Ophir Awards Ceremony 2009

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Ajami, a film by Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani that won the Wolgin Award for Best Feature at the Jerusalem Film Festival and describes the complexities of life and relationships in the Ajami neighborhood of Jaffa, won Best Picture at the Ophir Awards Ceremony held tonight in Haifa. Copti and Shani also won in the categories of Best Director and Best Screenplay and Editing, with Rabii Bukhari winning another award for the film as Best Composer.

Lebanon, a film by Samuel Maoz that won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and follows the four members of a tank crew during the first day of the Lebanon war of 1982, received four awards: Zohar Strauss – Best Supporting Actor, Giora Bejach  – Best Cinematography, Ariel Roshko – Production Design and Alex Claude and David Liss – Best Soundtrack.

Best Actress went to Irit Kaplan for her role in “A Matter of Size.” Accepting the award, Kaplan said, “Let’s stop looking at people from the outside, judgmentally, and start looking inward – it’s more important.” Two additional awards went to the film: Levana Finkelstein for Best Supporting Actress and Inbal Shuki for Costumes.

Sasha Agronov, who had not acted professionally before, won Best Actor for his role in Rennen Schorr’s “The Loners.”

The prize for best documentary went to Miki Rosenthal for “The Shakshouka System.”

The Israeli Academy for Film and Television paid tribute to Uri Sabag, (producer of many films, including “Lebanon”) with a Prize for Professional Excellence and Achievement which was accepted by his wife and partner Einat Bickel and their children Noam and Tamar. Actor/writer/director Assi Dayan was honored with a prize for Lifetime Achievement.