Award for Best Feature Film
SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED – directed by Colin Trevorrow, written by Derek Connolly
Jury remarks | This was a remarkably well-written film. The portrayal of all the characters was original, convincing and moving – in particular the audience is made to care about the two oddball characters who are at the centre of the story. It evoked a sense of wonder out of a small story, dealing with everyday weirdness. Underlying the sci-fi element of the story there is a genuine idea with human resonance – the wish that most people have to go back in their lives and try to put right errors or inadvertent damage. We see this clearly laid out in the attempt by the Jake Johnson character to relive an affair with an old flame. The film led to a sci-fi conclusion that was particularly enjoyed by the audiences, although this did take away all the ambiguity that had been maintained until then.
Presenting a Social, Philosophical or Scientific Dilemma through Genre SOUND OF MY VOICE – directed by Zal Batmanglij, written by Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij
Jury remarks | We felt that Brit Marling’s performance was brilliant in a subtle and ambiguous role, and that Christopher Denham acted powerfully in a difficult part that required a range of emotions. The idea of time travel was used to create and discuss the dilemma of what can and cannot be believed. Both the audience and the characters were forced to make choices. The film demonstrated well how the rational mind can be drawn into a set of improbable beliefs. The film avoided providing easy answers, and led to a nuanced and ambivalent ending. The last climactic words were “I don’t know”, which probably most people in the audience would probably agree with.
Israeli Short Film Competition
1st Place Competition Award
KARON – a film by Erez Avni and Itai Edry
Jury remarks | The film uses the genre to show us a journey of a man discovering his fatherhood, with surprising and tragic finale. The strong story is supported by moving and convincing acting. Apart of that, the film provides smart and critical look at the local masculinity, disturbing, but powerfully moving.
Eight people travel a train car. After a bright white flash everything changes and they must deal with the weird phenomenon and even worse – each other.
Actors: Lior Ashkenazi (“Walk On Water”, “Late Marriage”), Nati Ravitz (“Aviva, My Love”, “Turn Left at the End of the World”), Ayala Zilberman (“Impossible Dreams”)
2nd Place Competition Award
SIGHT – a film by Eran May-raz and Daniel Lazo
Jury remarks | A smart and exquisite fable that deals, in an interesting and convincing way, with a life “plugged in” and its future evolution. The visual world of the film is an achievement in itself, and can be favorably compared with the most high-profile productions of recent years.
In the coming future Google goggles are embedded in contact lenses and augmented reality is part of everyday life. The film follows Patrick throughout his daily routine and a romantic date.
Actors: Uri Gilad, Deborah Arosches
BUNNY LOVE – directed by Veronica Kedar
About Bunny Love
A surreal horror at its finest, a film by Veronica Kedar, director of “Joe + Bell”. Bunny can’t believe her fortune when her obsessive love for Kitty, an eccentric go-go dancer, is actually realized. But her panda bear will do anything to sabotage her new love.
Actors: Ana’el Joey Yunas (“Bait”), Daniel Jadelin (the television series “Skins”, “The Prime Minister’s Kids”), Yotam Yishai (“the Bubble”, “Rock the Casbah”, “Joe + Belle”)
Genre Feature Film Development Grant
Two development grants were announced at the festival:
Natbag (“Airport”) – a Matti Harari & Yoav Katz project, based on the novel by the same name by Yoav Katz – 25,000 NIS (~6250 US$)
Careful, Spoiler (“Zehirut, Spoiler”) – an Idan Alterman & Nadav Hollander (“Cats on a Pedal Boat”) project – 15,000 NIS (~3,750 US$)
Special Project – Short Film Production Grant
A production grant of 150,000 NIS (~37,500 US$) was announced for the Dan Sachar (“When It Will Be Silent”, “Overture”) & Kai Mark (“Overture”) short film project, “Nostalgia”
Israeli cinema continues to flourish with a wide variety of films on a vast array of topics being produced. There is no better place to see these cinematic offerings than the Toronto Israel Film Festival. It all started, in Montreal, eight years ago with a modest programme. It was then, at the closing night of the first Festival, when people gathered around pleading with me: “Promise us you will be here again next year.” It was then that I entered into an unwritten contract with my audience. For my part: I, for as long as I possibly can, will continue to organize this Festival, a top class festival, in my humble opinion. Your part of the contract: you continue to come to see the best in Israeli film. Since this pact took place eight years ago, I have put my heart into the Festival and, each year, seek out the best Israeli films. And you? Each year you fill the theatres, discuss the films and talk about the speakers. You truly provide us with the incentive to take the Festival to new heights each and every year. It is, very much, your commitment guaranteeing our return each year. Tell your friends, your colleagues, your neighbours, about us. Tweet and blog about us. Write about us on your facebook page.
Besides wanting to promote lesbian filmmakers, Anat Nir co-founded the ‘Lethal Lesbian Festival’ in 2008 with Dana Ziv and Lior Alphent because they put together quite a few Israeli lesbian projects that never found a way to a real mass audience. “At the beginning we didn’t think we were launching a yearly event,” says Anat. “It started because we had a few movies made by our friends and decided to present the works in a long ‘movie night’ event. In time we realized that this event can be a great stage for these creations, and can kick-start a wider recognition of lesbian Israeli filmmakers.”
Under the cloud of a family tragedy, a special relationship is forged between Miriam and her grandson, Ben, as they join forces to save the shop and its nearly one million negatives that document Israel’s defining moments in establishing itself as a new country. Despite the generation gap and many conflicts, Ben and Miriam embark on a heart-wrenching journey, comprising many humorous and touching moments – a journey that requires love, courage, and compassion. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Ben Peter
Presented by SizeDoesntMatter, Koffler Centre of the Arts , Sternthal Books
Sponsored by: Ryerson University
Additional Sponsors: Hillel of greater Toronto
Join us for a post-screening soiree with special guest at the Victory Café where a selection of photos of Rudi Weissenstein will be on display.
Local filmmakers gathered in Haifa on Friday afternoon for the Ophir Awards ceremony of the Israeli Academy of Film and Television.
The event’s big winner was “Fill the Void”, which was named Best Picture of 2012 and will represent Israel in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the American Academy Awards on February 24, 2013.
The film, which will hit the screens in Israel after the High Holiday, also won awards for Best Director and Best Screenplay (Rama Burshtein), Best Cinematography (Assaf Sudri), Best Actress (Hadas Yaron), Best Supporting Actress (Irit Sheleg) and Best Makeup (Eti Ben Nun).
“Fill the Void” is a romantic drama directed by Rama Burshtein, which deals with love and compassion within the ultra-Orthodox family.
The film, which was nominated to 13 Ophir awards, was screened as part of the official competition at the Venice Film Festival, and its star Hadas Yaron won the Best Actress Award at the prestigious event.
At least that’s what Mary Ann Quinn Ponce, the director of the event, expects.
Set for Wednesday, Oct. 3 through Saturday, Oct. 7, the festival will present 61 documentaries from all over the world, selected from nearly 300 entries.
They include the Israeli films “Ameer Got His Gun/Bnei Dodim La’Neshek,” Naomi Levari’s movie about a Muslim 18-year-old who volunteers for the Israeli Army, and “Fluchkes,” Ofer Inov’s meditation on aging, which tracks a group of elderly women as they struggle to create a professional dance performance.
The festival could draw up to 5,000, Ponce said.
Last year, it drew 4,000. The population of Chagrin Falls is about 4,100.
Also on the roster: “Where Dreams Don’t Fade,” Mentor film maker Martin Mudry’s probe of Kenyan long-distance runners; Marcia Rock’s “Why Women Come Marching Home,” the Shaker Heights film maker’s examination of what awaits female veterans on their return home; and “The Great American Bumper Sticker,” a look at the veteran communications device through the eyes of Rocky River’s Cigdem Slankard.
A committee of 12 made the selections, Ponce said, and the films will be shown in blocks of two or three, united by topic.
There’s a program on the human spirit. There’s one on women and peace. And there’s the cure and the quest, a block of films about healing and illness.
Films will be screened in and around Chagrin Falls. The three main venues are Chagrin Falls Township Hall, South Franklin Circle and the Philomethian Street Auditorium.
Ponce said she launched the event in 2010 to honor her son David, who died at age 20 before he could complete his documentary about children orphaned by AIDS who live near Johannesburg, South Africa. “Before he could finish the film, he was diagnosed with leukemia and we lost him three months later,” she said. “Just scores of people stepped in to help finish that film and it went on to win prizes internationally.” David Ponce’s documentary, “The Lost Sparrows of Roodepoort,” will also be screened at the upcoming festival.
Ticket options span $10 for a block of films to a $65 all-festival pass including opening reception.
Contact 440-247-1591 or visit www.chagrinfilmfestival.org.
Source: Cleveland Jewish News