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‘Scaffolding,’ ‘On the Beach at Night Alone’ Take Jerusalem Film Festival’s Top Prizes

Matan Yair’s “Scaffolding” and Hong Sang-soo’s “On the Beach at Night Alone” took the top prizes at the 34th Jerusalem Film Festival during an awards ceremony Thursday evening.

“On the Beach at Night Alone” won the Wilf Family Foundation Award (worth $20,000) for best international film. The jury, which comprised Israeli director Nadav Lapid, Israeli actress Evgenia Dodina and American journalist Deborah Young, said Hang had created “a mysterious magic, rooted in the heart of daily life” and had done so with “the simplest of cinematic tools.”

“Love, hatred, affection, rage, sexuality, loneliness and deep pain are reflected in the face and body of a young woman, the main character, one of the deepest descriptions of a human being we’ve seen in cinema in recent years,” the jury said.

“Scaffolding” won the the Robert Nissim Haggiag Award for best Israeli feature film (worth $28,000), as well as best actor and an honorable mention for best cinematographer. The film centers on a 17-year-old youth who is split between his charismatic teacher and his brash father, who wants him to take over his scaffolding business.

The jury of the Israeli film competition, which included French producer Said Ben Said (“Elle”), Israeli contemporary artist Yael Bartana, French cinematographer Agnès Godard and Cíntia Gíl, praised “Scaffolding” for combining “the reality of a group of teenagers and the will of questioning cinema and the role of filmmaking.”

“Scaffolding” was also rewarded “for its capacity of capturing the tenderness sometimes behind these kids’ violence, their capacity for love, their surprising imagination, in a society that places them in a marginal role forever,” the jury said.

“Scaffolding” was presented at script stage and won the top prize last year at the Jerusalem Film Festival’s Pitch Point, a competitive industry event.

The film was produced by Gal Greenspan, Roi Kurland, Stanisław Dziedzic, Moshe Edery, and Leon Edery, and went on to have its world premiere at the ACID sidebar of the Cannes Film Festival. Jan Naszewski’s New Europe Film Sales represents international sales.

Other prizes went to “Conventional Sins” by Anat Yuta Zuria and Shira Clara Winther, which received the Van Leer award for best Israeli documentary, and Mohammad Rasoulof’s “A Man of Integrity” and Valeska Grisebach’s “Western,” which both won honorable mentions from the international jury.

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