Jerusalem Film Festival 2021: Awards

All Eyes Off Me/Photo: Meidan Arama

The Jerusalem Film Festival announced the award winners for 2021, with two Israeli films sharing the Haggiag Award for Best Israeli Feature: All Eyes Off Me by Hadas Ben-Aroya, and Shake Your Cares Away by Tom Shoval. All Eyes Off Me observes the lives of three young people in Tel Aviv with honesty as they contend with complex desires in a climate of uncertainty. As they seek intimacy, affection, and sexual thrills, their fears – whether expressed or not – are as intense as their desires. The jury’s statement on All Eyes Off Me: “A film with an unusual and innovative structure, sharp dialogue, and unique worldview. The filmmaker approaches the subject of sexual relations from a female position, daring and thought provoking, where intimacy is not viewed as a goal, but rather, as a means of communicating the difficulties of an entire generation’s desperate search for comfort and warmth.”

Shake Your Cares Away/Photo: Daniel Miller

Tom Shoval’s Shake Your Cares Away depicts a young widow in her struggles with her conscience, and attempts to compensate for social injustice. The jury’s statement on Shake Your Cares Away: “Tom Shoval’s challenging film straddles between fantasy and reality. Through this unusual and profound social allegory, the filmmaker offers a sharp observation of Israel’s complex reality with a gaze that is both sobering and ironic.”

Cinema Sabaya by Orit Fouks Rotem received the GWFF Award for Best Israeli First Feature. Dana Ivgy portrays a young filmmaker who conducts a video workshop for Jewish and Arab women. The film also received the Michael Shvili Audience Award.

Compartment No. 6/Photo courtesy of the Jerusalem Film Festival

In the International Competition, the Nechama Rivlin Award Best International Film courtesy of Ronald S. Lauder and Jo Carole Lauder, through the Jerusalem Foundation was awarded to Compartment No. 6 by Juho Kuosmanen. A contemporary, edgy, quest narrative with an almost fairytale-like quality, a Finnish woman’s journey by train and her experiences sharing a cabin with a loud and boisterous Russian are depicted in a vibrant, heart-warming film full of humor. The jury’s statement: “Compartment No. 6 is a cross-cultural road movie – entertaining, clever, and remarkably endearing. This is free cinema, released from confinements, where an entire world exists within a cramped train car and where impossible connections are forged between people from different borders and cultures.”

The full list of awards:

International Competition

The Nechama Rivilin Award for Best International Film courtesy of Ronald S. Lauder and Jo Carole Lauder, through the Jerusalem Foundation: Compartment No. 6 by Juho Kuosmanen

Special Mention: Flee by Jonas Poher Rasmussen

The GWFF Award for Best First Feature: El Planeta by Amalia Ulman

In the Spirit of Freedom Competition

The Cummings Award for Best Feature Film: Unclenching the Fists by Kira Kovalenko

The MKR Award for Best Documentary: From Where They Stood by Christophe Cognet

Chantal Akerman Competition

The Chantal Akerman Prize for an International Documentary, courtesy of the Ostrovsky Family Fund: Babi Yar. Context by Sergei Loznitsa

Israeli Feature Film Competition

The Haggiag Award for Best Israeli Feature: All Eyes Off Me by Hadas Ben-Aroya; Shake Your Cares Away by Tom Shoval

The GWFF Award for Best Israeli First Feature: Cinema Sabaya by Orit Fokus Rotem

The Dalia Sigan Award for Best Screenplay: Pini Tavger for More Than I Deserve

The Anat Pirchi Award for Best Actor: Omer Perelman Striks for The Swimmer

Special Mention: Yuval Auron for Take the ‘A’ Train

The Anat Pirchi Award for Best Actress: Elisheva Weil for All Eyes Off Me

The Aaron Emanuel Award for Best Cinematography: Daniel MillerZiv Berkovitch for Shake Your Cares Away

The Yossi Mulla Award for Best Original Score: Asher Goldschmidt for Shake Your Cares Away

Israeli Documentary Competition

The Diamond Award for Best Documentary: Black Notebooks by Shlomi Elkabetz

The Diamond Award for Best Director: Vanessa Lapa for Speer Goes to Hollywood

The Cummings Award for Best Editing: Joelle Alexis for Black Notebooks

Special Mention: #Schoolyard: An Untold Story by Nurit Kedar

Israeli Short Film Competition

The Diamond Award for Best Live Action Short Film: The Sun Rises Down Below by Dylan Joseph Schitrit

Special Mention: He Can Sleep on the Couch by Ahinoam Capon

The Shagrir Family Award for the Promising Filmmaker: Hamad SharoofFadi Qupti for The 50th Psalm

The Shagrir Family Award for Best Short Documentary: MOLOTOV by Ariel Semmel

The Jerusalem Film & Television Fund – The Jerusalem Development Authority Award for Best Short Animation: Holy Holocaust by Osi WaldNoa Berman-Herzberg

Special Mention: Fledge by Tom KourisHani Dombe

The Israeli Video Art and Experimental Film Competition

The Lia van Leer Award, courtesy of Rivka Saker: How to be Alone by Neta Moses

The Ostrovsky Family Fund Award: Coming Home by Michael Liani

Special Mention: Hollows and Ducts by Tzion Abraham HazanKeren Ben AltabetAvner Miryam Amit

Pitch Point Shorts Competition

The Gesher Multicultural Film Fund Award for Best Short Script (250,000 ILS): Katya’s Hand by Tom Shoval

The Gesher Multicultural Film Fund Second Award (150,000 ILS): The Water Stands by Tzivia Barkai-Yaacov