×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘The Cakemaker’ Wins Israel’s Best Picture Award, Becomes Its Oscar Submission

German-Israeli film “The Cakemaker” won best picture at Israel’s Ophir Awards on Thursday evening, an accolade that automatically makes it the country’s submission to the foreign-language film category at the Oscars.

The film was written and directed by Ofir Raul Graizer, an Israeli who lives in Berlin. Released last year, “The Cakemaker” focuses on a young German baker named Thomas who falls in love with Oren, a married Israeli man visiting Berlin. After Oren dies in a car crash, Thomas travels to Jerusalem to find closure – and answers – concealing his identity and insinuating himself into the life of Oren’s widow, Anat, by working as a cake-maker in her cafe.

The film first premiered at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival last year, where it won the Ecumenical Jury prize.

On Thursday, “The Cakemaker” picked up five other Ophir Awards, Israel’s version of the Oscars, including best screenplay, best director and best actress. It beat out one of the most buzzed-about films of the year, “Flawless,” which had the most nominations – 12 – but took home just three prizes.

“Flawless” follows three high school girls from Jerusalem who travel to Kiev to donate a kidney in exchange for plastic surgery. But they don’t know that Eden, the new girl in their group, is transgender and seeks in Kiev the reassignment surgery that her father refuses to pay for at home. Eden is portrayed in the film by transgender actress Stav Strashko, who made history by being nominated for best actress by the Israeli academy. She lost out on the award to Sarah Adler in “The Cakemaker.”

For the second year running, firebrand Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev was not invited to the Ophir ceremony. Two years ago, the conservative Regev walked out of the ceremony in anger when a song written by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish was performed. She was dis-invited last year, and instead gave a speech at the same time as the awards ceremony in which she criticized the eventual best picture winner, “Foxtrot,” a movie she accused of being unpatriotic in its unflattering depiction of the Israeli military. “Foxtrot” was shortlisted for the foreign-language Oscar but was not nominated in the end.

Mosh Danon, chairman of the Israel Film Academy, gave an impassioned speech during the ceremony defending the country’s film industry. He did not mention Regev by name, but responded to her accusations that the industry is an exclusive club that is out of touch with the average Israeli.

Several of the night’s winners also made political comments in their acceptance speeches, criticizing Regev and the current Israeli government.

“We have an amazing industry here,” said best supporting actor winner Dov Glickman, “and we won’t let it be destroyed.”

More Film

  • Loco Films Boards 'Paper Flag' From

    Loco Films Boards 'Paper Flag' From Promising New Director Nathan Ambrosioni (EXCLUSIVE)

    Loco Films has come on board “Paper Flag” (“Les Papiers de drapeaux”), the feature debut of 18-year old French director Nathan Ambrosioni. The film explores the ambivalent relationship between two siblings and the concept of freedom. Guillaume Gouix (“The Returned”) stars as a young adult who has just got out of jail after 12 years [...]

  • 'Who Will Write Our History' Review:

    Film Review: 'Who Will Write Our History'

    The most famous diarist of the Holocaust, Anne Frank, began to write down the drama of her daily life with no ulterior motive (apart from her teenage ambition to write fiction). But in March 1944, the year before she died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, she heard a radio broadcast by a member of the [...]

  • Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer

    Film News Roundup: 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Trailer Sets Sony Pictures Record

    In today’s film news roundup, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” sets a studio record, Chris Meledandri and Glenn Close are honored, an art-house streaming service is unveiled, and “Cliffs of Freedom” gets a release. TRAILER STATS The first “Spider-Man: Far From Home” trailer has set a record as the biggest digital launch in Sony Pictures history [...]

  • Frank Grillo Hell on the Border

    Frank Grillo to Star in the Thriller 'Hell on the Border'

    Frank Grillo is set to star in the action-thriller “Hell on the Border” with Wes Miller directing. Miller also penned the script with Curtis Nichouls, Henry Penzi, and Sasha Yelaun producing. Ron Perlman is also on board to co-star. Plot details are unknown at this time. Production is currently underway in Birmingham, Ala. Grillo has [...]

  • Lee Unkrich Variety Oscars Nominees Lunch

    'Toy Story 3,' 'Coco' Director Lee Unkrich to Exit Pixar After 25 Years

    Lee Unkrich, who won Academy Awards for “Toy Story 3” and “Coco,” is departing Pixar Animation Studios after 25 years to spend more time with his family. Unkrich joined Pixar in 1994 after working as an assistant editor in television on “Silk Stalkings” and “Renegade.” He served as editor on Pixar’s first feature, 1995’s “Toy [...]

  • Velvet Buzzsaw trailer

    Netflix Original Movies: What to Look Forward To in 2019

    Following the biggest fourth-quarter worldwide subscriber gain ever and some controversy around increased prices in the U.S., Netflix looks to keep its momentum going into 2019. From Jan. 18 through March, the streaming site will release 10 original films, including action-packed thrillers, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi, quirky comedies, inspirational dramas, an artistic horror movie and a viral [...]

  • Third 'Fantastic Beasts' Production Start Pushed

    Third 'Fantastic Beasts' Production Start Pushed Back Several Months

    Warner Bros. is pushing back the production start date of its third “Fantastic Beasts” movie several months from July to the late fall, a spokesperson said Friday. Actors have been notified about the change in dates. The untitled third “Fantastic Beasts” movie has not yet set a release date. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content