Assassination drama Incitement on Sunday picked up the best picture prize at Israel’s Ophir Awards, the country’s primary national film awards. The win means the film becomes Israel’s submission to this year’s Best International Feature Film Oscar (renamed for 2020 from Best Foreign Language Film).
Directed by Yaron Zilberman, the feature depicts the 1995 assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, told through the eyes of his assassin Yigal Amir. It premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in the Contemporary World Cinema program. Yehuda Nahari plays Amir, with the film following the two years leading up to the murder at a peace rally in Tel Aviv.
The Ophir win and Oscar submission was met with condemnation from the country’s outspoken culture minister Miri Regev. According to the Times of Israel, Regev slammed the film as having “no place” in the country due to its perceived criticism of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. However, Regev also admitted she hadn’t watched the film.
The film had 10 nominations at the Ophir Awards and also took home the casting prize. Eliran Malka’s dark comedy The Unorthodox, about the founding of the country’s Shas political party, took home the most prizes overall last night with four.
Elsewhere in the International Feature Film Oscar race, India has submitted Gully Boy, Zoya Akhtar’s coming-of-age story about an aspiring rapper in a Mumbai slum. It premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in February and grossed $5.6 million in the U.S. and Canada.
The shortlist for the Oscar category will be released in December, with nominations announced on January 13.