Haifa International Film Festival has been chosen to enter the exclusive list of international film festivals recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences whose short, independent features may compete for an Academy Award in the Short Film category. Starting with this year’s upcoming festival, scheduled to take place from October 8 – 17, 2022, the winner of the Best Independent Short Feature at the Haifa International Film Festival will automatically be eligible to compete for the Best Short Film at the Academy Awards. This recognition is significant because it means that the winner of the Best Short Film Award at the Haifa Festival will be eligible for consideration at the Oscars without having to meet the Academy’s requirements for theatrical distribution in the United States.
Yaron Shamir, Artistic Director of the Haifa International Film Festival, released a statement saying, “We are excited to receive the news that the festival has been accepted to the select list of international film festival and proud to promote Israeli short films worldwide. We thank the Academy for recognizing the quality and importance of the festival and the high level of Israeli short filmmaking. Haifa is a Mediterranean city of coexistence, and the festival hopes to promote the short films of filmmakers from Mediterranean countries by creating a competition for Mediterranean short films.”
Past winners of the Best Independent Short Film Award at the Haifa International Film Festival include Tomer Shushan’s film White Eye, which premiered at the festival in 2019, and entered the official list for an Academy Award in the Live Action Short Film category. Tawfik Abu Wael, known for the international series Our Boys, won Haifa’s Short Film competition in 2017 with his film Freedom Train. Hadar Morag’s film, It’s Time You Died Already, won the Best Independent Short Film Award in 2021.
The 38th Haifa International Film Festival will take place from October 8 – 17, 2022. The festival is supported by the Haifa Municipality and Ethos – The Haifa Municipality Art, Culture and Sports Association Company.