'The Band's Visit' wins J'lem festival's top prize

Eran Kolirin's The Band's Visit, which already took home awards at this year's Cannes Film Festival, won the Wolgin Prize.

bands visit 88298 (photo credit: Courtesy)
bands visit 88298
(photo credit: Courtesy)
There was little competition at the Wolgin Awards of the 24th Jerusalem Film Festival, which were announced on Saturday night - at least not in the feature films category. Eran Kolirin's The Band's Visit, which already took home awards at this year's Cannes Film Festival, won the Wolgin Prize. The jury chose this offbeat story of an Egyptian police orchestra whose members find themselves lost in a Negev town "for its human, deep, and complex story that comes out of the most marginal of places. For the delicate direction, and above all, for the deep respect for culture, art, and love - which are the themes of this film." The feature film award comes with a cash prize of NIS 180,000. The stars of the film, Ronit Elkabetz and Sasson Gabay, won the Wolgin Awards for Best Actress and Best Actor. Saleh Bakri, another one of the actors from the film, won a prize for Most Promising Actor. Lubna Azabal won the award for Most Promising Actress for her role in Erez Tadmor and Guy Nattiv's Strangers. The Special Jury Prize went to Mushon Salmona for his film about troubled youth in Beersheba, Vasermil. In the Wolgin Documentary Category, the top prize went to Ran Tal's Children of the Sun, about children's lives on kibbutzim. Special mentions went to two other documentaries, Nissim Mossek's Citizen Nawee, about a Jew who devotes his life to fighting for Palestinians, and Dan Syrkin and Ido Bahat's A Fool's Dream, the story of a Russian artist who emigrates to Israel. Lior Geller's Roads won the Wolgin Award for Best Short Film, with special mentions going to Alla Sheraeir for Ketem and Hagar Ben Asher for Pathways. The Drama Award in Memory of Anat Pirchi went to Amir Manor for Reds. The Wim van Leer in the Spirit of Freedom Award, given in honor of festival founder Lia van Leer's late husband, went to Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's Persepolis in the Features category and Bilal Yusef's Crossing Borders in the documentary category. Crossing Borders also won the Other Israel Prize for films that raise awareness about Arabs in Israel. In the Jewish Experience Category, the Lia Award went to Yves Jeuland's Comme Une Juif en France - Being a Jew in France. A Special Mention went to Rachel Talbot's Making Trouble - Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women. The Yad Vashem Chairman's Award went to Michele Ohayon's Steal a Pencil for Me. Special Mentions went to Richard Trank's I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal and Sergey Bukovsky's Spell Your Name. Avishay Sivan's The Man with the D.V Camera Causes Trouble to the Man with the Film Camera won the Experimental Film Competition. The second prize in this category went to Karen Russo's Economy of Excess. If you missed these films at the festival, they will be coming soon to a cinematheque near you.