A 24-hour documentary experience enhanced on second screen.

Project

TV Programme

Web

"24h Jerusalem" tells the story of one day in this magical city full of contradictions. A one-of-a-kind project from the heart of a conflicted land – airing on TV and the internet.

Jerusalem. A city like no other. A place of borders, dreams and ideologies. This is where heaven and earth meet – and with them, the religions of the world. Yet in Jerusalem, conflicts and struggles come to a head. For decades, Israelis and Palestinians have been wrestling for their own spot in this divided city.

“24h Jerusalem” enables you to spend a day exploring this mystical melting pot. Experience exciting encounters within its narrow roads and ruins. Breathe history thousands of years in the making, and get to know the residents, who test life's boundaries every single day.

Partners

  • Zero One
  • Alegria
  • BR
  • ARTE
  • FFF Bayern
  • medienboard
  • Film und Medien Stiftung NRW
  • Medai - Europe loves cinema
  • YLE Teema
  • NRK
  • firsthandfilms

A 24-hour TV programme

From 6am till 6 o'clock the following morning, from daybreak till night's end, a unique opportunity to glimpse the everyday life of the people of Jerusalem - that's the amazing experience offered by “24h Jerusalem”.

Footage of the city's Palestinian, Israeli and other inhabitants, captured in April 2013 by about 70 film crews, reveals lives as they are lived, from one hour to the next. A programme in which people from all backgrounds, all persuasions, and all classes find their own ways and reasons to live in a city where everything seems to clash: prayer and religion, the heritage of a several thousand year old history, the geopolitical conflict, the daily struggle to earn a living, to find love, and to fight for one's rights while respecting everyone else's.

Jerusalem, the spiritual center for hundreds of thousands of believers; an indivisible capital for some, an occupied city for others. Between Heaven and Earth, Jerusalem is a city filled with life and challenges of every type, day and night. April 12th 2014, on ARTE and BR – for 24 hours.

Production

Overall artistic responsibility lies with director and dramaturge Volker Heise. “24h Jerusalem” is produced by Thomas Kufus / zero one 24 (“24h Berlin”) in coproduction with Alegria Productions (France), Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) and ARTE. “24h Jerusalem” is funded by FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW and Media TV Broadcasting. 24h Jerusalem will be broadcast by BR (Germany), ARTE (France-Germany), YLE (Finland) and NRK (Norway).

A creative web project

24hjerusalem.tv #24hjerusalem

Besides the TV programme “24h Jerusalem” is also a web event.
Synchronizing your television with a 2nd screen (tablet, smartphone, computer) provides a new way to experience a documentary programme.

While the programme airs, discover a range of synchronized complementary information about people, places, the city's history and habits, as well as “Vines” - short videos produced live in Jerusalem by our crew, the city's inhabitants or people elsewhere in the world, in relation to the topic “Jerusalem”. Sharing content with other users and the team of “24h Jerusalem” becomes a collective experience: informative, poetic and enjoyable.

24 days prior to broadcast enjoy the start of the countdown to this event. Discover the video blog of Volker Heise, project director of “24h Jerusalem”, as he reveals the team's daily adventures and misadventures producing the programme in a city torn apart by historical and ever-present conflict.

For a one-off period of two months, the TV programme ”24h Jerusalem” will be available for viewing on the web, along with all the complementary content collected before and live during broadcast on April 12th 2014.

Production

24hjerusalem.tv is produced by Serge Gordey and Christine Camdessus / Alegria Productions and Alexandre Brachet / Upian, co-produced by Thomas Kufus / zero one 24, ARTE and BR. With help from the CNC (Centre national de la cinématographie et de l’image animée - France) and Film- und Medienstiftung NRW (Germany).

Partners

  • Alegria
  • Upian
  • Zero One
  • ARTE
  • BR
  • CNC
  • Film und Medien Stiftung NRW

Project

"24h Jerusalem" tells the story of one day in this magical city full of contradictions. A one-of-a-kind project from the heart of a conflicted land – airing on TV and the internet.

Jerusalem. A city like no other. A place of borders, dreams and ideologies. This is where heaven and earth meet – and with them, the religions of the world. Yet in Jerusalem, conflicts and struggles come to a head. For decades, Israelis and Palestinians have been wrestling for their own spot in this divided city.

“24h Jerusalem” enables you to spend a day exploring this mystical melting pot. Experience exciting encounters within its narrow roads and ruins. Breathe history thousands of years in the making, and get to know the residents, who test life's boundaries every single day.

TV Programme

A 24-hour TV programme

From 6am till 6 o'clock the following morning, from daybreak till night's end, a unique opportunity to glimpse the everyday life of the people of Jerusalem - that's the amazing experience offered by “24h Jerusalem”.

Footage of the city's Palestinian, Israeli and other inhabitants, captured in April 2013 by about 70 film crews, reveals lives as they are lived, from one hour to the next. A programme in which people from all backgrounds, all persuasions, and all classes find their own ways and reasons to live in a city where everything seems to clash: prayer and religion, the heritage of a several thousand year old history, the geopolitical conflict, the daily struggle to earn a living, to find love, and to fight for one's rights while respecting everyone else's.

Jerusalem, the spiritual center for hundreds of thousands of believers; an indivisible capital for some, an occupied city for others. Between Heaven and Earth, Jerusalem is a city filled with life and challenges of every type, day and night. April 12th 2014, on ARTE and BR – for 24 hours.

Production

Overall artistic responsibility lies with director and dramaturge Volker Heise. “24h Jerusalem” is produced by Thomas Kufus / zero one 24 (“24h Berlin”) in coproduction with Alegria Productions (France), Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) and ARTE. “24h Jerusalem” is funded by FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW and Media TV Broadcasting. 24h Jerusalem will be broadcast by BR (Germany), ARTE (France-Germany), YLE (Finland) and NRK (Norway).

  • Zero One
  • Alegria
  • BR
  • ARTE
  • FFF Bayern
  • medienboard
  • Film und Medien Stiftung NRW
  • Medai - Europe loves cinema
  • YLE Teema
  • NRK
  • firsthandfilms

Web

A creative web project

24hjerusalem.tv #24hjerusalem

Besides the TV programme “24h Jerusalem” is also a web event.
Synchronizing your television with a 2nd screen (tablet, smartphone, computer) provides a new way to experience a documentary programme.

While the programme airs, discover a range of synchronized complementary information about people, places, the city's history and habits, as well as “Vines” - short videos produced live in Jerusalem by our crew, the city's inhabitants or people elsewhere in the world, in relation to the topic “Jerusalem”. Sharing content with other users and the team of “24h Jerusalem” becomes a collective experience: informative, poetic and enjoyable.

24 days prior to broadcast enjoy the start of the countdown to this event. Discover the video blog of Volker Heise, project director of “24h Jerusalem”, as he reveals the team's daily adventures and misadventures producing the programme in a city torn apart by historical and ever-present conflict.

For a one-off period of two months, the TV programme ”24h Jerusalem” will be available for viewing on the web, along with all the complementary content collected before and live during broadcast on April 12th 2014.

Production

24hjerusalem.tv is produced by Serge Gordey and Christine Camdessus / Alegria Productions and Alexandre Brachet / Upian, co-produced by Thomas Kufus / zero one 24, ARTE and BR. With help from the CNC (Centre national de la cinématographie et de l’image animée - France) and Film- und Medienstiftung NRW (Germany).

  • Alegria
  • Upian
  • Zero One
  • ARTE
  • BR
  • CNC
  • Film und Medien Stiftung NRW

Parcourir tous les contenus :

  • 1379 Vines
  • 53 Thèmes
  • 12 Cartes
  • 45 Citations
  • 67 Quizz
  • 9 Street views
  • 89 Fiches
Voir tout

Die DVD-Box ist in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz im Handel erhältlich.

You're watching the DVD:

To synch

The DVD box is available on sale in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, in German and English version.

Browse all contents :

  • 1379 Vines
  • 53 Topics
  • 12 Maps
  • 45 Quotes
  • 67 Quiz
  • 9 Street views
  • 89 Factsheets
See all

Jerusalem in short videos Vine

On April 12th, a collective experience led to the creation of thousands of 6-second films. Find out more

On April 12th, thousands of “Vines” (short videos lasting 6 seconds) were made, involving a team of film makers, photographers and artists in Jerusalem, students from the art college in Jerusalem, and also viewers from all over Europe. Live statements, visual poems and experimental images, these short videos offer a unique and creative view of Jerusalem, echoing the TV programme.

Discover the #Themes of #24hjerusalem

#Pilgrims

Every year, the sanctuaries of Jerusalem attract tens of thousands of pilgrims to the city.

Follow the director’s video diary 24 videos of daily chronicle: Volker Heise shares with us the almost insurmountable obstacles they encountered while preparing the shoot. Find out more

When the preparation for the shooting day began in spring 2013, I started a video diary – for personal use, as my own aide- mémoire with no intention to ever publish it. I felt I had to preserve those weeks for us. Previously, the boycott initiated by the Palestinian side had sabotaged the first attempt at shooting in Sept. 2012. They had suspected Jerusalem would be depicted solely from an Israeli viewpoint. Half a year and many discussions later we had partners on both sides, the project had undergone a do-over and luck seemed to have turned in our favour. Alas – things didn’t turn out as we expected and the private diary unexpectedly became a record. In 24 parts it will tell the story of a project with an uncertain outcome – until the very last moment.

The next days

The final scene

Yan is on his way home and hides the hard drives with the footage.

D-Day

Shooting day has finally arrived

Hopes and Fears.

1 day to go

So many cases for a single shooting day!

Equipment worth 2 million euros is in place, ready for the shoot.

Interview with the filmmaker
Volker Heise

Of all the cities in the world, why did you choose Jerusalem as the subject of a new 24-hour city portrait?

The short answer: because it is a trouble spot. The long answer: our main starting point for 24h Berlin was a sociological definition of a city. A city is an amalgamation of the largest possible range of different people in a minimal space. But what does it mean if the differences are so great that many of the city’s inhabitants cannot even agree on the most basic things: Where do a city’s boundaries start and end, who is a citizen of the city and who is not? What impact does it have on a city when three world religions and two societies lay claim to it? And what happens when modern and traditional ways of living rub shoulders with each other in such a small area? These were the questions which motivated us and led us to Jerusalem. So I would not call it a portrait because a portrait sets out to create a synthesis or a completed narrative, whereas we chose the format of a theoretically never-ending programme which allows for a variety of viewpoints. I also try to explain it using this image: a big puzzle tries to become a big picture and realises that the individual pieces do not fit together — and the breakpoints are precisely where it gets interesting.

How useful were your experiences from 24h Berlin when making 24h Jerusalem?

Incredibly useful. It would have been impossible without the experience and knowledge we gained during 24h Berlin. We were faced with a whole mountain of other issues and problems in Jerusalem, so it was good that we had a solid foundation. We would have been lost if we would also had to set up such incredibly complicated logistics for the first time or had only run through the workflow in theory.

I am sure it is difficult to draw comparisons between Jerusalem and Berlin. Nevertheless, did you notice any parallels between the cities while you were filming?

You cannot compare the two cities. In Berlin there are as many non-believers as there are believers in Jerusalem. Berlin is built on flat land, Jerusalem in the mountains. Berlin is Europe, Jerusalem is between different cultures. Berlin lives in the present, in Jerusalem the past is a constant part of the present. You could say: Berlin had a wall, Jerusalem has a wall — the structure has moved location. As a Berliner, when you first see Israel’s security measures and installations, your heart stops for a moment because you feel like you are travelling back in time — but this wall is also a different wall.

What were the biggest challenges involved in shooting a programme like this? How did you approach the conflict between Israel and Palestine?

Your second question answers the first. It is not easy working in a politically charged atmosphere which is being supplied with energy from many different poles. When you have 70 crews filming on the same day, it does not escape the attention of the political players in a city with 800,000 inhabitants, and each of them wants to paint his or her picture of the city. So it was a big challenge to maintain our independence, while at the same time making sure we had the right conditions for the shoot. Naturally, the conflict plays a role in the programme because it plays a role in the lives of the protagonists who feature in the programme. Nearly all of the protagonists we accompanied for a day or a few hours live on one of the conflict lines that carve up the city. By showing us the world through their eyes, the conflict becomes tangible. These may be personal viewpoints, but there were around 90 protagonists involved, so we got to see the situation from a variety of different angles. I did not want to explain or play down the conflict; instead, I wanted to show how its threads entangle the city. And quite a few of their loose ends lead back to Germany and Berlin.

Entretiens réalisés par Sophie Diernberger et Julian Claassen.

Interview with the producer
Thomas Kufus

At the end of summer 2012 preparations were already underway for the day of shooting. What happened that meant everything had to be postponed?

We went to Israel with the intention of passing on our knowledge of the 24-hour format to our Israeli and Palestinian co-production partners over there. Based on the model of “24h Berlin”, we also wanted to portray the structure of the population in Jerusalem, which is home to 2/3 Israelis and 1/3 Palestinians. After two years of preparation, the shoot was scheduled for 6 September 2012. Three weeks before the day of shooting, we suddenly saw the first signs of an impending crisis coming from Palestinian boycott groups. Groups operating on international level affiliated with the BDS campaign (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign) complained that the project was politically incorrect, that it took sides with Israel and normalised Israel’s occupation of Jerusalem, which they saw as an implicit acceptance of the living conditions in the city. Within a few days, they had used social networks to call for a boycott from all of the Palestinian film professionals and protagonists involved. So, inevitably, they backed out of the project. Not all of them did so voluntarily: they also received telephone threats. The day before the shooting was scheduled to start, we had to cancel the project, because we did not want to make a film in a divided city which only featured Israelis and interviews conducted by Israelis, and which was only directed by Israelis. Cancelling the project was extremely damaging, not just mentally but also financially. After that, there were only two options: either we call off the whole venture or we restructure it and start again from scratch. We went for the second option. Today, we realise that we should have consulted independent advisory bodies from the beginning on how to structure and realise the project. Understandably, our partners in the city itself are too caught up in the conflict and consumed by their daily lives with all their complications and restrictions. Despite believing that we had carefully planned the project, we underestimated its explosive impact and its political significance for the city and ran headfirst into the boycott which derailed our plans to shoot in late summer 2012.

How did the structure of the project change after the first boycott?

The “restructuring” process was a long one, involving a lot of negotiations, which also resulted in demands that we could not — or did not – want to meet, such as the Palestinians influencing the content of the programme. A lot of different factions wanted to have their say. The programme will be broadcast in Europe, so it also explores our Christian and historical roots in the city and not just the conflict. The idea that emerged from all this was to adapt the structure of the project and distribute everything equally between the Palestinian, Israeli and European crews and, likewise, between the different protagonists. After the first boycott, one condition from the Palestinian side was “separation”: they did not want any Palestinian team coming into contact with Israelis. All of the meetings and the whole planning process had to be separate. As a result, we returned all of the funding we had been given by Jerusalem’s municipal administration. (This, then, created difficulties with the Israeli side who thought their interests were being neglected.) We were able to meet these conditions, but there were other conditions we had no desire to meet. The decisive point here, however, was that this new approach allowed us to be completely independent. From that point on, we were the only producers and, whatever we did, we had our European partners behind us. In many situations, this was like “balm to the souls of both sides wounded by the conflict”. Preparations for the new project got underway. We used all of our persuasive powers to get both sides on board the new project. The persistent boycotters remained calm. Then three days before the rescheduled shoot on 18 April 2013, a new boycott flared up, based on the previously unwarranted accusation that the project took the side of Israel, a claim which was also a source of irritation for our Palestinian crew members. In the end they were threatened with such huge restrictions that we could not justify going ahead with the Palestinian shoot and had to call it off. The shoot with the Israeli and European crews and protagonists still went ahead and focussed our efforts on painting an unbiased picture of the city. The fact that both Europeans and Israelis were undeterred by the cancellation of the Palestinian shoot and were willing to go ahead with the shootings anyway, undoubtedly played a role in getting a lot of Palestinians to join the project. After all, they wanted to show their perspective on Jerusalem. Without further ado, we expanded the timeframe for the Palestinian shoot from the initial one day to three days. In next to no time, we had to put together teams — some with new members — and re-allocate the locations and protagonists. We even managed to get key institutions back on board in time, such as a foundation that supervises religious sites, hospitals and big hotels. So we “cracked open the door” of the format in order to get the desired outcome — even-handed footage and a balance between the city’s three major world religions and varied cultures.

What did you learn from the first and second boycotts?

A project of this magnitude also implies a political dimension, so you have to adopt a particular perspective. As a result of the first boycott, we opted for the European perspective as a way out of this dilemma. It is obvious that the Israelis view Jerusalem in a completely different light to the Palestinians. The fact that these perspectives are irreconcilable only really hit us once we had arrived in the city. We did not realise this looking at the city from afar, from an outside viewpoint. Whenever we “consume” cultural coexistence projects from Israel here in Germany, everyone talks about how politically correct it all is — Palestinians and Israelis working together. But the situation over there is very different. Daniel Barenboim and his Divan Orchestra have also been subjected to boycotts, as well as many others working in the creative sector. For politically active Palestinians, cultural, scientific and economic cooperation with Israel signifies normalisation, an acceptance of the status quo. So the activists involved in the boycott movement select specific projects and impose sanctions on them. We realised that this was one of the few methods they still had at their disposal. Palestinians in East Jerusalem do not have a municipal administration and as a result they have few civil rights. This is their way of fighting with peaceful means at a stage where the second Intifada has come to an end. After the intensive phase of preparation and all the conflicts involved, we came to the following realisation: As Europeans, we are producing a project backed by European broadcasting companies and funding, targeted at a European audience. In this context, we had to ensure that the organisation of the project, as well as the crews, topics and protagonists, were equally divided between the Israelis, Palestinians and Europeans.

Interview with the producers
Serge Gordey & Alexandre Brachet

The television and the Internet are at the heart of the debate about the culture industry. It is even said that the web is killing television. You only have to see a project as innovative and ambitious as 24h Jerusalem to see that television isn’t dead. On the contrary, we believe that television is reinventing itself thanks to the Internet.

Viewers who have the time or energy to watch 24h Jerusalem in one go probably don’t exist. To meet the challenge of sharing the lives of the inhabitants of Jerusalem during a whole day and a whole night, the producers of the programme decided to make it available for an unusual period – two months – on the web where everyone could watch, and re-watch, their daily lives.

And then, we decided to go further. Together with ARTE and BR, we came up with an unusual plan which adds an extra dimension to the 24h Jerusalem documentary. Throughout the programme, viewers can find additional information – nearly a thousand items - on a second screen (tablet, smart phone, computer), synchronised with the hour of the programme. Items on history, sociology, theology, demographics and maps are available as well as virtual navigation tools offering 360° vision.

In addition to this information, the journey is an opportunity to enjoy a collective and creative adventure: hundreds of mini-films made in Jerusalem are linked to the sequences in the television programme. Pictures filmed by a team of film-makers, artists, video-makers or simply amateurs, giving their own quirky, ironic, poetic, unique, subjective perspective. The films were shot during the broadcast and selected by our production team.

Another way of enjoying the experience of 24h Jerusalem, adapted to the medium of the web. A way of seeing that an picture can hide another picture or, even better, suggest another. So many viewpoints which sharpen our visual acuity, our perception that no image is the reality, but just one way of representing it. All the more important in a city like Jerusalem, a city between heaven and earth, where the past and the present continually collide, where one second is no more than a second of eternity.

Partners of 24h Jerusalem

  • Zero One
  • Alegria
  • Upian
  • BR
  • ARTE
  • FFF Bayern
  • medienboard
  • Film und Medien Stiftung NRW
  • Medai - Europe loves cinema
  • CNC
  • YLE Teema
  • NRK
  • firsthandfilms

Media Partners

  • Rue 89
  • Zeit
  • The Guardian

Interview with the filmmaker
Volker Heise

Interview with the producer
Thomas Kufus

Of all the cities in the world, why did you choose Jerusalem as the subject of a new 24-hour city portrait?

The short answer: because it is a trouble spot. The long answer: our main starting point for 24h Berlin was a sociological definition of a city. A city is an amalgamation of the largest possible range of different people in a minimal space. But what does it mean if the differences are so great that many of the city’s inhabitants cannot even agree on the most basic things: Where do a city’s boundaries start and end, who is a citizen of the city and who is not? What impact does it have on a city when three world religions and two societies lay claim to it? And what happens when modern and traditional ways of living rub shoulders with each other in such a small area? These were the questions which motivated us and led us to Jerusalem. So I would not call it a portrait because a portrait sets out to create a synthesis or a completed narrative, whereas we chose the format of a theoretically never-ending programme which allows for a variety of viewpoints. I also try to explain it using this image: a big puzzle tries to become a big picture and realises that the individual pieces do not fit together — and the breakpoints are precisely where it gets interesting.

How useful were your experiences from 24h Berlin when making 24h Jerusalem?

Incredibly useful. It would have been impossible without the experience and knowledge we gained during 24h Berlin. We were faced with a whole mountain of other issues and problems in Jerusalem, so it was good that we had a solid foundation. We would have been lost if we would also had to set up such incredibly complicated logistics for the first time or had only run through the workflow in theory.

I am sure it is difficult to draw comparisons between Jerusalem and Berlin. Nevertheless, did you notice any parallels between the cities while you were filming?

You cannot compare the two cities. In Berlin there are as many non-believers as there are believers in Jerusalem. Berlin is built on flat land, Jerusalem in the mountains. Berlin is Europe, Jerusalem is between different cultures. Berlin lives in the present, in Jerusalem the past is a constant part of the present. You could say: Berlin had a wall, Jerusalem has a wall — the structure has moved location. As a Berliner, when you first see Israel’s security measures and installations, your heart stops for a moment because you feel like you are travelling back in time — but this wall is also a different wall.

What were the biggest challenges involved in shooting a programme like this? How did you approach the conflict between Israel and Palestine?

Your second question answers the first. It is not easy working in a politically charged atmosphere which is being supplied with energy from many different poles. When you have 70 crews filming on the same day, it does not escape the attention of the political players in a city with 800,000 inhabitants, and each of them wants to paint his or her picture of the city. So it was a big challenge to maintain our independence, while at the same time making sure we had the right conditions for the shoot. Naturally, the conflict plays a role in the programme because it plays a role in the lives of the protagonists who feature in the programme. Nearly all of the protagonists we accompanied for a day or a few hours live on one of the conflict lines that carve up the city. By showing us the world through their eyes, the conflict becomes tangible. These may be personal viewpoints, but there were around 90 protagonists involved, so we got to see the situation from a variety of different angles. I did not want to explain or play down the conflict; instead, I wanted to show how its threads entangle the city. And quite a few of their loose ends lead back to Germany and Berlin.

Sophie Diernberger and Julian Claassen conducted the interviews

At the end of summer 2012 preparations were already underway for the day of shooting. What happened that meant everything had to be postponed?

We went to Israel with the intention of passing on our knowledge of the 24-hour format to our Israeli and Palestinian co-production partners over there. Based on the model of “24h Berlin”, we also wanted to portray the structure of the population in Jerusalem, which is home to 2/3 Israelis and 1/3 Palestinians. After two years of preparation, the shoot was scheduled for 6 September 2012. Three weeks before the day of shooting, we suddenly saw the first signs of an impending crisis coming from Palestinian boycott groups. Groups operating on international level affiliated with the BDS campaign (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign) complained that the project was politically incorrect, that it took sides with Israel and normalised Israel’s occupation of Jerusalem, which they saw as an implicit acceptance of the living conditions in the city. Within a few days, they had used social networks to call for a boycott from all of the Palestinian film professionals and protagonists involved. So, inevitably, they backed out of the project. Not all of them did so voluntarily: they also received telephone threats. The day before the shooting was scheduled to start, we had to cancel the project, because we did not want to make a film in a divided city which only featured Israelis and interviews conducted by Israelis, and which was only directed by Israelis. Cancelling the project was extremely damaging, not just mentally but also financially. After that, there were only two options: either we call off the whole venture or we restructure it and start again from scratch. We went for the second option. Today, we realise that we should have consulted independent advisory bodies from the beginning on how to structure and realise the project. Understandably, our partners in the city itself are too caught up in the conflict and consumed by their daily lives with all their complications and restrictions. Despite believing that we had carefully planned the project, we underestimated its explosive impact and its political significance for the city and ran headfirst into the boycott which derailed our plans to shoot in late summer 2012.

How did the structure of the project change after the first boycott?

The “restructuring” process was a long one, involving a lot of negotiations, which also resulted in demands that we could not — or did not – want to meet, such as the Palestinians influencing the content of the programme. A lot of different factions wanted to have their say. The programme will be broadcast in Europe, so it also explores our Christian and historical roots in the city and not just the conflict. The idea that emerged from all this was to adapt the structure of the project and distribute everything equally between the Palestinian, Israeli and European crews and, likewise, between the different protagonists. After the first boycott, one condition from the Palestinian side was “separation”: they did not want any Palestinian team coming into contact with Israelis. All of the meetings and the whole planning process had to be separate. As a result, we returned all of the funding we had been given by Jerusalem’s municipal administration. (This, then, created difficulties with the Israeli side who thought their interests were being neglected.) We were able to meet these conditions, but there were other conditions we had no desire to meet. The decisive point here, however, was that this new approach allowed us to be completely independent. From that point on, we were the only producers and, whatever we did, we had our European partners behind us. In many situations, this was like “balm to the souls of both sides wounded by the conflict”. Preparations for the new project got underway. We used all of our persuasive powers to get both sides on board the new project. The persistent boycotters remained calm. Then three days before the rescheduled shoot on 18 April 2013, a new boycott flared up, based on the previously unwarranted accusation that the project took the side of Israel, a claim which was also a source of irritation for our Palestinian crew members. In the end they were threatened with such huge restrictions that we could not justify going ahead with the Palestinian shoot and had to call it off. The shoot with the Israeli and European crews and protagonists still went ahead and focussed our efforts on painting an unbiased picture of the city. The fact that both Europeans and Israelis were undeterred by the cancellation of the Palestinian shoot and were willing to go ahead with the shootings anyway, undoubtedly played a role in getting a lot of Palestinians to join the project. After all, they wanted to show their perspective on Jerusalem. Without further ado, we expanded the timeframe for the Palestinian shoot from the initial one day to three days. In next to no time, we had to put together teams — some with new members — and re-allocate the locations and protagonists. We even managed to get key institutions back on board in time, such as a foundation that supervises religious sites, hospitals and big hotels. So we “cracked open the door” of the format in order to get the desired outcome — even-handed footage and a balance between the city’s three major world religions and varied cultures.

What did you learn from the first and second boycotts?

A project of this magnitude also implies a political dimension, so you have to adopt a particular perspective. As a result of the first boycott, we opted for the European perspective as a way out of this dilemma. It is obvious that the Israelis view Jerusalem in a completely different light to the Palestinians. The fact that these perspectives are irreconcilable only really hit us once we had arrived in the city. We did not realise this looking at the city from afar, from an outside viewpoint. Whenever we “consume” cultural coexistence projects from Israel here in Germany, everyone talks about how politically correct it all is — Palestinians and Israelis working together. But the situation over there is very different. Daniel Barenboim and his Divan Orchestra have also been subjected to boycotts, as well as many others working in the creative sector. For politically active Palestinians, cultural, scientific and economic cooperation with Israel signifies normalisation, an acceptance of the status quo. So the activists involved in the boycott movement select specific projects and impose sanctions on them. We realised that this was one of the few methods they still had at their disposal. Palestinians in East Jerusalem do not have a municipal administration and as a result they have few civil rights. This is their way of fighting with peaceful means at a stage where the second Intifada has come to an end. After the intensive phase of preparation and all the conflicts involved, we came to the following realisation: As Europeans, we are producing a project backed by European broadcasting companies and funding, targeted at a European audience. In this context, we had to ensure that the organisation of the project, as well as the crews, topics and protagonists, were equally divided between the Israelis, Palestinians and Europeans.

Interview with the producers
Serge Gordey & Alexandre Brachet

The television and the Internet are at the heart of the debate about the culture industry. It is even said that the web is killing television. You only have to see a project as innovative and ambitious as 24h Jerusalem to see that television isn’t dead. On the contrary, we believe that television is reinventing itself thanks to the Internet.

Viewers who have the time or energy to watch 24h Jerusalem in one go probably don’t exist. To meet the challenge of sharing the lives of the inhabitants of Jerusalem during a whole day and a whole night, the producers of the programme decided to make it available for an unusual period – two months – on the web where everyone could watch, and re-watch, their daily lives.

And then, we decided to go further. Together with ARTE and BR, we came up with an unusual plan which adds an extra dimension to the 24h Jerusalem documentary. Throughout the programme, viewers can find additional information – nearly a thousand items - on a second screen (tablet, smart phone, computer), synchronised with the hour of the programme. Items on history, sociology, theology, demographics and maps are available as well as virtual navigation tools offering 360° vision.

In addition to this information, the journey is an opportunity to enjoy a collective and creative adventure: hundreds of mini-films made in Jerusalem are linked to the sequences in the television programme. Pictures filmed by a team of film-makers, artists, video-makers or simply amateurs, giving their own quirky, ironic, poetic, unique, subjective perspective. The films were shot during the broadcast and selected by our production team.

Another way of enjoying the experience of 24h Jerusalem, adapted to the medium of the web. A way of seeing that an picture can hide another picture or, even better, suggest another. So many viewpoints which sharpen our visual acuity, our perception that no image is the reality, but just one way of representing it. All the more important in a city like Jerusalem, a city between heaven and earth, where the past and the present continually collide, where one second is no more than a second of eternity.