January 2022

Why Do Films Need Music?

Ever wonder what a movie would be like without music?  Of course not – music has been part of film since even before the spoken word could be heard. We had an illuminating discussion on the irreplaceable role of movie music with two industry gurus, composer George S. Clinton and long-time music exec Doreen Ringer RossHaving written scores for films from blockbuster comedies like Austin Powers International Man of Mystery and its sequels, to Disney’s hit Santa Clause and its sequels, to the heart-wrenching Emmy Award winning drama Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, George has in-depth understanding of the role of music in bringing emotions to life on screen. In over 3 decades as Vice President Film, TV & Visual Media Relations at Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), Doreen directed BMI’s activities serving screen composers and established key programs for composers. Both George and Doreen are alumni of backStorygroup trips to Israel and shared their impressions of the Israeli music scene with us as well!

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January 2022

In Conversation with Jordan Passman, CEO of Score a Score

Composers and content producers need each other; recognizing that ahead of the curve, in 2010 Jordan Passman founded Score a Score, a Cannes Lion-winning music company specializing in original music for marketing. In 2020, Score a Score was featured on the Inc. 5000 list for its 5th consecutive year. Since 2010,  Jordan has paid out millions of dollars to his roster of independent artists, and has worked on thousands of music placements for global advertising clients.


So naturally, we believed emerging composers who plan to write music for a living would love to hear what Jordan had to say, and ask him some questions as well. 

October 2021

Made in Jerusalem: Film & Television + Animation

We were delighted to bring you an insider's look into film and television Made in Jerusalem, a conversation with Yoram Honig, the visionary founder & director of the Jerusalem Film & Television Fund, and filmmaker Gidi Dar, whose profound Legend of Destruction tells the story of the destruction of the Second Temple. The internationally acclaimed film was nominated in 7 categories, including Best Picture, at Israel's 2021 Ophir Awards and won for Best Art Design, Best Music, Best Editing and Best Sound Design!

In addition, composer Yonatan Albalak, who co-wrote the compelling score with Assaf Talmudi, joined us for this program, moderated by The backStorygroup's own Wendy Revel, which we presented with the American Israel Friendship League.

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Yoram Honig


Gidi Dar

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Yontan Alback

September 2020

On the Cusp: A Series of Short Films by Emerging Artists in Israel and the U.S: Part Two

On the Cusp is an ongoing series of short films from students and recent grads in Israel and the US. Each of these screenings will be followed by an online discussion with the emerging filmmakers and industry pros who will provide their valuable insight.


Part Two in the series were three films from the School of Audio and Visual Arts at Sapir College and one from a recent grad from the Grady College at the University of Georgia. Read more about the films here.

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Our special guests for the discussion were Judy Cairo and Michael Simpson, partners in Cairo Simpson Entertainment and Informant Media, and composer George Clinton. Click here for more information about our special guests.

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July 2020

On the Cusp: A Series of Short Films by Emerging Artists in Israel and the U.S.  

On the Cusp is an ongoing series of short films from students and recent grads in Israel and the US. Each of these screenings will be followed by an online discussion with the emerging filmmakers and industry pros who will provide their valuable insight. First in the series we showed three films from the Maaleh School of Film and Television and two films from the Grady College at the University of Georgia.

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Our special guests for the discussion were Rick Allen, CEO of ViewLift, writer/director Takashi Doscher, and David Gale, EVP of Development and Production  at Gunpowder & Sky.

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Rick Allen


Takashi Doscher


David Gale

June 2020

Stories from Israel: Virtual Screenings and Live Discussion: Part Two

Part 2 of Virtual Screenings + Live Discussion series, cosponsored with the Bender JCCGW, was an online screening from June 3-7 of 3 student films from the Ma’aleh School of Film & Television in Jerusalem 


Following these 3 very distinct short films, each with its own unique insight and artistic approach, we had an enlightening online discussion with the director of Ma'aleh, Neta Ariel.

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May 2020

The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance presents
Rick Baitz's Master Class on "Composing for the Screen." 

Though we couldn't be in Jerusalem for composer Rick Baitz to teach the master class we had originally planned, we are thrilled that he taught an abbreviated version online to the students at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance on May 7.

May 2020

A Unique Virtual Experience

The backStorygroup normally takes professionals, film students, and music students on cultural trips to Israel where American film students can share and engage with Israeli film students. Since we can’t currently take such a trip, we thought it would be a good time to bring Israeli student films to you. We were delighted to partner with the Bender JCC of Greater Washington to share some of that with you via the limited American screenings of two Israeli films: Reflections, written and directed by Yael Bibelnik, with score by Sapir Matityahu, and Upper Lip, written and directed by Shiri Cohen.

We hope those of you who watched the films enjoyed them, and that those of you who joined the discussion with the young Israeli filmmakers and composer--and our special guests, composer George S. Clinton and Producer David Gale--found their insights into filmmaking and film scoring interesting. We certainly did, and look forward to bringing you more programming in the near future

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