Cinema Sabaya wins 2022 Ophir Award, to represent Israel at Oscars

Cinema Sabaya will now become Israel’s official selection for consideration for a nomination for the Best International Feature Oscar. 

 Oz Zehavi (center) hosts the 2022 Ophir Awards ceremony, September 18, 2022  (photo credit: ELIRAN AVITAL, ITZIK BIRAN)
Oz Zehavi (center) hosts the 2022 Ophir Awards ceremony, September 18, 2022
(photo credit: ELIRAN AVITAL, ITZIK BIRAN)

Cinema Sabaya, Orit Fouks Rotem’s movie about a video workshop for Arab and Jewish municipal workers, won Best Picture at the Ophir Awards, the prizes of the Israeli Academy of Film and Television, which were awarded in a ceremony at the Zappa club in Tel Aviv on Sunday. The ceremony was broadcast live on the Mako website and will be rebroadcast on Keshet at 11 p.m. 

Cinema Sabaya will now become Israel’s official selection for consideration for a nomination for the Best International Feature Oscar. 

Cinema Sabaya received five awards in all. As well as its Best Picture Prize, it also won Best Director for Rotem, as well as Best Supporting Actress for Joanna Said, who portrays an Arab woman who dreams of getting a driver’s license and becoming independent of her husband. 

 A SCENE FROM ‘Cinema Sabaya.’ (credit: Green Productions and United King Films/Ella Barak) A SCENE FROM ‘Cinema Sabaya.’ (credit: Green Productions and United King Films/Ella Barak)

Meet the 2022 Ophir Awards winners:

The Best Actor and Best Actress Awards went to Sasson Gabbay and Rita Shukrun respectively for their performances as a married couple fascinated by a seductive new neighbor in Moshe Rosenthal’s Karaoke, the film that had the most nominations this year. This was the fourth win for Gabbay, who has now become the most honored actor in the history of the Ophirs, since he won Best Supporting Actor twice, as well as Best Actor for The Band’s Visit. 

Shmuel Vilozny won Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Yona Rozenkier’s The Road to Eilat. 

Michal Vinik won Best Screenplay for her script for her film, Valeria Is Getting Married, about two Ukrainian sisters in Israel. 

Shlomi Elkabetz’s Black Notebooks, a poetic look at his longing for his late sister, actress/director/writer Ronit Elkabetz, won in the Best Documentary category. The movie had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival last year. 

Culture and Sport Minister Chili Tropper presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Lena Chaplin, the 88-year-old who is the most senior director and screenwriter in Israel.