The 40th Jerusalem Film Festival announced the competition winners in a ceremony that took place on July 20, 2023. The award winners are:
The Nechama Rivilin Award for Best International Film was awarded to the film Ama Gloria, directed by Marie Amachoukeli, and produced by Benedicte Couvreur. The jury members for the International Competition are Claire Denis (President), Whit Stillman, Florian Zeller, Joana Vicente, and Maria Schrader. Jury Statement: “The jury’s unanimous choice for the Best Film Award is Ama Gloria by Marie Amachoukeli for its extraordinary poignancy, beauty and insight.”
The Best Director Award was awarded to Lila Avilés for Totem. Jury Statement: “The jury’s choice for the second prize, Best Director, is Lila Aviles for Totem, her rich and lively portrait of a family at an exceptional moment.”
Special Mention was awarded to the ensemble cast of The Delinquents by Rodrigo Moreno.
First Feature Competition
The GWFF Award for Best First Feature was awarded to Safe Place, directed by Juraj Lerotić, and produced by Miljenka Čogelja. The jury members are Ali Abbasi, Barbara Albert, and Sebastian Meise. Jury Statement: “Watching Safe Place is a physical experience. Painful as well as deeply human, even funny in moments. Precisely observed, shot, edited, acted and directed. It touched us deeply.”
Special Mention was awarded to If Only I Could Hibernate, directed by Zoljargal Purevdash, and produced by Frédéric Corvez, Zoljargal Purevdash, Maéva Savinien.
In the Spirit of Freedom Competition
The Cummings Award for Best Feature Film was awarded to Blanquita, directed by Fernando Guzzoni, and produced by Giancarlo Nasi, Pablo Zimbrón, Donato Rotunno, Pascal Guerrin, Yves Darondeau, Emmanuel Priou, Beata Rzeźniczek. The jury members are Sébastien Lifshitz, Yael Perlov, and Manuela Martelli. Jury Statement: “Through the powerful portrayal of a young and broken woman, Fernando Guzzoni has delivered a profound narrative that delves deeply into the minds of the victims of sexual abuse by political figures in Chile. The film takes us on a hypnotic journey into the horror of real events, using immersive sound, subtle editing, and cinematic images.”
The MKR Award for Best Documentary was awarded to Reality, directed by Tina Satter, and produced by Noah Stahl, Brad Becker-Parton, Riva Marker, Greg Nobile. Jury Statement: “Even though Reality is a feature film, the story is based on the exact transcript of the recording of Reality Winner’s arrest by the FBI. The director’s choices to use a huis clos situation and strict respect to the dialogue that occurred create an incredible and virtuoso mise en scene, between documentary and fiction.”
Chantal Akerman Competition
The Chantal Akerman Prize was awarded to The Echo, directed by Tatiana Huezo. The jury members are Julian Rosefeldt, Mathilde Henrot, and Chen Tamir. Jury Statement: “For its profound tenderness to its subjects, its sensitivity to the plight of rural women, and the beauty of its imagery, the Chantal Ackerman Award goes to “El Eco” by Tatiana Huezo.”
Special Mentions were awarded to Orlando, My Political Biography by Paul B. Preciado, and The Kiev Trial by Sergei Loznitsa.
Israeli Feature Film Competition
The Haggiag Award for Best Israeli Feature was awarded to Daniel Auerbach, directed by David Volach, and produced by Eyal Shiray. The jury members are Kornél Mundruczó (President), Jasmila Žbanić, Joseph Cedar, and Alexandru Belc. Jury Statement: “The film handles external questions such as complexity of identity, relation with religion, nationality, creation and narcissism, creativity and sexual identity. The story is told in the most profound, funny, furious, and hyper-Jewish way; the bitter-sweet approach to the comedy and drama of the film is a true celebration.”
The GWFF Award for Best Israeli First Feature was awarded to The Taste of Apples is Red, directed by Ehab Tarabieh, and produced by Jonathan Doweck and Sol Goodman. Jury Statement: “We appreciate the game in between the reality and mythical aspects of the movie, the process of digging through your own cultural heritage and playing with the filmmaker’s own original elements.”
The Anat Pirchi Award for Best Screenplay was awarded to Asaf Saban for Delegation. Jury Statement: “With a very contradicted and difficult subject matter, this script finds a very clever and special perspective which does not ignore the past of the topic, but also finds a fresh answer for the new generation.”
The Anat Pirchi Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film was awarded to Emos Ayeno for Under the Shadow of the Sun. Jury Statement: “Ayeno’s unbelievable performance doesn’t give just complexity and dimension to the character, but his stubborn silence opens up the movie’s untold storyline full of past and personality.”
The Ensemble Award was awarded to Delegation – Yoav Bavly, Neomi Harari, Leib Lev Levin, Ezra Dagan, and Alma Dishy. Jury Statement: “One can feel the spirit of the film, the joy of creation, celebrating the storytelling, editing, cinematography and the acting; The performances of Yoav Bavly, Neomi Harari and Lev Levin but also Ezra Dagan and Alma Dishy makes the movie shine bright as it does.”
Israeli Cinema Awards
The Aaron Emanuel Award for Best Cinematography was awarded to Boaz Yehonatan Yacov for Daniel Auerbach. Jury Statement: “As a movie that its subject is just words, giving a cinematic aspect is a very difficult task; The cinematography has an amazing approach, which elevates the movie to another level.”
The Yossi Mulla Award for Best Original Score was awarded to Yonatan Alblak for Daniel Auerbach. Jury Statement: “The music is perfectly tuned with the characters’ world, knowing exactly when to pull in or out. Even Though the music is melodically almost invisible, the score really stays with you.”
The Diamond Award for Best Editing was awarded Ex æquo to Haim Tabakman & Lev Goltser for Daniel Auerbach – Jury Statement: “In Daniel Auerbach, the structure of the scene is unbelievable. It has amazing timing, and also beauty between the cuts. Are graduates for the editors also for knowing what to leave out…” and Ayala Bengad for The Three of Us – Jury Statement: “In The Three of Us, the editing was the major issue. How to tell a very complex story in the most intimate way. This intimacy was born in the editing room, creating a beautiful human portrait.”
Israeli Documentary Competition
The Diamond Award for Best Documentary was awarded to The Three of Us, directed by Henya Brodbeker, and produced by Avigail Shperber. Jury Statement: “Powerful and intimate portrait of a family struggling to find a community to support them at a time of crisis. The movie breaks borders and has a strong universal message about searching for a sense of belonging.”
The Diamond Award for Best Director was awarded to Henya Brodbeker for The Three of Us. Jury Statement: “The director serves a naturalistic, non-intrusive look at her family, with high level empathy and without betraying her roots and community.”
Best Documentary Research Award was awarded to Jonathan Avrahami & Assaf Lapid for The Return from the Other Planet. Jury Statement: “Uncovering a hidden layer underneath a known character, this deep-dive research unfolds the story of Israel’s most mysterious author.”
Israeli Short Film Competition
Jury members are Frauke Finsterwalder, Teresa Cavina, and Dana Morag.
The Diamond Award for Best Live Action Short Film was awarded to Katya’s Hand by Tom Shoval.
The Aliza & Micha Shagrir Award for Best Documentary Short Film was awarded to Listen to My Voice by Zohar Orian Cohen.
The Diamond Award for Best Student Short Film was awarded to Single Light by Shaylee Atary.
The Bell-Bielski Family Award for Best Performance was awarded to Danielle Zayonts for The Source of All Beauty.
The Jerusalem Film & Television Fund – The Jerusalem Development Authority Award for Best Short Animated Film was awarded to Deadline by Idan Gilboa.
Special Mentions were awarded to Yona Namer Ira by Rotem Kapelinsky, and Still Waters by Tsivia Barkai-Yacov.
Israeli Video Art & Experimental Film Competition
The Lia van Leer Award, courtesy of Rivka Saker, was awarded to They All Died by Ayala Berger.
Ostrovsky Family Fund Award was awarded to Riding Out of the Saddle by Dan Robert Lahiani.