Under the Same Sun is an utopian fantasy, set in the near future, where Gershon Baskin (depicted as Shaul in the Film) and Palestinian businessmen introduce solar energy to the West Bank, with glorious results.
Directed by Sameh Zoabi, the film follows two businessmen — one Palestinian and one Israeli — as they struggle, with surprising and dramatic results, to build a joint business venture in the face of political, cultural, and family opposition. The film is set in the near future, and it looks back on how peace was made in 2013 between Israel and Palestine.
Under the Same Sun, is the story of two businessmen – one Palestinian and one Israeli – who struggle to set up a solar energy company. Both come from societies where there is strong opposition to cooperating with the other, and the film tells how they overcome hostility from within their own families and from the people around them. In the end, they mount a Facebook campaign that brings popular support both to their joint venture and to the peace process. The film was produced by Amir Harel, an Academy Award-nominated Israeli producer, and directed by Sameh Zoabi, a leading Palestinian film-maker.
Shaul, an Israeli, and Nizar, a Palestinian, seem to have little in common, but for a shared spirit of entrepreneurship. They create a solar energy company with plans to bring renewable energy to communities in the Palestinian territories. Support for their venture is difficult to gain. From families who question them, to community members who threaten them, and government policies that make collaboration nearly impossible, Shaul and Nizar face many obstacles. Through everything, they grow to respect and trust one another. But though they continue to believe in their project, they recognize that their company cannot succeed without change. They take their story to the Internet and inspire others to work together. What began as a partnership for business becomes a partnership for peace.
Search for Common Ground, a conflict resolution NGO, supported the making of this thought-provoking and imaginative film, which was broadcast simultaneously in Israel and Palestine. The movie was co-producedwith Amir Harel of Lama Productions, as a feature length docu-drama for local and international audiences.
The film will be broadcast simultaneously on October 2nd 2013 on Israel’s most popular TV Channel 2 (beginning at 11:15pm) and the independent Palestinian Ma’an satellite station (beginning at 11:00pm). In the coming months, it will also be screened at festivals and to audiences in the US and Europe. Under the Same Sun was funded by the European Union and the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
Gershon is an advisor to Israeli, Palestinian and International Prime Ministers on the Middle East Peace Process and the founder and director of IPCRI, the Israeli-Palestinian Public Policy Institute. He was the initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel between Israel and Hamas for the release of 1,027 prisoners – mainly Palestinians and Arab-Israelis of which 280 were sentenced to life in prison for planning and perpetrating various attacks against Jewish targets that resulted in the killing of 569 Israelis in exchange for one Israeli soldier, Gilad Schalit. Gershon is actively involved in research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, environmental security, political strategy, peace education, economics, culture and in the development of affordable solar projects with the goal of providing clean electricity for 50 million people by 2020.