Two Israeli films have won awards at the Cannes Film Festival, which ends in the southern France resort on Sunday,
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“Anna,” a short movie by Or Sinai, claimed first place in the Cinéfondation student film competition on Friday, while filmmaker Asaph Polonsky won a Critics’ Week award for his debut feature, the comedy-drama “One Week and a Day.”
“Anna” tells the story of a divorced woman (played by Evgenia Dodina), who suddenly finds herself alone for the first time without her 10-year-old son, on a hot summer’s day.
She wanders around her small desert home town, looking to feel like a woman again, even in a stranger’s arms.
Sinai is a graduate of the Sam Spiegel Film School in Jerusalem.
The prestigious Cinéfondation award sees her receive a 15,000 euro ($16,800) cash prize, and the guarantee that her first full-length film will be screened at a future Cannes festival.
The 24-minute “Anna,” Sinai’s graduation project, competed with 17 other student films from around the world. The film was produced with the support of the Rabinowitz Foundation for the Arts and was first screened at a short film festival in Haifa.
Critics’ Week is one of the competitions held alongside the main Palme d’Or prize. Polonsky’s “One Week and a Day,” which drew strong reviews and a standing ovation at its official screening, took the GAN Foundation Award, which comes with a 20,000 euro cash prize to help market the film in France.
Polonsky’s film also stars Dodina, alongside comedian Shai Avivi. It tells the story of a married couple and the different ways in which they deal with the death of their son, following the week-long mourning period. The wife, Vicky Spivak (Dodina), seeks a return to routine, while her husband, Eyal (Avivi), spends his time trying to find his late son’s medical marijuana, eventually sharing it with a young neighbor.
The winner of the Palme d’Or will be announced on Sunday night.