Josef Cedar's Time Of Favour (Hahesder), a topical drama about a paramilitary Jewish organisation that attempts to blow up the El Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, won six prizes at the Israeli Film and TV Academy Awards on Tuesday night, including best film and best script.
The Cinema Factory production now automatically becomes Israel's entry for the Best Foreign-language Oscar. It also walked away with the best actor and actress prizes for Aki Avni and Tinker Bell and also won awards for editing (Tova Asher) and cinematography (Ofer Inov). The film, written as well as directed by Cedar, will be released domestically on November 30.
Close behind, Desperado Square scooped awards for its director, Benny Torati, along with best supporting actor (Joseph Shiloach), best art direction, best costumes and best music. Amos Gitai's Kippur, which screened in competition at Cannes and is probably the best known Israeli film of this year, collected a single prize only, for its soundtrack.
The violence that recently erupted again in Israel echoed throughout the proceedings and was mentioned several times, despite organisers' efforts to banish politics, so often prominently featured in the past, off this year's stage.
And inevitably, the Treasury's repeated delays in delivering budgets, already promised to the film industry, also became an issue. Culture minister Matan Vilnay made a renewed pledge that the funds would be delivered soon.