Director Bergman Wins Second Tokyo Film Festival Prize

Win by ‘Intimate Grammar’ surprises after it failed to claim any Israeli Ophir Awards.

The film “Intimate Grammar” won its screenwriter and director Nir Bergman his second Grand Prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival yesterday.

He won his first Tokyo Grand Prize eight years ago, for his film “Broken Wings.”

bergman - Tali Shani - November 1 2010
Tali Shani

“This is the first time someone has won the prize twice,” Bergman told Haaretz yesterday. “We lowered our expectations, but we did have a little hope in our heart that we would win one of the lesser prizes, such as for acting or directing. We didn’t think for a moment we’d win the Grand Prize.”

Bergman said that as the prizes began to be announced, “We started to get depressed, and we thought that what happened at the academy ceremony in Israel was going to happen here.

When they announced we had won the Grand Prize, we were in total shock,” he said.
“Inttimate Grammar,” based on the book by David Grossman, won the prize for best film at the Jerusalem Film Festival this year.

However, despite 12 nominations at the last Ophir Awards, Bergman went home empty-handed.

“Intimate Grammar,” produced by Assaf Amir, tells the story of a Jerusalem boy and his interior world in the 1960s.

The Tokyo Film Festival showcases directors’ first or second films.

Three years ago, another Israeli film, “The Band’s Visit,” won the top prize there.