September 14, 2011, Updated September 11, 2012

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.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

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