December 9, 2014, Updated December 4, 2014

Two Israeli films made the shortlist for Best Short Film at the upcoming 87th Academy Awards (Oscars). Final Oscar nominations (in all categories) will be announced on January 15, 2015.

The 40-minute Aya tells the story of a woman who picks up a complete stranger — a Danish music researcher visiting Israel as a judge for the Rubinstein Piano Competition — at the airport and mischievously sets off with him for his destination.

The film is by Mihal Brezis and Oded Binnun, and stars Sarah Adler and Ulrich Thomsen.

Aya set a precedent in Israeli cinema as the first short film released as a standalone in theatrical screenings.

“The culmination of Aya is one of the most beautiful and intimate moments ever seen in an Israeli film in recent years. The film may only run 40 minutes, yet it is far richer and more fascinating than many films running twice as long,” writes  Ishay Kitchles in Israel Today.

The writer-and-director team of Tal Granit and Sharon Maymon saw their short film Summer Vacation also get the nod for one of the 10 finalists in the Best Short Film category.

The 22-minute, Sundance Film Festival selection tells of a family on vacation at a beautiful beach. The catch: The father/husband just wants to get out of there.

The film stars Yiftach Klein, Oded Leopold, and Hilla Vidor.

The 87th Academy Awards ceremony will be held on February 22, 2015.


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