Farsi-language Film Wins Best Picture at Israeli Oscars

'Baba Joon,' which chronicles conflict between father and son in hard-working Iranian-Israeli family, will go on to represent Israel in Academy Awards.

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A scene from the film 'Baba Joon.'
A scene from the film 'Baba Joon.'Credit: Courtesy

The Farsi-language film “Baba Joon” captured five awards including Best Picture at Monday’s Ophir Awards — Israel’s version of the Oscars -  at Ashdod Performing Arts Center.

The film, directed by Yuval Delshad, chronicles the burgeoning conflict between father and son in a hard-working Iranian-Israeli family. It also took home awards for art direction, music, cinematography, and casting.

The film will be the Israeli candidate for the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.  

The other nominees for Best Picture were “The Kind Words,” directed by Shemi Zarhin, the only film that has been screened in Israel so far; “Wounded Land,”; “Wedding Doll,” directed by Nitzan Giladi; and “Afterthought,” directed by Elad Keidan.

Erez Tadmor won Best Director for “Wounded Land,” about policemen in Haifa dealing with the aftermath of a terror attack. 

The Best Actor Award was taken by Roy Assaf for his performance in “Wounded Land.” Assaf had also been nominated for Best Actor for his role as a factory owner’s son in “Wedding Doll,” so when it was announced that Assaf had won for best actor, he didn’t come up to the stage before calling out, “For which film?” 

Assaf had also been nominated for Best Supporting Actor for the film “The Kind Words,” about three siblings searching for the biological father they had never met.

The Best Actress Award was won by Moran Rosenblatt for her performance in “Wedding Doll” as a mentally disabled woman who works in a toilet paper factory and falls in love with the owner’s son.  

Best Supporting Actress went to 91-year-old Devora Keidar for “Fire Birds,” a murder mystery about conmen who pose as Holocaust survivors, while Norman Issa took the Best Supporting Actor award for his role in “The 90 Minute War,” a mockumentary about an attempt to resolve the Middle East conflict with a soccer match.

Elad Keidan took the Best Screenplay award for “Afterthought,” a look at two men who encounter each other on the staircase running from Haifa’s Mount Carmel down to the port. “Afterthought” also won awards for its editing and sound design.