September 30, 2009, Updated September 24, 2012

Ajami, a dramatic story about crime in the city of Jaffa that was co-directed by an Israeli Jew and a Palestinian, Yaron Shani and Scandar Copti, won Best Picture at the Ophir Awards Ceremony, Israel’s version of the Academy Awards, and will go on to represent Israel at the Oscars in the category of Best Foreign Language Film.

While there are Jewish characters and storylines in the film, it is primarily in Arabic and focuses mainly on Arabs in the city of Jaffa, which is part of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality. It is noteworthy that the film was made with significant government funding.

When the Best Picture Award was announced, one of the producers invited the cast and crew to join him at the podium and the stage was filled with Jews and Arabs, including Muslim women in headscarves.

Ajami also won awards for Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Score and Best Editing. It previously won a Special Mention at the Cannes Film Festival and the Wolgin Award at the Jerusalem Film Festival.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director

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