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DOCAVIV 2021 Awards

Ohad Milstein's Summer Nights and Hogir Hirori's Sabaya win at Docaviv

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- Other laureates include Tomer Heymann's I Am Not, Nelson G Navarette and Maxx Caicedo's A la calle, and Effi Weiss and Amir Borenstein's By the Throat

Ohad Milstein's Summer Nights and Hogir Hirori's Sabaya win at Docaviv
(l-r) Sivan Arbel, Gili Gaon (KAN 11), Summer Nights director Ohad Milstein, Dorit Inbar (The New Fund for Cinema & TV) and jury member Avishai Kfir during the Docaviv closing ceremony (© Docaviv)

The 23rd edition of Docaviv announced its winners during the official awards ceremony on Wednesday 7 July. Summer Nights [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by Ohad Milstein received the festival’s top prize, the Frank Lowy Award for Best Israeli Film, worth ILS 70,000 (circa €18,000). The film, which world-premiered at the festival, is a journey into the subconscious of an innocent and ingenuous six-year-old child, as he falls asleep and drifts into the depths of his own mind. The jury called the film “a masterpiece that sets a new standard in documentary storytelling” and praised the director as he “manages to build an artistic style that is both captivating and aesthetic”.

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In the International Competition, Hogir Hirori's Sundance title Sabaya [+see also:
film review
interview: Hogir Hirori
film profile
]
picked up the Best International Film Award, worth ILS 20,000 (around €5,000). An Honorable Mention went to Camilla Nielsson for President [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Camilla Nielsson
film profile
]
.

Tomer Heymann received the ILS 25,000 (around €4,400) Yossi Kaufman Award for Best Director in the Israeli Competition for I Am Not [+see also:
film review
interview: Tomer Heymann
film profile
]
, which also world-premiered at Docaviv. It tells the story of a boy called Oren, born in Guatemala and adopted in Israel, who was misdiagnosed with various mental illnesses and has discovered a desire for filmmaking in his teenage years. Heymann combines his own footage with Oren's, as well as his family's home videos, as the young man goes looking for his biological family. In addition, the film received the ILS 7,000 (around €1,000) Best Cinematography Award, which the protagonist shared with Itai Raziel.

The Special Jury Award, worth ILS 10,000 (around €2,500), was handed to Zvi Landsman for The Therapy, while Shir Newman bagged the Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo Award for Best Debut Film for How to Say Silence, worth ILS 30,000 (around €7,700). 

The Best Editing Award went to Sagi Bornstein and Udi Nir for Viral [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
, and the Research Award was handed to Lily Yudinski, Michael Weits and Lee Rotbart for Blue Box [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
. Each prize is worth ILS 7,000. 

The Beyond the Screen Award in honour of Docaviv founder Ilana Tsur went to the Nelson G Navarette and Maxx Caicedo's A la calle (USA), which follows Venezuelans protesting against dictator Nicolás Maduro. The film world-premiered at DOC NYC.

The Belgian production By the Throat [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by Effi Weiss and Amir Borenstein was presented with the Artistic Vision Award in the Depth of Field Competition, the strand that pushes the boundaries of the documentary genre. Finally, in the Short Film Competition, Maxime and Audrey Jean-Baptiste's Listen to the Beat of Our Images (French Guiana/France) won the Award for Best Short Film, worth ILS 4,000 (€1,000).

The festival started on 1 July in a hybrid format, screening films in local cinemas, online on its website and at events all around the city of Tel Aviv, and was set to run until the 10th. However, due to the high demand for online screenings, the festival has extended its digital programme until 31 July.

Docaviv is one of the Academy Award-qualifying documentary film festivals, meaning that the winners of the International Competition, Israeli Competition and Short Film Competition are eligible for the Oscars. The winner of Best Israeli Film is also eligible for an ILS 100,000 (€25,900) marketing grant for an Academy Award campaign.

Here is the full list of Docaviv 2021 award winners:

Israeli Competition

Best Film
Summer Nights [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
- Ohad Milstein (Israel)

Best Director
Tomer Heymann - I Am Not [+see also:
film review
interview: Tomer Heymann
film profile
]
(Israel/Guatemala)

Special Jury Award
The Therapy - Zvi Landsman (Israel)

Best Debut Film
How to Say Silence - Shir Newman (Israel)

Best Cinematography
Oren Levy, Itai Raziel - I Am Not

Best Editing
Sagi Bornstein, Udi Nir - Viral [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
(Israel/Germany)

Research Award
Lily Yudinski, Michael Weits, Lee Rotbart - Blue Box [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
(Israel/Canada/Belgium)

International Competition

Best Film
Sabaya [+see also:
film review
interview: Hogir Hirori
film profile
]
 - Hogir Hirori (Sweden)

Honorable Mention
President [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Camilla Nielsson
film profile
]
- Camilla Nielsson (Denmark/Norway/USA)

Beyond the Screen Award
A la calle - Nelson G Navarette, Maxx Caicedo (USA)

Honorable Mention
Imad's Childhood [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
- Zahavi Sanjavi (Sweden/Latvia/Iraq)

Artistic Vision Award
By the Throat [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
- Effi Weiss, Amir Borenstein (Belgium)

Honorable Mention
A Man and a Camera [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Guido Hendriks (Netherlands)

Best Short Film
Listen to the Beat of Our Images - Maxime Jean-Baptiste, Audrey Jean-Baptiste (French Guiana/France)

Honorable Mention
My Uncle Tudor - Olga Lucovnicova (Belgium/Portugal/Hungary/Moldova)

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