×

‘Decompression’ Wins Jerusalem’s Sam Spiegel Lab Award

JERUSALEM, Israel — Yona Rozenkier’s feature debut “Decompression” won the top award of the Sam Spiegel International Film Lab’s fifth edition which runs alongside the Jerusalem Film Festival.

Produced by Kobi Mizrahi, “Decompression” received a production grant worth $50,000 from the Beracha Foundation.

“The jury was impressed by the genuine and emotional father and son story from north of Israel to south. The mix between drama and humor is very well balanced. The very visual metaphoric ending is so powerful, you will not forget it,” said Slawomir Idzak, the Oscar-nominated cinematographer who presided the Sam Spiegel Lab jury.

Exploring a dysfunctional father-and-son relationship, “Decompression” turns on an unemployed and depressed young man who travels with his wife and newborn child from the States to his native Kibbutz in Israel to ask his dad for a favor, and ends up embarking on a cross-country road trip with him.

“Decompression” was one of the six Israeli projects pitched at various stages of production during the two day lab which wrapped July 9.

Meanwhile, Gonzalo Tobal’s Argentinan drama “Dolores,” one of the five international projects presented at Sam Spiegel Lab, won the second prize of $20,000 from the Beracha Foundation.

“Dolores,” produced by Benjamin Domenech, turns on a beautiful young student whose life gets shattered after her best friend gets brutally murdered, leaving her as the prime suspect for the crime. Tobal described the film as a mix of crime story, legal drama and family drama.

Margarita Linton-Blakalav’s “Life is Anywhere Else” was awarded a special mention from the Jury. Inspired by Linton-Blakalav’s youth, the project follows a 16-year old girl living in a gated Jewish settlement surrounded by a Palestinian enclave, who longs to escape and transcend her identity. Estee Yacov- Mecklberg is producing.

Chaired by Idzak, the Sam Spiegel jury comprised Charles Tesson, topper of Cannes’ Critics’ Week, Kirsten Niehuus, head of Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Katriel Schory, head of Israel Film Fund, Hengameh Panahi, president of Celluloid Dreams, Eric Lagesse, president of Pyramide Films and Roberto Olla, exec director of Eurimages as well as Carole Scotta, co-founder and producer at Haut et Court.

The Sam Spiegel Lab was founded by Renen Schorr and is co-headed by Ifat Tubi. The industry event is associated with the prestigious Sam Spiegel Film School and has had a strong track record in five edition.

About 75% of all films pitched at the Lab have been shot and premiered at key festivals, including Laszlo Nemes’s “Son of Saul,” which won this year’s foreign-language Oscar.

Speaking to Variety, Tubi said the selection of scripts presented during the Lab underscored the talent and skills of Israel’s young generation of filmmakers. Tubi also noted Israeli directors were increasingly interested in depicting character-driven, personal stories that don’t necessarily have a political resonance or address the Israel-Palestine conflict in an obvious way.

Jersualem Film Festival kicked off July 7 with a tribute to Quentin Tarantino, followed by a screening of Pedro Almodovar’s “Julieta.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Bosnia's Canton Sarajevo to Launch Film

    Bosnia's Canton Sarajevo to Launch Film and TV Rebate Incentive

    Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Canton of Sarajevo is introducing a new €1 million ($1.1 million) film funding initiative next year aimed at promoting domestic and international film and television production in the region. The incentive is the first of its kind in the country. Government representatives of Sarajevo Canton, including Prime Minister Edin Forto and culture [...]

  • Antlers Trailer

    Guillermo Del Toro's 'Antlers' Starring Keri Russell Drops Chilling First Trailer

    Events take a dark turn for a small town school teacher, played by “The Americans'” Keri Russell, in the first teaser trailer for horror movie “Antlers,” produced by Guillermo del Toro. The footage, unveiled Tuesday, centers on a young boy (Jeremy T. Thomas) reading from a frightening short story he’s written as Russell listens. The [...]

  • Why Hollywood Should Tone Down Violence

    Why It's Time for Hollywood to Reconsider the Amount of Violence on Screen (Column)

    To put it mildly, we live in scary, intolerant, violent times. Since a lone gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, and killed 20 children, six adults and himself, there have been at least 2,187 mass shootings across America, resulting in the deaths of some 2,461 people and wounding more than [...]

  • James Bond Spectre

    James Bond Movie Title Revealed

    The latest James Bond adventure finally has a title. The 25th entry in the action spy series will be named “No Time to Die.” In the upcoming movie, Bond (Daniel Craig) has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA [...]

  • IFC Midnight Buys Brighton Sharbino Survival

    IFC Midnight Buys Survival Thriller 'Radioflash' (EXCLUSIVE)

    IFC Midnight has acquired U.S. rights to “Radioflash,” a survival thriller starring Dominic Monaghan and Brighton Sharbino, Variety has learned. The company will release the movie on Nov. 15. The film imagines a dystopian future, one in which an electric-magnetic pulse strikes America, knocking out all the power and pushing the country into the Dark [...]

  • Lee-Daniels-headshot

    Lee Daniels Entertainment Announces Diverse Creative Workshop

    Lee Daniels Entertainment and the online entertainment network Represent by OMV have launched a diversity-focused creative workshop to promote a diverse group of new writers. The workshop will be held from Sept. 25-28 in Los Angeles, with travel provided by American Airlines. Industry professionals will mentor aspiring creatives from underrepresented communities with workshops, meetings with [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content