Israeli Oscar to Be Awarded to Best Short Feature at Student Festival

The 15th Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival gets an upgrade this June with an Ophir Prize going to the top entry.

Some 15 short feature films by students will vie for the Ophir Prize – the local equivalent of an Oscar – for the first time at this year's Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival, which opens on June 19.

A record number of more than 100 films have been submitted to the Israeli competition this year. The Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University top the list with five entrants each. Most of the entries in the Israeli competition are feature films, which will compete alongside six documentaries and eight animated films.

This year will mark the first time that the Israeli Film Academy will award the prestigious Ophir Prize to the best short feature film.

Another first: This there will be a competition of independent short films that were not made in an academic framework, including films from Ariel University alongside films from the Palestinian Authority.  

Films will be screened in three frameworks: an Israeli competition, a Mediterranean competition and an international one.

Starting this year the festival, founded by the Tel Aviv University film department, will be held annually instead of just once every two years.