Israeli filmmaker Yair Hochner is in the news as his sexy new film Antarctica breaks from the film festival circuit and moves into limited U.S. theaters. The 33-year-old gay director has made a film where the characters unabashedly have sex on their minds—an issue that may have have kept the film from finding a larger audience in Hochner's home country.
Though embraced in metropolitan Tel Aviv where it ran late-night for four months at the Cinematheque, Hochner says Antarctica was shunned by Israeli distributors who could have increased the film's visibilty. Compared with Israel's best-known gay filmmaker, Eytan Fox, whose movies (Walk on Water, Yossi & Jagger) are screened throughout Israel and the West, Hochner calls himself "more underground." There's no talk of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Antarctica. Fox's movies "deal with very big issues like the Palestinians and the Holocaust, and I deal with prostitutes in Tel Aviv."
Hochner is happy with the success his "underground" films have brought him, he told the San Francisco Chronicle, but he does admit that even his own mother "wants me to do more commercial stuff."