The film "Footnote" directed by Joseph Cedar was the big winner at yesterday's Ophir Awards ceremony, gleaning nine awards, including the best film, best director and best screenplay.
Prizes for best actor and best supporting actor went to Footnote's two stars Shlomo Bar Aba and Lior Ashkenazi respectively.
The film will now represent Israel in the American Academy Awards for best foreign language film.
The film overcame Yossi Madmoni's "Restoration", Marco Carmel's "My Lovely Sister," Nadav Lapid's "The Policeman" and Maya Kenig's "Off-white Lies."
Best actress awards went to Evelin Hagoel ("My Lovely Sister") and Hagar Ben Asher ("The Slut").
Best Documentary Award went to Arnon Goldfinger's "The Flat."
Bar Aba, accepting the prize for best actor, spoke passionately for several minutes and drew laughs from the audience. He said he couldn't decide whether to take the role Cedar had offered him. "I'm sitting in front of him listening and thinking: What do I need this movie for? My mind told me it was an academic movie, a quality film - who's going to want to see it? A director's experiment and nothing more. Your audience wants to laugh and be happy. But my inner voice suddenly said to me, 'take unknown journey, surprise yourself, forget your ego, trust someone else and see what happens when you listen to that inner voice.'"
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