Paradise Now, Palestinian director Hani Abu-Assad's film about suicide bombers, has been awarded the Golden Globe award for best foreign film.
The film tells the story of two teenagers who are enlisted for a suicide bombing mission in Israel. It beat out films from France, China and South Africa to win the award.
In his acceptance speech Abu- Assad thanked his staff, saying it was a landmark for the Palestinian nation on its way to equality and freedom.
The film has won a plethora of international prizes, including the "European Oscar" and best film award at the Holland film festival. Last month the screenplay won the European film academy award, and it has been nominated as the Palestinian entry for the Oscar's Best Foreign Film award.
In Israel the film has not been purchased by any distributor and has only been shown at Cinemateques – with limited success.
Precursor for future success?
Amir Harel, one of the producers, didn't travel to Los Angeles for the ceremony, but celebrated the award at home and dreamed about the future.
"I hope we get another go around here," he said, hinting at the Oscar. "I hope this is a precursor for future successes. I look at the film's life and never cease to be impressed. When you make a movie, you don't think about what will happen to it afterwards, where it will be shown and what prizes it will win.
"It's always a surprise. And after the fact, you can always say it's not coincidence. I am pleased about the correlation between my thoughts and how it's been accepted. The movie didn't set any records in America, despite the fact that it made over a million dollars. We never thought it would,” Harel added.
“Now, that we've won this award, let's see if anything changes. I think it will extend (the film's) shelf-life and give it a push forward.
News Services contributed to the report