Orna Yarmut (1956-2018)
It is with immense sadness that Copro announces the untimely loss of our founding director, Orna Yarmut.
May she rest in peace.
Orna Yarmut, founder and director of CoPro - Documentary and Animation Marketing Foundation, has been considered for many years the leading figure in Israel in promoting documentary work, and a central anchor in the Israeli documentary film revolution, which has become a worldwide name on the international cinema circuit.
In 1999, Orna Yarmut initiated and founded CoPro - the Documentary and Animation Marketing Foundation, and has since been the foundation's director. For 20 years Yarmut had worked for the Foundation with endless devotion and generosity, day and night, leading the vision she always believed in. She initiated and produced the first CoPro Market 20 years ago. Since its establishment, CoPro has gained a reputation for its financial achievements and revolutionized the scope of international co-productions of Israeli documentary films, increasing the sales of documentary films abroad, which has turned the CoPro Foundation into a revolutionary, initiating factor in the Israeli documentary landscape. In 2005, CoPro received the Knesset Speakers' Quality of Life Prize for its contribution to the distribution of Israeli documentary films around the world. In 2017, Yarmut initiated and held the first-ever market in Israel for Israeli and international co-productions in animation.
Orna introduced foreign investors and hundreds of collaborations with foreign production companies and television networks to Israel. Her work in the field has positioned Israel as one of the world's leading influences in the field of documentary filmmaking. Under the direction of Orna Yarmut, CoPro has produced 627 Israeli international co-productions which have brought in NIS 5-8 million per year for the documentary film industry. Each year, CoPro Foundation raises the total budget of the Israeli documentary film industry by 50-75 percent.
Orna Yarmut is a graduate of the Department of Literature at Tel Aviv University with honors. Her work in the field of media began with researching and content editing for websites and television programs.
Orna Yarmut was one of the founders of the Israeli Documentary Filmmakers Forum. From 1998 to 1999, she served as the forum's CEO, and from 2000 to 2003 she became a member of the board of directors. While she was CEO, the forum increased from a group of 30 members to an influential body of 300 members. Its main activities focused on increasing the hours of original productions on TV and regulation of broadcasting organizations.
In the years prior to CoPro, Yarmut was an independent documentary producer for films which were mostly international co-productions ('The Road to Rabin Square', '1,2,3,4 Adolf Hitler At My Door', 'A Love Beyond Words', 'Eva') and more.
Over the years, Yarmut has taught several academic courses in the documentary field (at Sapir College; The College of Management Academic Studies; Ma'aleh School of Television, Film and the Arts; and The Open University) and was also a documentary elector at the European Academy in 2007. Yarmut was invited to documentary film markets around the world to present the Israeli documentary film industry. She was the face and voice of the CoPro Foundation.
Thanks to the establishment of the CoPro Foundation and Yarmut's ongoing activity, the map of documentary filmmaking in Israel has completely changed. She identified the local potential and the need to create co-productions, and worked endlessly to promote Israeli documentary creation which, thanks to her, became globally renowned.