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TAU Israeli-Palestinian film wins Amnesty International Award
By LIDAR GRAVÉ-LAZI
18/12/2013
Project ‘Water’ includes several short fiction and documentary films revolving around the theme of water.
 
The joint Israeli-Palestinian short film project, Water, received the Amnesty International Award at the Henri Langlois Film Festival in France last week, despite not having entered the competition.

Water, a collaborative effort of Israeli and Palestinian filmmakers from the Tel Aviv University Department of Film and Television, included several short fiction and documentary films revolving around the theme of H2O. Yael Perlov, film editor, producer and teacher in the film department, initiated and directed the project, as part of a special course designed to set up a joint filmmaking laboratory for Israeli and Palestinian students.

Recently, the film was screened at the 36th Rencontres Henri Langlois Film Festival in Poitiers, France. The festival, named after the founder of the Cinèmatheque Française, is an annual competition featuring entries from film schools around the world.

This year’s competition featured 120 entries, and although Water did not officially enter the competition, Amnesty International in France decided to award the project as a whole, rather than an individual filmmaker.

“Winning greatly surprised us,” said Perlov, “because actually we never submitted the film to the competition. I arrived at the festival to represent the university in a discussion on the future of cinema, while in parallel the project was showing at a special screening. When we learned of our win all the creators were very happy, and we received reactions which encourage us to continue.”

The award includes a €500 prize offered by Amnesty International France.

The judges said the project enabled the creators to get to know and understand each other and in doing so, break the deadly cycle of hatred in the Middle East.

“Therefore, in addition to the cinematic quality of the short film assembly of the project, we would like to grant them the award thanks to the message of reciprocity and dialogue that they convey, a message that the power of peace is inspired by art,” the judges said.
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