jerusalem winners

Source: Jerusalem Film Festival

The JSFL winners with Sam Spiegel executive director Dana Blankstein Cohen (third from left) and Mor Eldar (right)

Tommaso Landucci and Damiano Femfert’s Italian drama Children Of The Monkey won the top prize at the Jerusalem Film Festival Industry Days, hosted on Saturday, July 15 on the rooftop of the new Sam Spiegel building in the city.

The film, about a father who forms a stronger bond with his athletic nephew than with his severely disabled son, took the $50,000 Grand Prize from the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel International Film Lab (JSFL), which organised the event in partnership with JFF.

Scroll down for the full list of winners

A jury headed by Kirsten Niehuus, CEO of Germany’s Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, praised “a modern depiction of fatherhood and the male perspective on caretaking. and the complexities of examining the limits of love and generosity.” Andrea Calbucci is producing the title for Italy’s Lungta Film.

The project participated in the 11th edition of the Sam Spiegel Lab – the first under the guidance of director Mor Eldar, who joined in November 2022.

Further prizes from the Lab included the $20,000 emerging filmmaker award to Russian-born, Israel-based filmmaker Rita Borodiyanski’s Checkpoints, about a girl taking a border control job to escape abuse, only to find herself sacrificing Palestinian girls to the same.

Four awards were presented to titles from the Pitch Point competition for Israeli films, including the 55,000 NIS ($15,106) Jerusalem Foundation award to Yona Rozenkier’s Wild Animals. Produced by Kobi Mizrahi and Dominique Welinski and with backing from the Israel Film Fund, the project is set in the forests of Eastern Europe, and follows two Jewish teenage sisters who are unaware that the Second World War ended 10 years previously.

Some $120,000 of prizes were handed out in total at the event. Following the ceremony, many of those in attendance headed to the latest pro-democracy protest, outside the president’s official residence in the city.

Previous titles to have come through the JSFL include Lazlo Nemes’ Oscar-winning Son Of Saul; and Murina, Antoneta Kusijanovic’s film which won the Camera d’Or at Cannes in 2021.

The Jerusalem Film Festival continues until this Sunday, July 23.

Jerusalem Industry Days 2023 awards

Pitch Point awards

Jerusalem Foundation award – Wild Animals, dir. Yona Rozenkier
Diamond award – Land Of Limpopo, dir. Gur Bentwich
Edit Post Production Services award – Tropicana, dir. Omer Tobi
DB Post Productino Services award – Issa’s House, dir. Tomer Heyman

Sam Spiegel International Film Lab awards

Grand Prize – Children Of The Monkey (It) dirs. Tommaso Landucci, Damiano Femfert
Emerging Filmmaker award – Checkpoints (Isr) dir. Rita Borodiyanski
Artistic Vision award – Exile (Isr) dir. Oz Zirlin