Israeli Soundman Nabs BAFTA Award for 'Gravity'

Niv Adiri worked as part of the team that created cutting-edge sound for the space thriller.

The deep space thriller "Gravity" scooped up six trophies at the British Academy of Film and Television Awards on Sunday night – including one for Niv Adiri, the Israeli sound designer who worked as part of a team behind the film's cutting-edge sound.

"Gravity" director Alfonso Cuaron nabbed the award for best director, and the blockbuster starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney also took home awards for outstanding British film, original music, cinematography and special visual effects.

The film was the night's big winner, and its haul was only one short of the seven BAFTAs awarded to "The Artist" in 2012 and "The King's Speech" the year before.

Adiri, 39, was born and raised in Kfar Vitkin between Tel Aviv and Haifa, but has lived in England for the past 14 years. He shares the award with his teammates Glenn Freemantle, Skip Lievsay, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro.

The film is set in space, which forced the sound designers to create a soundscape from the perspective of touch and vibration.

“The movie has layers upon layers upon layers of sound and hundreds of tracks, but people understand the sound very quickly because the mind can grasp something it’s familiar with,” Adiri told Haaretz recently.

Adiri and the team are also nominated for an Academy Award for their work (although Freemantle was nominated separately for sound editing). The BAFTAs are often considered a preview for the Oscars, scheduled for March 2 this year.

The Israeli sound designer and mixer previously worked on films including Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire,” “127 Hours” “V for Vendetta.”

The sound editing team on “Slumdog” was nominated for an Oscar, but Adiri’s nomination for “Gravity” marks the first time his name has appeared as a nominee.
 

Warner Bros. Pictures / AP