Former Shin Bet Director Yaakov Perry in 'The Gatekeepers'
Photo: Avner Shahaf
Israeli Academy Award-nominated documentary "The Gatekeepers" won the Cinema for Peace prize at the Berlin International Film Festival on Saturday evening.
This is the first time an Israeli film receives the prize, which has been handed out since 2001.
Director Dror Moreh's film was announced as the best documentary of the past year in a ceremony held at Berlin's Waldorf Astoria Hotel on behalf of the Germany-based Cinema for Peace Foundation, a non-profit organization which supports film-based projects dealing with global humanitarian and environmental issues.
"The Gatekeepers," which goes behind the scenes of Israel's Shin Bet security agency, beat other talked about films such as "Searching for Sugar Man" and "How to Survive a Plague," as well as two other Israeli documentaries competing in the same category: Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi's "5 Broken Cameras" and "The Law in These Parts" by Ra’anan Alexandrowicz.
The Cinema for Peace Foundation, which was founded following the September 11 terror attacks, aims to increase awareness of humanitarian issues and act against inequality and violations of human rights through cinema-based projects.
The jury is comprised by filmmakers and peace activists, and is chaired this year by the Dalai Lama. Past jury chairs include Angelina Jolie, Sean Penn, Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicole Kidman and others.
This year, the Cinema for Peace award marks the artistic and social battle against anti-Semitism in Germany and elsewhere. The honorary prizes were handed out by Rabbi Daniel Alter.