Award-winning Director Riklis Captures His Latest Prize at Locarno

Eran Riklis' film "The Human Resources Manager" won the Audience Award at the Locarno Film Festival yesterday for his tale about a man who organizes the burial of a woman he never met.

Film festival
Vlad Plaiasu

This prize of 20,000 Swiss francs (around $20,000 ) is awarded based on the audience's choice among films at the festival. Noah Stollman wrote the screenplay, based on the novel by A.B. Yehoshua. Riklis won the award six years ago for his film "The Syrian Bride."

Locarno is one of the world's oldest film festivals, alongside Cannes and Venice.

Another Israeli winner this year was Menahem Golan, who took home the best independent producer's award for his work over the years. But Riklis was the main focus.

"This film is indeed different from my previous two films 'The Syrian Bride' and 'The Lemon Tree' because it doesn't touch on political elements. But it does touch on exposed and sensitive spots in Israeli society, and on the question of how Israeliness is perceived," said Riklis.

"It's an Israeli story, but it seems that people from any other place can also relate to it."

The plot of the film, which has been nominated for eight Ophir (Israeli film ) awards, opens in Jerusalem 2002. In a terrorist attack, a 40-year-old woman is fatally wounded - a foreign worker not carrying ID.

She dies, and the human resources manager at the bakery where she worked gets caught up in her story. To bury a woman he never met, he embarks on a long journey that ends in the Siberian village where she was born.