(photo credit: Courtesy)
Footnote was the big winner at the 22nd Ophir Awards, the prizes from the Israel
Academy for Film, which were handed out at a ceremony in Haifa on Thursday
Footnote won the award for Best Picture, a particularly important
prize since the winner is Israel’s official selection for a Best Foreign
Language Film Oscar.
Footnote, which tells the story of a bitter rivalry
between a father and son who are both Talmud scholars, brought its director a
major prize earlier this year when writer/director Joseph Cedar took home the
Best Screenplay Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
At the Ophirs this
year, he won Best Director and Best Screenplay.
Footnote was nominated
for 13 Ophir Awards – more than any other film – and won nine of them.
the acting categories, two actresses who played tormented sisters of Moroccan
descent in Marco Carmel’s My Lovely Sister, won Best Actress (Evelyn Hagoel) and
Best Supporting Actress (Reymonde Amsallem).
In the Best Actor category,
Shlomo Bar Aba in Footnote edged out Sasson Gabai in Restoration. And Bar Aba’s
costar, Lior Ashkenazi, won Best Supporting Actor for his role as Bar Aba’s
Oscar watchers will have to wait until January to find out whether
Israel will get another Best Oscar nomination.
From 2008 to 2010, three
Israeli films – Cedar’s Footnote
, Waltz with Bashir
– received Best
Foreign Language Film Oscar nods.
One thing is certain – Cedar is now the
Academy’s favorite director. His previous films, Time of Favor
(2004), won the Ophir Award for Best Picture.
His 2007 film,
, also got the chance to represent Israel at the Oscars when it turned
out the Ophir winner, The Band’s Visit
, had too much English dialogue to qualify
for that category.
In any case, the prize for Footnote
caps a strong year
for the Israeli film industry, one in which its films competed, and won, at
dozens of international film festivals.