Last year “The Band’s Visit” won the Ophir Awards (the Israeli equivalent of the Oscars), but was disqualified from the Foreign Language Oscar for having too much English dialog. It went on to become the highest grossing Israeli film in the US. Last year’s Ophir runner-up, “Beaufort”, went on to become the first Israeli movie in 24 years to be nominated for a Foreign Language Oscar.
Now, one year later…
The nominees for the Israeli Academy Awards, The Ophir Awards, were announced yesterday. Local smash hit, “Lost Islands” the directorial debut for seasoned screen and stage writer Reshef Levi, is leading the nominees with 14 nods in all of the ceremony’s 13 categories (scoring a double nomination in the Supporting Actor category). By yesterday, “Lost Islands” is the best selling Israeli movie so far in 2008, with 120,000 tickets sold in four weeks. I expect him to finish over the 200,000 tickets mark by the time the Ophirs are handed out, September 23rd.
“Seven Days” (”Shiv’a”), Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz’s family film, which takes place in one apartment in the seven days of mourning, where a family of seven brothers grief and come to blows, is the runner-up with 13 nominations. The film has yet to be released theatrically in Israel (one of the many quirks of The Israeli Academy’s absurd regulations). “Seven Days” was the opening film of the Cannes sidebar “The Critic’s Week” and has recently won the top prize at the Jerusalem Film Festival.
Cannes favorite, “Waltz With Bashir”, which many consider the sure winner of the Best Picture prize, is nominated for seven prizes. Because “Bashir” is (more…)