Benny Torati's Desperado Square has garnered the most nominations for this year's Israeli Film and TV Academy Awards, with 13 nods, one in each category. The winner of Best Film is automatically selected as Israel's candidate for best foreign-language Oscar.
Desperado Square, which marks the debut of both director Torati and producer Amir Harel, is a modest Cinema Paradiso-style melodrama. Close behind it, Josef Cedar's drama Time Of Favour and Oded Davidof's comic thriller Clean Sweep, have 12 nominations apiece.
Time Of Favour follows a para-military Jewish organisation which uses terrorism to sabotage peace talks in the Middle East, and is likely to generate serious controversy if it secures a domestic release.
Josef Pitchhadze's Besame Mucho and Marek Rozenbaum's noir thriller The Investigation have racked up nine and seven nods respectively. Amos Gitai's Cannes competition title Kippur, already hailed by critics abroad, has only five nominations.
The awards take place November 14 and will be broadcast live by Israel's Second Channel.