Haifa International Film Festival announces winners
Leaving Paradise by Ofer Freiman won the Best Film Award in the Israeli Documentary Film Competition, and its creators will receive NIS 40,000 as part of this prize.
By HANNAH BROWN
The 36th Haifa International Film Festival announced the winners of its competitions on Saturday at the conclusion of the festival, which was held online this year.Leaving Paradise by Ofer Freiman won the Best Film Award in the Israeli Documentary Film Competition, and its creators will receive NIS 40,000 as part of this prize.The judges wrote in their statement, “A wide-ranging documentary epic that depicts with humanity and with a loving and curious look the formation and disintegration of a utopian, wild and controversial dream – a family commune in the heart of a beautiful Brazilian forest. A wonderful film shot, edited and directed with great talent, [dealing with] the Jewish community and personal [life] while touching on fascinating universal issues of family relations, patriarchy in the modern world, tension between nature and progress and a wide range of individualistic and existentialist worldviews.”The jury gave a Special Mention to the film Bitter Honey, directed by Udi Kalinsky and Revital Oren, about a beekeeper coping with the ongoing destruction of bees in the modern world.The film This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection, by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, won the Best Film Award in the Carmel International Feature Film Competition. The film, which previously won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, tells the story of a mine worker in South Africa and how his death affects his mother in Lesotho.Ilya Khrzhanovskiy’s DAU. Natasha received a Special Mention in the Carmel Competition. It is about oppression during the Cold War and generated controversy at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year because its cast and crew lived in conditions that mimicked the characters’ lives while it was being made, and some thought it was abusive.The prize for Best Short Student Film went to Gefen, by Noam Ellis, and the prize for Best Short Independent Film went to Sasha Tamarin’s Incurable Disease.