The Ophir Awards, Israel’s top film awards, have crowned Ruthy Pribar’s Asia as Best Picture, per The Jerusalem Post. The film now automatically becomes the country’s entry for the 2021 International Oscar race.
The year’s ceremony was held via a special broadcaster of the show Culture Agent, hosted by Kobi Meidan, replacing the traditional live event, which was cancelled due to pandemic disruption.
Asia was selected for Tribeca this year and won the virtual fest’s Best Actress Award for Shira Haas. It follows a young mother who lives with her now teenage daughter. When the daughter falls ill, her mother must step in and become the parent her daughter desperately needs.
The film also scooped the Ophirs for Best Actress (Alena Yiv), Best Supporting Actress (Shira Haas) and Best Cinematography (Daniella Nowitz).
Further winners at today’s ceremony included Nir Bergman’s Here We Are, which took Best Director, Best Screenplay (Dana Idisis), and the Best Actor (Shai Avivi) and Best Supporting Actor (Noam Inber) awards.
Advocate, about the lawyer Lea Tsemel, won Best Documentary Over 60 Minutes.
During the ceremony, Meidan was joined by United King Films founder Moshe Edery, filmmaker Hagar Ben-Asher and producer Assaf Amir, who is head of the Israeli Academy of Film and Television. The trio agreed that the Israeli film biz would bounce back from the pandemic impact, as per The Jerusalem Post.
Israel has been nominated in the International Oscar category 10 times but has never won.