Guy Nattiv’s film picks up Audience, Artistic Achievement awards in international competition of the 52nd Thessaloniki International Film Festival
THESSALONIKI –Israeli film “Mabul” (“The Flood”), directed by Guy Nattiv, won two prizes at the international competition of the 52nd Thessaloniki International Film Festival.
“Mabul” picked up the Audience Award, accompanied by a prize of €3,000, as well as the Artistic Achievement Award given to actors Ronit Elkabetz, Michael Moshonov and Yoav Rotma
The judges noted that “the intensity, passion and unified acting of the film’s ensemble make the original story unique and the film genuine, relevant and profoundly moving.”
Russian film “Twilight Portrait”, directed by Angelina Nikonova, won the top “Golden Alexander” award. The film tells the story of a young Russian woman raped by three policemen and sharply criticizes the Russian society and its police corruption.
Her film is a shocking drama about relationship between the victim and the offender. The heroine, who was abused, chooses a pretty non-standard way of avenging herself by falling in love with her insulter.
The Best Director Award went to Mark Jackson of the US for his film “Without”, which follows a 19-year-old girl working as the temporary caretaker of a paralyzed elderly man living in an isolated home.
The Special Jury Award (“Silver Alexander”) was given to Czech film “Eighty Letters”, directed by Václav Kadrnka. The movie, which takes place in communist Czechoslovakia in 1987, follows the bureaucratic journey of a mother and son seeking to immigrate to Britain, where the boy’s father lives.
This year’s jury included Laurence Kardish, senior Curator of Film at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Greek director Constantine Giannaris, and American producer Hisami Kuroiwa.
Three other Israeli films took part in the festival this year: In the Open Horizons section – Michal Aviad’s “Invisible”, in the Experimental Forum – 18-year-old Dror Heller’s “Foundation of Mind” and Zohar Elefant’s “Sivan”.
The Herzliya-born Tal and actress Natalie Martinez are the latest additions to a cast that includes Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The plot follows an ex-cop (Wahlberg) who is hired by the mayor (Crowe) to investigate whether his wife (Zeta-Jones) is having an affair. After the affair is confirmed and the wife’s lover turns up dead, a larger scandal unfolds.
Tal is set to play Wahlberg’s assistant while Martinez will play his girlfriend.
Reports say production is already underway in New York City, and the release date is set for mid January.
Superman gets an Israeli mom: Actress Ayelet Zurer, 42, has been cast as Lara Lor-Van, the birth mother of Superman (actor Henry Cavill) in director Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel”.
According to US reports, Zurer will begin shooting as early as this week, after actress Julia Ormond exited the production for unclear reasons.
Zurer, who starred in Hollywood films “Angels & Demons” and “Munich”, will co-star alongside Russell Crowe, who plays Superman’s Kryptonian father Jor-El.
“Man of Steel” is expected to hit US screens on June 14, 2013.
Tax breaks, terror attack insurance and generous grants are only part of the incentives Jewish State offering movie producers to film next blockbuster in real city of Jerusalem – instead of its Mediterranean stand-ins
Israel is tired of Hollywood filming Jesus’ crucifixion in Italy and the Crusader invasion of the Holy Land in Morocco.
So Israeli officials are promising better tax breaks, terror attack insurance and handouts of up to $400,000 to lure international movie producers to the holy city of Jerusalem. They want to cash in on the multibillion-dollar industry, and want the real Jerusalem on the silver screen – not Mediterranean stand-ins.
When was the last time the work of an Israeli director was compared to Tarantino’s genius? And that’s just one of many rave reviews Oren Shai’s new film, ‘Condemned’ has received. ‘It’s completely surprising,’ he says.
Yes, it’s true, Israel was missing from the Best Foreign Film category in the last Academy Awards but it appears that homegrown creativity is receiving positive reinforcement from other directions.
For example, “Condemned,” a short film by Israeli director Oren Shai, 30. The plot of the movie, which has so far been shown online, focuses on a women’s prison in the US in 1959 and immediately after its release, the film received exceptional reviews from US critics.
Film historian David Del Valle raved about the film: “Shai has the talent to follow Tarantino into the rarified company of young directors with an eye for detail and a love of film history which, in Shai’s case, shines like a new penny in the sunlight.”
Well regarded blog IndieWire went one step further and compared ‘Condemned’ to the much anticipated “Sucker Punch” now showing in theaters throughout the US: “This short film has everything that ‘Sucker Punch’ was lacking, the tone that Zack Snyder’s disaster desperately needed to succeed. Shai puts a frankness into the dialogue, all between women, which manages to show the brutality of being caged without any excessive violence or desperation.”
Shai can’t but get excited over the positive feedback “It gives you a great feeling of satisfaction,” he said. “For a short film that hasn’t even been shown in that many festivals, this exposure is surprising. Usually the movies that get this level of exposure on the net are comedies or films based on graphics, not the type of film that I’ve made which demands complete viewer attention. I’m very pleased.”
Shai is currently living in New York where he has just completed his Master degree and works as a film critic. His university thesis focused on historical research into films about women in prison in 1922-1974.
What is the meaning behind your attraction to this genre?
“That’s a good question. There is no personal significance in the chosen subject. It’s just one of the things I’m interested in. The more I delved into the genre, the more I fell in love with it. Prison films are a metaphor for other things, like the crushing of the American dream and preventing certain people from fulfilling theirs.”
“I’m working hard on writing my first full-length feature film. The movie will be influenced by the dark theater of the 40s and 50s. Until then – you can go watch ‘Condemned’.”