Rare tie at J’lem Film Fest awards

“The prizes are awarded to both films for their depth and cinematic expression, each of which is unique in its own way.”

August 6, 2018 09:27
2 minute read.
Jerusalem Film Festival opening event at Sultan's Pool, July 28, 2018

Jerusalem Film Festival opening event at Sultan's Pool, July 28, 2018. (photo credit: NOAM PREISMAN)


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At the 35th Jerusalem Film Festival awards, which were announced on Thursday, there was a tie in the feature film competition, for the first time since 2004.

The Haggiag Prize for Best Israeli Feature Film was awarded jointly to Yona Rosenkier’s The Dive, about three brothers struggling with the militarism instilled in them by their late father and Israeli society, and Tsivia Barkai-Yaakov’s Red Cow, about a young woman who falls in love with a female classmate in a messianic nationalist settlement in Silwan.

These two films also split the Anat Pirchi Award for Best First Film.

The judges said in a statement: “The prizes are awarded to both films for their depth and cinematic expression, each of which is unique in its own way.”

It’s an oddity of the way films are released in Israel that Red Cow is the only one of the seven films in the Haggiag competition to be nominated for an Ophir Award for Best Picture.

The Haggiag Prize for Best Actor went to real-life brothers Yoel Rosenkier, Micha Rosenkier and Yona Rosenkier, for their performances in The Dive, which had strong autobiographical elements.

The Haggiag Prize for Best Actress went to Avigail Kovari for Red Cow. Kovari also had a supporting role in the movie Redemption, directed by Yossi Madmony and Boaz Yehonatan Yaacov. Redemption also won the Audience Award, which was no surprise to anyone who saw the enthusiastic response to its Israeli premiere screening. The Audience Favorite Award for Documentary Film went to Wild Kids by Tal Pesses.

The Van Leer Award for Best Documentary went to Tomer Heymann’s Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life, about an Israeli porn star and his relationship to his mother.

The Van Leer Prize for Director of a Documentary Film went to Shaked Goren, for My War Hero Uncle.

The Dalia Sigan Award for Screenplay (in a documentary) went to The Oslo Diaries, directed by Mor Loushy and Daniel Sivan.

The International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) Award for Best International Debut Film was awarded to Sauvage by Camille Vidal-Naquet.
The FIPRESCI Award for Best Israeli Debut Film was awarded to Virgins by Keren Ben Rafael.
In the category of the In the Spirit of Freedom Awards in Memory of Wim van Leer, the husband of Jerusalem Cinematheque and Jerusalem Film Festival founder Lia van Leer, the Cummings Award for Best Feature Film went to Alice Rohrwacher’s Happy as Lazzaro, and the Ostrovsky Award for Documentary Film was awarded to Infinite Football by Corneliu Porumboiu.
In the category of The Jewish Experience Awards – Courtesy of Michaela and Leon Constantiner, the Lia Award for Jewish Heritage Film went to Redemption, while the Avner Shalev – Yad Vashem Chairman’s Award for Artistic Achievement in Holocaust-related Film went to Black Honey, The Life and Poetry of Avraham Sutskever, by Uri Barbash. The short film, Shabbos Kallah, by Aleeza Chanowitz, also received a Special Mention in this category.
The total monetary value of prizes awarded in the various competitions was NIS 700,000.

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