News in Brief

Israeli sci-fi festival awards announced

Two short films have been named winners of this year’s Israeli film competition at Tel Aviv’s international science fiction festival Utopiafest, held during Sukkot week at the Tel Aviv Cinemateque: Sasha Belson’s animated film “Snakes and Ladders” and Sergei Volsov’s “Hamaklid,” which tells the story of a group of typists who type constantly in a gray, underground world, and when one key breaks so does the monotony of their existence. The award for best international film was taken by Sebastian Cordero for “Europa Report,” a space drama. The award ceremony will be held on November 3 and the Cinemateque. (Nirit Anderman)

Zilber to show what he can do with a piano

The 15th annual Piano Festival will open on November 5 with a performance by iconic singer-songwriter Ariel Zilber, who is celebrating his 70th birthday and the release of his “best of” compilation album. The five-day festival, which will be held at Tel Aviv’s Suzanne Dellal Center, will feature 40 performances and 180 artists, among them the Habiluim duo, whose concert is entitled “Things you can do with a piano and things you can do against it,” which the festival’s artistic director, Eti Anta-Segev says “could be the motto of the whole festival.” (Ben Shalev)

Five authors named for Sami Rohr Prize

Five authors and their works were named finalists for the 2014 Sami Rohr Prize for Non-Fiction. The finalists for the $100,000 literary prize were announced Monday by the Jewish Book Council. The winner will be announced in November; the runner-up receives $25,000. The Rohr Prize has been given annually since 2007 and considers works of fiction and nonfiction in alternating years. It was created by the late businessman and philanthropist Sami Rohr to recognize emerging writers who articulate the Jewish experience. (JTA)