Director Eran Kolirin's film 'The Band's Visit' was the Israeli Film Academy Awards Ceremony's big winner Thursday night, bringing in eight out of 13 awards, including Best Motion Picture.
Other than Kolirin's winning the prize for Best Director, the movie's stars Sasson Gabai and Ronit Elkabetz were named Best Actor and Best Actress respectively. The prize for Best Supporting Actor was taken by The Band's Visit's Saleh Bakri.
The movie also won Best Composer, Best Costume Design, and Best Script.
The big winners (Photo: Anat Mosberg)
Two of the ceremony's biggest losers were the films 'Meduzot' and 'Beaufort'.
Meduzot by Shira Geffen and Etgar Keret which recently won the award for best debut feature at the Cannes Film Festival, did not receive any awards from the Israeli academy.
Joseph Cedar's Beaufort won four prizes, all of which were technical, (filming, artistic design, soundtrack design and editing).
Ayelet Menahemi's 'Noodle' won only one prize, and the film's Anat Waxman won Best Supporting Actress.
'The Champaign Spy' (Meragel Hashampaniya), by Nadav Schirman, was voted the Best Documentary.
Saleh Bakri and Dorit Elkabetz gave particularily moving acceptance speeches at the ceremony.
Taking the stage, an emotional Bakri thanked his parents, among others, and said, "I want to thank my father, who taught me to love mankind, and my mother, who taught me to bear the burden of life in this country and stand strong," he said.
Elkabetz brought a message of reconcilliation and hope, and after taking a bow before the film's director, she said to him, "You reminded us of a thing or two that we have already managed to forget. You showed us what would happen if we would stand before each other, Jews and Arabs and look each other in the eye."
In the event that had its dull moments despite the very successful year, lifetime achievement awards were also granted to the widow of Israeli television and movie producer Itzik Kol, and camera-crew man Avraham Leibman.