CANNES – Israeli actor-director Ronit Elkabetz is continuing to establish her status as an acclaimed actress in France.
On Saturday, Elkabetz received the France Culture award on behalf of the French culture and radio public channel. The prestigious award is given to members of the film industry for social involvement and quality work.
French actress Julie Gayet, chairman of the panel of judges, said of Elkabetz: "Ronit is a women teeming with passion and erotica, who can even play the queen of Egypt. I am proud to present the award to her."
In her acceptance speech, Elkabetz said, "I am very excited. I went through a unique path when I decided ten years ago to split my life between Israel and France. In recent years Cannes has become my second home. I dreamt about France before I could speak a word of French, and therefore receiving this award means a lot to me.
"I want to thank those who have followed my career all these years and remained loyal to my work. I thank the film industry and everyone," she added.
After the ceremony, French Jewish actors and directors participated in a special dinner party held for Elkabetz. "I was very emotional at the ceremony. I shivered and forgot to thank a few people," she told Yedioth Ahronot.
The 63rd Cannes Film Festival will hold its closing ceremony on Sunday, and give out its 11 Palm d'Or awards – which are among the most coveted and prestigious in the film industry.
The competition this year was said to be weak, and commentators expect the award for best film to go to one of the following movies: French film "Of God and Men", Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu's film "Beautiful", Mike Leigh's "Another Year", and the South Korean film "The Maid."