DocAviv Prize Goes to Film About Struggling With Hebrew

'Misafa Lesafa (From Language to Language),' directed by Nurit Aviv, won the best film prize in Israeli competition in the DocAviv documentary film festival now underway at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque.

"Misafa Lesafa (From Language to Language)," directed by Nurit Aviv, won the best film prize in Israeli competition in the DocAviv documentary film festival now underway at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque. Aviv, whose film was supported by television's Channel 8 and the New Israeli Foundation for Cinema and Television, won a NIS 50,000 prize.

Aviv's film presents a mosaic of nine interview subjects who speak about the gap between their mother tongue and Hebrew. In explaining its award, the jury called the film "a whole composition with a clear, close-fitting structure and impressive cinematic qualities. Between the language of pictures and the language of words, a statement is made that is simultaneously universal and Israeli. The power of the film partly stems from the meticulous selection of figures and places, cultural sensitivity and aesthetic discipline."

The jury awarded prizes to several other films. A NIS 20,000 grant was bestowed by the New Israeli Foundation for Cinema and Television to encourage the premiere work by Ilil Alexander, the director of "Keep Not Silent," which concerns ultra-Orthodox lesbians. "This is an original and bold premiere work, which is likely to provoke debate, and perhaps also to influence and to change," wrote the judges.

Acting on behalf of the Makor Foundation for Israel Film, the jury awarded a NIS 10,000 prize for photography to Yoav Shamir, the director of "Checkpoint." "The cinematography imparts a stylistic uniformity and quality to the film, which was shot at different times and places," the judges wrote.

On behalf of Tel Aviv Studios, the jury awarded the prize for best editing (and NIS 20,000) to the director David Noy and the editor Eyal Tsarfati, for "Family Matters." The judges said: "In a dynamic style and multiple turns and twists, the editing weaves a fluent and human plot."

Ruth Diskin Films, Ltd., granted a prize of NIS 10,000 to "Mashallah," directed by Eytan Harris, for promotion and distribution of the film in Israel and abroad. "An atypical film shot by an artist," wrote the judges.

Two "special recognition" awards were granted to the films "Blood Engagement," directed by Ada Ushpiz and Shlomi Shir's "Mr. Cortisone Happy Days."

The Slovakian film "66 Seasons," directed by Peter Kerekes, won the international competition, and collected a NIS 12,000 prize. Awards of special recognition were given to two foreign films: "Surplus - Terrorized into Being Consumers," directed by Eric Gandini," and "Sand and Water," directed by Shaheen Dill-Riaz.

The prizes were awarded last night at a ceremony held at the Cinematheque. All of the winning films will be screened this Saturday at the Cinematheque, from 10:00 to 12:00.