Following its triumphal march launched in Cannes, Eiran Kolirin's The Band's Visit completed its grand sweep, taking eight out of the 14 awards distributed by the Israeli Film Academy in its annual ceremony.
Thefeature took awardsincluding best film, best director and best script for Kolirin, best actor (Sasson Gabai), best actress (Ronit Elkabetz) and best supporting actor (Sallah Bakri). Doron Ashkenazi's costumes and Haviv Schehade Hanna's music added two more prizes to the celebrations.
The whimsical, deadpan comedy, produced by Ehud Bleiberg and Eilon Ratzkovsky, which already collected a best film Award in Jerusalem, has been already acquired for distribution by Sony Classics for US and The Weinstein Companyfor the rest of the world.
The Band's Visit will also represent Israel in the Oscar race for Best Foreign Language Feature.
Josef Cedar's Beaufort,which won Berlin's best director prize,picked up awards for best cinematography (Ofer Inov), art direction (Miguel Mirkin) and sound (Assi Milo, Alex Claude Israel David), while veteran actress Anath Waxman was chosen best supporting actress for Ayeleth Menahemi's Noodle.
The Champagne Spy, another Ratzkovsky production recounting the case of a famous Israeli secret agent planted in Egypt in the 1960s, brought director Nadav Schirman the best documentary award. Collina films have already acquired the rights and will adapt the story into a full-fledged fiction film.