Israeli film takes 3 prizes at SF Shorts

Israeli singer Rita won the Jury Special Recognition for Acting award at the San Francisco International Festival of Short Films for her lead role in the film, Ben is Back. The movie picked up two other honors at the festival, …

Israeli singer Rita won the Jury Special Recognition for Acting award at the San Francisco International Festival of Short Films for her lead role in the film, Ben is Back. The movie picked up two other honors at the festival, the Gold Jury Award and the Audience Award.

Though not her first acting role, Rita was nevertheless surprised by the prize. “I came to [the] film because I was enchanted by the role,” she told the Israeli media. “Winning is a big surprise. I wasn’t aware of the fact that the film was included in the festival and I’m very excited.”

Ben is Back tells the story of a single mother struggling to deal with the forced hospitalization of her mentally unbalanced son, Ben. When he is eventually released, the mother and her son embark on an emotional journey which forces her to realize that some people can never really change.

The film was directed by Elad Zakai, a Tel Aviv University film graduate with dozens of short films and television shows already under his belt.

“The awards given to the movie are a huge compliment to me and to the people I worked with,” Zakai told Ynet.

About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.