Israeli director wins best director at Berlin festival

Sunday, February 18, 2007 |  by Staff Writer  

An Israeli director won the best director award for at the 57th annual international film festival in Berlin on Saturday, the first time an Israeli director has ever won the prize.

Joseph Cedar was up against directors such as Robert DeNiro and Steven Soderbergh for his movie, Beaufort, which tells the story of a group of Israeli soldiers several weeks before the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 (photo).

“I wish for all of us that our leaders will be afraid of wars and find the courage to know how to end them,” Joseph Cedar said after thanking the panel of judges for the award.

Cedar’s film is based on the best-selling book ‘If There is a Heaven’ by Ron Leshem. Two other Israelis were winners this year – Dror Shaul’s kibbutz coming-of-age film ‘Sweet Mud’, which won the Crystal Bear on Friday, and Eitan Fox’s Tel Aviv-West Bank gay love story ‘The Bubble,’ which took home second place at the Panorama awards.

“This is a thrilling and blessed moment, proof of Israeli cinema’s new position in the world,” said ‘Beaufort’ producers David Mendil and Dudi Zilber.

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