Although other companies have filmed in the region — Collin O'Neal Productions filmed the "Lebanon" installment of its pro/am series "World of Men" in 2006 — the Lucas Entertainment production is believed to be a first for Israel.
Lucas has made numerous trips to the country for personal appearances, and his political advocacy has often sparked controversy.
"For me, Israel is much more than a country; it's my heart, my soul, my cause. Speaking for Israel has created lots of enemies for me, even here in America," Lucas said.
"I always get hate messages and comments. It's my heritage and the place where my ancestors lived for thousands of years. It's a place we lost and finally gained back, a place where Jews can finally protect themselves from all possible forms of discrimination. It is a gorgeous place where people can truly be liberated and live as they want."
Lucas decried imagery in the global media that portray Israel as a "war-torn, vicious bully… a dangerous, unfriendly society."
He stressed that Israel offers legal protection to GLBT individuals and recognizes same-sex marriages performed abroad. As well, gay men and women are free to serve openly in the military.
"This is a liberal country where gay people have all the rights, actually more rights, than gays in the United States," Lucas said.
The upcoming production will use the country's "towering mountains, sun-kissed desert, the Dead Sea and stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea as a backdrop," a company rep said. "Of course, the film will also showcase the beauty of Israeli men."
The local men "exude such exotic and natural beauty, it is unbelievable. They are surrounded by oppression and here they are, free to express their sexuality. To capture this on film will be a groundbreaking venture," Lucas said.
Filming will commence in Tel Aviv on May 21 and is scheduled to wrap June 3. Videographer and company creative director mr. Pam will handle camera duties. On-set updates and photos will be posted to LucasBlog.com.
The director will use the occasion to gain Israeli citizenship. "Your motherland is where your heart is,” said Lucas, who is a Russian Jew by birth and famously returned to Moscow last year to film an installment of his "Michael Lucas' Auditions" pro/am series.
"I gave up my Russian identity a long time ago," he said. "I will now have dual citizenship. My heart belongs to both the United States and Israel."
In related news, the company is currently flacking the feature "Entrapment" starring new exclusive Dimitri Romanov, and "Wall Street," Lucas Entertainment's 100th adult feature.
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