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Jerusalem Film Festival’s Pitch Point Rewards Avishai Sivan’s ‘Lot’s Wife’

Avishai Sivan’s “Lot’s Wife” won the inaugural Goralska Award at the 13th edition of Pitch Point, the Israeli projects showcase which runs alongside the Jerusalem Film Festival.

Set up at Ronen Ben Tal at Plan b Productions, the fantasy-filled “Lot’s Wife” follows a religious couple who has a child born with two heads, named Noah and Lot. Lot is wicked, Noah good-hearted. After Noah dies and his head is detached, Lot sets on a challenge to overcome his nature.

The Goralska Award came with a cash prize of €20,000 ($23,360). Now in production, “Lot’s Wife” marks Sivan’s follow-up to “Tikkun,” which won the top prize at the Jerusalem festival in 2015 and was released in the U.S. by Kino Lorber.

The jury, composed of Kirsten Niehuus (Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg), Cedomir Kolar (ASAP Films), Dominique Welinski (DW), Tamara Tatishvili (Eurimages) and Gabor Greiner (Films Boutique), praised “Lot’s Wife” for its “ambitious and challenging artistic vision, rewriting mythology and exploring its boundaries.”

Meanwhile, Moshe Rosental’s “Karaoke” won the the Wouter Barendrecht – Lia van Leer award with a cash prize of €4,000 ($4,672).

“Karaoke” is being produced by Efrat Cohen at Gaudeamus Productions and revolves around Meir and Yehudit, a middle class couple in their 50s who’s lives are shaken up when a pleasure-seeking bisexual bachelor moves into their building. “We awarded this project because we believe it comes from a young and promising talent with an unusual and surprising look at his parents and middle-class life,” stated the jury.

Other Pitch Point winners also include Oren Gerner’s work-in-progress title “Africa” which received the CineLab Post-Production Lab Services award and Adam Kalderon’s “The Swimmer,” which got the The DB and Opus Award. “Africa” and “The Swimmer” are set up at Film Harbour and Ingenue Productions, respectively.

The jury said “Africa” is “a daring and very intimate look at aging parents” and underscores the director’s “extraordinary ability to mix documentary with fiction.”

Now in post-production, “The Swimmer” follows Erez, a rising swimming star who comes across the beautiful and gifted Nevo while attending a secluded training camp and sees his subconscious desires awaken. “We awarded the following project (‘The Swimmer’) as we believe the director found a unique architecture for a personal topic, setting it in a gray and blue, competitive male world,” the jury said.

The 35th edition of the Jerusalem Film Festival will wrap Aug. 5.

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