'Intimate Grammar' rules as best Israeli film

JERUSALEM – The official competitions of the low-key 27th edition of the Jerusalem Film Festival wrapped on Friday afternoon with the dispensing of 26 awards, each accompanied by a cash prize.

An international jury comprised of Shimon Dotan, Israeli film director and lecturer at NYU; Thomas Hailer, Program Director at the Berlin Film Festival; Suha Arraf, Arab-Israeli scriptwriter; and Cedomir Kolar, Croatian-born French film producer named helmer Nir Bergman’s coming of ager “Intimate Grammar” best feature. The kudo is usually an early indicator of which title will rep Israel as in the Best Foreign Film Oscar race.

Dover Kosasvili’s strong portrait of a platoon of non-combatants, “Infiltration,” reaped a best actor gong for Assaf Ben Shimon, while Cannes Directors Fortnight entry “The Wanderer” from Avishai Sivan nabbed best first feature and cinematography nods. Best screenplay and editing went to Doron Tsabari’s docufiction “Revolution 101.”

“A Film Unfinished” from Yael Hersonski, already awarded at Sundance, claimed the best Israeli docu prize. Another docu, Canuck-China production “The Last Train Home” captured the Movies for a Change prize while immigrant thriller “Illegal” from Belgian Olivier Masser-Depasse took the In the Spirit of Freedom gong.

Elsewhere, American filmmakers scored with Nina Menkes’ “Dissolution” bringing home best TV drama and Todd Solondz’s “Life During Wartime” capturing the Jewish Experience award.

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