'6.5 Minutes in Tel Aviv' earns top prize

Israeli short “6.5 Minutes in Tel Aviv” was awarded top prize at the 2008 Palm Springs Intl. ShortFest on Tuesday.

Helmed by Mirey Brantz, the tale of random encounters in a Tel Aviv bus station drew the best of festival and student live action nods at the awards presentation held at the Camelot Theater in Palm Springs.

Other pics to receive prizes included Romania’s “A Good Day for a Swim,” which took the Panavision Grand Jury Award and live action nod, as well as the U.K. short “Friends Forever,” which drew three prizes, including the future filmmaker kudo.

Jessica Biel, who starred and produced fest entry “Hole in the Paper Sky,” attended the event, as well as helmer Kirsten Dunst in support of her film, “Welcome,” which she also wrote and produced.

Amid the big-name entries, fest director Darryl Macdonald said it was “an exceptionally good year for newly emerging filmmaking talent.”

“I got an email this morning from a filmmaker who told me he’d been trailed out of the theater by several film festival directors wanting to invite his film to their events,” McDonald added.

The fest, held Aug. 21-27, awarded 27 prizes in 15 categories, including five categories for student entries.

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