Israeli Director Joseph Cedar Wins Best Screenplay Award at Cannes

Cedar called to return to Cannes to receive his prize for 'Footnote,' a dramedy about father-son competing researchers of Kaballah.

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Israeli director Joseph Cedar won the best screenplay award at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday for his film "Footnote."

Already having left Cannes, Cedar was suddenly called back to receive his prize. His film, "Footnote," is a dramedy about the relations between a father and son, who are competing researchers of Kaballah at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. It received mixed reactions after its screening at the festival, with the European critics disparaging it and the Americans defending it. It has been picked up in the U.S. by the distributor Sony.

Director Joseph Cedar (3rd R), poses with cast members as they arrive on the red carpet for the screening of their film "Hearat Shulayim" at the 64th Cannes Film Festival, May 14, 2011.Credit: Reuters

Israeli films have a history at the festival, but have never won the big prizes. Keren Yedaya's "My Treasure" (2004) as well as Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen's "Jellyfish" (2007) won the "Golden Camera" for the best first film. Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani's "Ajami" (2009) received an honorable mention, and later also was an Oscar candidate for best foreign film. Hanna Laslo won best actress in 2005 for her work in Amos Gitai's "Freezone," while Oded Kotler received best actor in 1969 for "Three Days and a Child." In 2007, "The Band's Visit" won three awards: the audience award, the young judges award, and the international critics award.

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