went on to relate how he met director extraordinaire, Tzipi Baider, and the TV crew and how they all began production for the documentary (co-produced with Kastina Communications, Rotem Alima Productions, and distributed by Keshet) of this ground-breaking event.
The film follows their journey of becoming a father and a father, with moving testimonials of the second-time surrogate and her husband, the second-time egg donor, and the happy first-time parents. It brings up cultural and moral conflicts, the desire to become a parent, and eventually presents a structure of a happy, modern family.
This is not the first documentary Gal has helped shepherd. Working with Purelements: An Evolution in Dance, he produced and shot a documentary called Dance Brooklyn, a three-episode documentary that celebrates Dance as one of our oldest forms of expression. Lakai Worrell, co-executive director of Purelements teaches us the cultural differences of immigrating families in Brooklyn while highlighting similarities through dance. Some of the companies featured in our series are the Brooklyn Irish Dance Company, Bangladesh Institute of Performing Arts – BIPA, and Something Positive Inc.
Gal explores all cultures on film. He is part of Grace Chang’s short “Strings.” Grace Chang is an Asian-American performing artist, the third generation of a Manchurian show business family (her father and uncles were the Marx Brothers of China. Being a former Cirque de Soleil magician and a puppeteer, Chang wrote a film that follows Christopher’s coming-of-age journey as a young boy who experiences life through imaginative puppetry, as a way of coping with his fear of life. Significant message in these tense times of exploring identity.
Gal is becoming a force to reckon within the American cinematic experience – both as a filmmaker and documentarian. His international experience adds a healthy measure of spice to all the dishes he creates. His youthful exuberance certainly turns up the heat. Gal is certainly the guy to watch.