As expected, Ari Folman's Waltz with Bashir took no less than six Ophirs (Israel's version of the Oscar) at the Israeli Film Academy's annual awards ceremony last night.
Folman's animated documentary officially competed as a fiction film and won all the categories it was nominated in including best film, director, script, editing, sound design and art direction. The best film distinction means Folman will be carrying Israel's flag in the submissions for the 2009 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.
Reshef Levy's nostalgic Lost Islands collected four awards for Michael Moshonov's lead performance, Shmil Ben-Ari's contribution in a supporting role, as well as for costumes and music. Best actress award went to Nazareth-born, Paris-based Palestinian Hiam Abbass, for Eran Riklis' Lemon Tree. Evelyn Hagoel picked up best supporting actress for her work in Seven Days by Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz, the opening film of Cannes' Critics Week, this year.
The ceremony was overshadowed by the threat from the Israeli Treasury to cut industry subsidies by up to 60%.