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Jerusalem International Film Festival awards

The winner of Wolgin Award for the Best Full-Length Feature is The Band's Visit, directed by Eran Kolirin, and produced by Eilon Ratzkovsky, Ehud Bleiberg, Yossi Uzrad, Kobi Gal Raday, and Guy Yekuel.

The winner of the Wolgin Award for Best Documentary Film is Children of the Sun, directed by Ran Tal.

The winner of the Wolgin Award for Best Short Film is Roads, directed by Lior Geller.

Following is a description of the films that won in the Festival:


The Wolgin Award for Best Full-Length Feature Film, in the amount of NIS 180,000, goes to The Band's Visit, directed by Eran Kolirin. Producers: Eilon Ratzkovsky, Ehud Bleiberg, Yossi Uzrad, Koby Gal Raday, and Guy Yeku'el


Jury statement: "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 Special Jury Prize, in the amount of NIS 40,000, is awarded to Mushon Salmona for his film Vasermil


Jury statement: "For his courageous representation of a conflicted human reality, full of pain, hatred, and ethnic tensions. For the precise and powerful performances of his actors and for the construction of the film's conclusion – which offers neither solutions, nor a paternalistic understanding of reality."


The Best Acting Prize in a Full-Length Feature:

The Award for the Best Actress, in the amount of NIS 10,000, goes to Ronit Elkabetz, for her role in The Band's Visit.

The Award for Best Actor, in the amount of NIS 10,000, goes to Sasson Gabay, for his role in The Band's Visit.


A Special Mention for Most Promising Actors goes to Lubna Azabal for her role in Strangers, and Saleh Bakri for his role in The Band's Visit.


The Members of the Juries for the Wolgin Award for Israeli Features & Documentaries: Claudia M. Landsberger – Managing Director of Holland Film, Azize Tan – Director of the International Istanbul Film Festival, Ariel Hirschfeld – Researcher and critic of literature, culture, and art, Goel Pinto – Culture and Cinema writer for Ha'aretz, Danny Seton, documentary producer and director.




Documentary Films:

The Wolgin Award, in the amount of NIS 50,000, for Best Documentary Film goes to director Ran Tal for his film Children of the Sun

Jury statement: "For his fascinating treatment of such a significant chapter in Israeli culture – the Kibbutz. For the way in which the story is built and for his inspired use of rare archival images."

The film also won International Marketing and Distribution Services, courtesy of Ruth Diskin Ltd.


The Photography Award in Memory of Elke Aynor, courtesy of ONAIR, goes to Itay Ne'eman for the film Stefan Braun

Jury Statement: "For his sensuous and poetic cinematography, and for the way in which he serves the subject of the film and its characters."

The Editing Prize in the Documentary Category, courtesy of Tel Aviv Studios, is awarded to Ron Goldman

Jury Statement: "For providing two entirely different films – The Mystery of Aris San and Children of the Sun – with a unique rhythm, timing, and continuity."


The Jury decided to award a Special Mention to two documentary films:

To Citizen Nawee, directed by Nissim Mossek

Jury Statement: "For its powerful portrayal of its hero, and for its persistent and courageous venturing into the most painful areas of life in this region."

And to directors Dan Syrkin and Ido Bahat for their film, A Fool's Dream

Jury Statement: "For making the audience smile and cry at the sight of a wise man, and for turning his story into a metaphor about artistic integrity and about the uplifting power of a sense of humor."


Members of the Jury: Claudia M. Landsberger, Azize Tan, Ariel Hirschfeld, Goel Pinto, Danny Seton.




Short Films:


The award in this category, in the amount of NIS 20,000, goes to the film Roads, by Lior Geller.

Roads was also awarded 10,000 feet of 35mm. film, endowed by Ehud Bleiberg, Bleiberg Entertainment, LA.

By unanimous decision, the jury chose to give the Wolgin Award for Best Short Film to Roads, directed by Lior Geller. The film deals with political and social issues in a sophisticated and impressive manner, and creates a fascinating cinematic experience, full of energy and passion. The film had us glued to our seats and we particularly want to mention the work of the actors and the music that give the film its authenticity and power.

A Special Mention was awarded to Alla Sheraeir for her film Ketem, and to Hagar Ben Asher for her film Pathways.

Pathways: The film deals boldly with the sensitive and complex subjects of feminine sexuality in a closed society, by trespassing social and cinematic taboos. The film is made in an original and precise way, raising difficult and disturbing questions that remain with the viewer long after the screening.

Ketem: For its courage to tell a story from the dark side of Russian immigration. For its rough filmmaking style that moves sensitively between violence and tenderness, and for its ability to tell a story directly and with cinematic skill.


The Members of the Juries for the Wolgin Award for Israeli Short Films: Marieanne Bergmann – Head of Funding Department for Filforderung Hamburg, Omry Levy – Scriptwriter and Director, Ido Har – Director, editor, and cinematographer.


For the past eighteen years, the prizes have been awarded by Jack Wolgin, patron and long-time supporter of the art of cinema in Israel.




The Drama Award in Memory of Anat Pirchi, in the amount of NIS 30,000, goes to Amir Manor for his drama, Reds


The Members of the Drama Jury: Marieanne Bergmann, Omry Levy, Ido Har.




The Wim Van Leer In the Spirit of Freedom Award, is awarded to a feature and documentary film dealing with issues of human and civil rights, freedom of speech and expression.

The award for Best Feature Film in this category, in the amount of NIS 12,000, goes to Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, for their film Persepolis.

Persepolis, directed by Marjane Satrapi tells a coming-of-age story in Iran, on the backdrop of the regime change between the Shah and Khomeini. Through visual imagery, remarkable for its simple and precise sophistication, through humor, and a rare ability to shed light on human nature with sensitivity for different age-groups and their absurd and touching characteristics, this film interweaves concepts of obedience, fidelity, nationalism, religious dogmatism, the mentality of adolescence, and the oppression of women.
There is something amazingly stimulating in the abilities of the director and her illustrated heroine to evade symbolic trappings, abstraction, and superficiality. This is their power and depth.


The award for Best Documentary Film in this category, in the amount of NIS 8,000, goes to Bilal Yusef, for his film, Crossing Borders.


Crossing Borders, directed by Bilal Yusef presents a sensitive look at two women who are at a personal and ideological crossroads in a world of oppression. This oppression is so deep and complex, that it becomes part of the norm.
In his film, Yusef exposes the personal situation of the heroines as a representation of the collective and the universal, a situation that is known in every home and every corner, and that refuses to create clear distinctions between those who are good and those who aren't. It is precisely through this apparent restraint, that the film makes so much noise.
Crossing Borders is a touching, wise, profound, and gentle film, that leaves the viewer with a deep and arousing sense of familiarity.


The Members of the In the Spirit of Freedom Jury: Tamar Goldschmidt – Documentarist, Edna Mazia – Playwright, director, and writer, Roni Strier – researcher of poverty, inequality, and multi-culturalism.




The Jewish Experience Awards endowed by Leon and Michaela Constantiner

The Lia Award, in the amount of $3,000, goes to Yves Jeuland for his film Comme un Juif en France – Being a Jew in France.

A film with rare power, breathtaking in the scope of its research, and in its fascinating cinematic representation.
With wonderful storytelling ability, the film describes the on-going tension between integration and particularism of the Jews of France, put to the test by the historical events of the 20th and 21st centuries.


The jury has chosen to give a Special Mention to the film Making Trouble – Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women, directed by Rachel Talbot.

From an unpredictable and original angle, with wisdom and humor, the film sheds light on issues of feminine and Jewish identity in the United States.

The Yad Vashem Chairman's Award, in the amount of $3,000, goes to Michèle Ohayon, for her film Steal a Pencil for Me.

With wonderful storytelling ability, Steal a Pencil for Me unfolds a surprising love story that gave its heroes, Jack and Ina, the emotional strength to survive the period of the Holocaust.

The jury has chosen to give a Special Mention to the film I Have Never Forgotten You: the Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal, directed by Richard Trank.

This fluent film illustrates the complexity of the life work of the most outstanding of those struggling to bring the Nazis to justice, in a post-World War Two Austria that still denied its past.

Another Special Mention is awarded to the film Spell Your Name, directed by Sergey Bukovsky.


The Members of The Jewish Experience Jury: Hannah Yablonka, Manuela Consonni, and Yuval Rivlin.




The winner in the Experimental Film Competition held by the Jerusalem Cinematheque and Hazira Performance Art is Avishay Sivan for his film, The Man with the D.V Camera Causes Trouble to the Man with the Film Camera.

The Second Prize, courtesy of the Ostrovsky Family Foundation, is given to Karen Russo for her film, Economy of Excess.

Awards in the amount of NIS 10,000, courtesy of the Jerusalem Foundation.


The Members of the Experimental Film Jury: Gili Shanit, Chen Sheinberg, Ulrike Ottinger




The Children of the Sun, directed by Ran Tal and produced by Amir Harel, Ayelet Kait, and Ran Tal was awarded the Forum for the Preservation of Audio-Visual Award, in the amount of NIS 20,000, courtesy of Isracard


The Members of the Audio-Visual Award Jury: Yuval Karniel, Amalia Margolin, Daphna Sering




Shavim Production Grant, founded by the Jerusalem Cinematheque, the Gesher Multicultural Film Fund, and the Second Authority for Film and Television

A production grant totaling up to NIS 560,000 for the production of documentary films dealing with social justice, is awarded to A Snail in the Desert, to be directed by Adomi and produced by Liran Atzmor.




The Other Israel Prize for a film that furthers awareness and challenges conventions about the Arab citizens of Israel, is awarded to Crossing Borders, directed by Bilal Yusef.


The Members of the Jury: Carole Zabar, Gary Springer, and Mamdooh Alfie.

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