A diverse group of feature films will compete for this year’s Ophir Award for Best Picture, an award which is closely watched because the winner becomes Israel’s official selection for consideration for a Best International Feature Oscar.
The nominations were announced on Wednesday and the contenders are Moshe Rosenthal’s Karaoke, a comedy-drama about an older couple whose life is changed by a charismatic neighbor; Cinema Sabaya by Orit Fouks Rotem, the story of a group of female municipal workers, both Jewish and Arab, whose lives are changed when they meet in a filmmaking class; Yona Rozenkier’s 35 Downhill, about a man confronting his distant father on a kibbutz; Michal Vinik’s Valeria Gets Married, about two Ukrainian sisters in Israel, one who is married to an Israeli and one who is thinking of getting married; and Ari Folman’s animated docu-drama, Where is Anne Frank? Folman’s Waltz with Bashir won the Ophir Award in this category in 2008.
Dana Ivgy, already a three-time Ophir Award winner, is nominated twice in the Best Actress category, for Cinema Sabaya and for the docu-drama, Savoy. The other nominees are Levana Finkelstein for The Silence, Lena Fraifeld for Valeria Gets Married and Rita Shukrun for Karaoke.
In the Best Actor category, Ophir Award-winner Sasson Gabay is nominated for Karaoke, Yoel Rozenkier for 35 Downhill, Yaakov Zada Daniel (Fauda) for Valeria Gets Married, Maor Levy for Virgins and Moris Cohen for The Silence.
The Ophirs will be awarded in a ceremony on September 18.