Oscars: ‘Seven Blessings’ Sweeps Board At Israeli Ophir Awards To Become Israel’s Best International Film Entry09/11/2023
Ayelet Menahemi’s family comedy Seven Blessings swept the board at Israel’s Ophir Awards on Sunday evening, triumphing in nine categories including in best film.
As the winner of the best film prize, the movie will automatically be put forward as Israel’s submission to the Best International Film category of the 2024 Academy Awards.
Set in Jerusalem in the early 1990s, the film revolves an eventful Jewish Moroccan family wedding and the traditional blessings that are pronounced during the ceremony, again, at the reception, and then once a day for the next seven nights, with loved ones hosting special dinners in the couple’s honor.
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Behind the facade of joie de vivre and togetherness, there are secrets, lies, and a painful old wound from the past that threatens to burst the bubble of their lives.
Added to the mix is a comedy of errors and misinterpretation from numerous members of the family speaking multiple languages, spanning Hebrew, Arabic, French, and the French Moroccan dialect.
The film marks Menahemi’s first film in sixteen years, since drama Noodle, about an El Al flight attendant who finds herself responsible for an abandoned Chinese boy.
The ensemble cast features Raymonde Amsallem, Eleanor Sela, who both also take co-writing credits, as well as Tiki Dayan, Emanuel Boussidan and Idit Tepreson.
Ronen Ben Tal, whose previous credits include Avishai Sivan’s Tikkun and Tsivia Barkai’s Red Cow, is the producer under the banner of his Bental Productions Ltd.
Seven Blessings was the hot favorite in this year’s contest with 12 nominations, followed by Dani Rosenberg’s The Vanishing Solider, which world premiered in the Locarno over the summer, and Avi Nesher’s The Monkey House, with 11 nominations each.
Israel has never won the top prize in the Best International Film category, although it has made it into the final nomination list 10 times, most recently with Joseph Cedar’s Footnote in 2011.
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