The Jerusalem Film Festival has honored filmmakers Vanessa Lapa and Robby Elmaliah with Van Leer Awards for their respective documentaries The Decent One (pictured) and The Unwelcoming.
Lapa – whose film took seven years to make and is an unflinching portrait of notorious Nazi Henrich Himmler, featuring looks at Himmler’s personal archives, letters and diaries – was awarded ILS 35,000 (US$10,200) for Best Israeli Documentary. The Decent One was coproduced by RealWorks, Felix Breisachmedienwerkstatt, ORF, MDR and WD, and international sales are being handled by Cinephil.
Director Elmaliah, meanwhile, was awarded ILS 20,000 ($5,850) and the prize of Best Director of a Documentary Film for The Unwelcoming, a 73-minute biographical account of Kmimish Uzan, who emigrates from the Tunisian island of Djerba to Israel with his wife and five children.
The film sees them arriving at Moshav Beit HaGadi, populated mostly by fellow Djerban immigrants, only to viewed as outsiders by those same Djerbans for being “primitive and uncivilized.” The doc focuses on Uzan’s difficulties adjusting to his new life.
The Jerusalem Film Festival ran in Israel from July 10-20.