Meet the Filmmaker: Harvey Chertok
“The Impossible Spy”
“The Impossible Spy”
Date: Monday, April 20, 2008
Location: NY NATAS: 1375 Broadway (between 37th & 38th) Suite 2103
Reception: 6:00-6:30 PM ~ Program: 6:30-8:00 PM
*Free to Members!
$15 for those without current membership
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Produced & Moderated by Sumner Jules Glimcher
“The Impossible Spy” (starring John Shea and Eli Wallach) is a true-story TV Movie about one of history’s greatest spies. It was reviewed by The New York Times for its HBO premiere as “a portrait of spies and spying that is as chilling as it is compelling” and is now enjoying a renaissance with a new Collector’s Edition DVD. It was screened recently as a Special Event at the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC. There it was introduced by spymaster/author, Wesley Britton, and the film’s Executive Producer, Harvey Chertok.
Here are several reviews:
"A gripping spy story of heroism, manipulation and betrayal—blended with a potent anti-war message.”
“Elie Cohen sure makes a whizbang central figure for a telefilm. John Shea is solid as the hard-working Cohen, and Sasson Gabay gives a refreshingly touching and human portrayal.”
“A suspense-filled and well-played drama. Shea’s carefully controlled performance as the man who led that double life heightens the sense of jeopardy in a script that carefully avoids the temptation to exploit the obvious. The Syrian president is well-played by Sasson Gabay, and the authentic Israeli backdrop is a definite asset.”
The film, a Quartet International and BBC-TV co-production, is about the Israeli spy Elie Cohen who in the 1960s was sent to Syria via Argentina. Cohen was so successful in infiltrating the Syrian High Command that he was nominated to be their Deputy Defense Minister—and 3rd in line for the Presidency! Unbelievable but all true. Most importantly, the information that he was able to gather was vital for Israel’s victory and the swift outcome of the June 1967 Six-Day War.
As he did at the Spy Museum, Harvey Chertok will introduce his film with the backstory of how this movie came to be produced. Chertok will chronicle the extraordinary obstacles that had to be overcome including a confrontation with the CIA about getting its Elie Cohen file via the Freedom of Information Act and the need to get permission from the Israeli Government to make this movie about its National Hero. Harvey Chertok is the President of Quartet International, Inc., a worldwide production and distribution company; co-chair of the Scholarship and Education Committee of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, New York Chapter, as well as a former National Trustee and former member of the organization’s Board of Governors; and an instructor for his “The Business Of Television” seminars for Queens College and other schools. In addition, he co-produced “Hermitage Masterpieces,” an extraordinary 9-hour art history series seen on PBS and now on DVD. He is also currently distributing several other programs including “Over The Edge,” a reality TV series.