A film on the interaction between Arab and Jewish women selected for the Oscars

The film ‘Cinema Sabaya’ conquered Sunday night’s Ophir ceremony, Israel’s version of the Oscars, winning Best Picture, automatically making it Israel’s selection in the ‘Foreign Film’ category at the 2023 Academy Awards , which will take place in the United States.

The film, starring Dana Ivgy, tells the story of eight Arab and Jewish city workers who take part in a video workshop, documenting their own lives and viewing the lives of others – challenging their own beliefs to get to know each other.

The film also won Best Director for newcomer Orit Fouks Rotem, Best Supporting Actress for Joanna Sayid, Best Costume Design and Best Cast.

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“This film is as much yours as mine,” said director Fouks Rotem, adding that she worked on this film for eight years.

“It’s about looking at yourself and looking at the other. When you look with curiosity, it is much easier to see something else. »

The cast and crew of ‘Cinema Sabaya’ pose with their Ophir Awards after winning Best Picture among other awards, September 18, 2022. (Courtesy)

The film “Karaoke,” which tells the story of a middle-aged couple in Holon who gets to know their neighbor (played by Lior Ashkenazi) through their karaoke parties, won Best Actor and Best Actor. actress for the famous Sasson Gabbay and Rita Shoukroun. The film also won Best Soundtrack.

Sasson Gabbay, 74, who won the second Ophir Award in his long and storied film career, thanked his colleagues and called Ashkenazi a “magician”.

Another big winner of the evening was “Savoy”, for Best Makeup, Art Direction and Editing.

This hybrid documentary from director Zohar Wagner, starring Dana Ivgy, traces the story of the 1975 terrorist attack at the Savoy Hotel, which resulted in the deaths of eight civilians, three IDF soldiers.

As Culture Minister Chili Tropper presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to director Lena Chaplin, now 88, he took the opportunity to talk about the role of politics in film – in reference to the recent scandal over Samaria’s new settler-friendly film fund and the highly controversial request to hold a future Ophir Awards ceremony in settlements beyond the Green Line.

Tropper called on filmmakers to “make political films, but not make politics off the back of films.”

“I love cinema and creative freedom and I love Israel,” he said. “Criticize Israel but do it with a little love. Israeli society is strong enough to withstand criticism. »

The nominated films were selected by the Israeli Academy of Cinema and Television from among 95 films across all genres, an all-time high for the Ophirs.

The event, hosted by actor Oz Zahavi, was held in Tel Aviv for the first time in many years, but with a relatively small and eclectic audience. Some of the attendees were dressed in jeans and t-shirts while others were in dresses and suits.

The film ‘Valeria Is Getting Married’, also in the running for the main awards, won the best screenplay award for its story of two Ukrainian sisters, one who has married an Israeli and the other who is about to make same.

Filmmaker Shlomi Elkabetz won the award for his documentary ‘Black Notebooks’, a love letter to his late sister, actress and director Ronit Elkabetz, while ‘The Artist’s Daughter, Oil on Canvas’ won also won in the documentary category.

The full ceremony aired on Channel 12 at 11:15 p.m. on September 18.

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A film on the interaction between Arab and Jewish women selected for the Oscars