"Waltz with Bashir" has taken one step closer to the coveted Oscar: Sunday night Ari Folman's animated documentary about a soldier struggling to recall suppressed memories from the Lebanon war won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language.
This is the fourth Israeli movie to win the award after "Salah Shabati" in 1965, "The Policeman Azoulay" in 1972 and "Paradise Now" in 2006.
The Bridget Folman Film Gang that produced the movie, could be found at a Tel Aviv bar Sunday night, celebrating and raising their glasses after hearing about the big win.
Producer Yael Nahlieli told Ynet, "We are H-A-P-P-Y. There were rumors, but we are grounded people, who always wait for the final result before rejoicing.
"Almost the whole crew that worked at Bridget Folman for three years is here. We came from all ends of the country and I must say we enjoyed seeing Ari, who seemed genuinely excited for a change. This is an amazing moment, regardless of its affect on the next ceremony."
You mean the Oscars?
"Don't say Oscars!!!"
How was Ari on the days before the ceremony?
"We were smsing like crazy. He has his feet on the ground, surrounded by Sony people, and this is a well-oiled machine. I can say that he kept his sanity and enjoyed the force of the experience. We all remember at any given moment how, and under what conditions, this movie was made. We never aimed for this."
"We screamed for 20 minutes straight," said head illustrator David Polonsky. "It's unreal, unbelievable. I never saw Ari so excited. Slowly it's starting to sink in, we walk around here in our bar and say to each other, 'Do you remember how we went through it?' It feels like we're on a pirate's ship. We got as far as possible."
And what do you do now?
"We slowly get drunk."
Ari Folman with Golden Globe Award (photo: AFP)
While Golden Globe Awards do not necessarily indicate that an Oscar is to follow, the fact that "Waltz with Bashir" overcame potential Oscar competitors certainly enhances its chances at the Academy Awards ceremony to be held on February 22.
The vote for Oscar nominees will come to an end on Tuesday, and the final candidates will be revealed on Thursday, January 22.
"Waltz with Bashir" is expected to be nominated in two categories – Best Foreign Language Film and Best Animated Film.
Dror Amir contributed to this report