And the Wolgin goes to...

This year, awards and grants of nearly NIS 2.5 million will be given at the Jerusalem Film Festival.

gila almagor 88 (photo credit: )
gila almagor 88
(photo credit: )
This year, awards and grants of nearly NIS 2.5 million will be given at the Jerusalem Film Festival. The bulk of them are part of the Wolgin Awards, given for Best Israeli feature, documentary and short films, with funds donated by Jack Wolgin. After a disappointing showing last year, with only four features competing for the Wolgin, the Israeli film industry has bounced back with nine features in the competition, plus several showing out of competition. Among this year's features is Dina Zvi-Riklis' Three Mothers, the story of 60-year-old triplets born in Alexandria who are still enmeshed in each other's lives, starring Gila Almagor, Miri Mesika, and Rivka Raz. Almagor also stars in Dan Wolman's Tied Hands, about a mother's love for her ailing son. Yuval Shafferman's Things Behind the Sun stars Assi Dayan as a man who comes to grips with his life as his father is dying. The documentary category is even more competitive, with 14 films in the running. Festival founder and director Lia van Leer admits that the process of winnowing down more than 150 submissions to the 14 finalists was a difficult one. "People kept calling, saying, 'You must take this film,'" she says. The entries show Israeli filmmakers taking a global perspective, with films such as Tomer Heymann's Paper Dolls, the story of Filipinos who work with the elderly here by day but who have a cabaret drag act at night; Limor Pinhasov and Yaron Kaftori's A Working Mom, about a Bolivian worker in Israel who returns home and tries to reestablish her relationship with the family she left behind; Ron Havilio's Potosi, the Journey - Film 1, a look at a couple taking a trip around Latin America; and Coffee with Pina, Lee Yanor's look at choreographer Pina Bausch. Documentaries set closer to home include Dan Geva's Description of a Memory, a contemporary look at French director Chris Marker's 1960 film, Description of a Struggle, which documented his travels in Israel ; And Behold, There Came a Great Wind, Ziv Alexandrony's film about three people involved in the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip last summer; and A Hebrew Lesson, David Ofek's portrait of a group of ulpan students. In addition, there are several Israeli documentaries showing out of competition, two programs of short films and 11 films competing for the Anat Pirchi Award for television drama. A large percentage of these Israeli films will travel to other festivals and win acclaim around the world, but you can see them here first.