Israeli director Guy Nattiv won an Academy Award for best live-action short for his film Skin at the Oscars on Sunday evening, February 24.
“Oh my God. I moved here five years ago from Israel… Laila tov [good night] Israel, hi!” he said upon receiving the award.
“My grandparents are Holocaust survivors, and, you know, the bigotry that they experienced in the Holocaust, we see that everywhere today, in America, in Europe. And this film is about education, it’s about teaching your kids a better way,” he added.
Nattiv accepted the award alongside his wife and the film’s producer, Jaime Ray Newman, and its screenwriter Sharon Maymon.
The English-language film is set in America and follows the story of neo-Nazi racists.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin congratulated Nattiv on his win.
“Congratulations to Guy Nattiv for winning the Academy Award for best short film,” the president tweeted. “Our dear Guy, the good words about Skin are all yours, Sharon’s and Jaime Ray’s, but the film is a gift for our children and grandchildren, and for the future we wish for them in which they can fulfill all dreams. Great Israeli pride. Mazal tov!”
The last time an Israeli director won an Oscar was in 1978, when Moshe Mizrachi received the Academy Award for best foreign-language film for his film Madame Rosa.
Other big winners on Sunday night included Green Book (best picture), Roma‘s Alfonso Cuarón (best director), Bohemian Rhapsody‘s Rami Malek (best actor) and The Favourite‘s Olivia Colman (best actress).