Yuval Granot's Julia Mia won the prize for Best Israeli Feature at the 23rd Haifa International Film Festival, which ended last Thursday. The prize carries a cash award of NIS 100,000.
The film tells the story of a down-on-his-luck movie director who meets a young woman who looks like Julia Roberts and decides to make an Israeli version of Pretty Woman with her. The film stars Haim Znatty and Hagar Ben Asher.
The jury, which was chaired by Danish director Bille August, wrote that the film was "personal and warm." The award for Best Israeli Documentary went to Tamar Yarom's No Place for a Lady, a film about women soldiers serving on the West Bank, and came with a prize of NIS 50,000. Ron Ninio's Arabs at Work, the story of an Israeli Arab family, written by Sayed Kashua, won for Best Television Drama, and also received a prize of NIS 50,000.
In the short Israeli film category, Luz by Ya'el Kaniel of Maale Film School in Jerusalem won for Best Documentary short and My Love My Love, by Yigal Pe'eri won for Best Short Feature. A Croation film about illegal immigration, The Melon Route by Branko Schmidt, won the Golden Anchor Competition for Best Mediterranean Film. Ivan Vyrypaev's Euphoria, from Russia, won the Fipresci Competition for New Directors.