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The Sam Spiegel International Film Lab awarded prizes in the amount of $170,000 to world filmmakers

Variety on the 2019 JSFL

Screen Daily on the 2019 JSFL


Last night, July 7th in Jerusalem and for the eighth time, the JSFL granted prizes in the amount of $70,000, donated by the Beracha Foundation. Twelve select projects from Brazil, Ghana, Hungary, Ireland, Poland, Georgia and Israel competed for the prizes after a seven-month work process with leading script mentors. Projects were pitched along with a scene and a poster from the film-to-be in front of an audience which included the international jury, industry professionals from all over the world and a large group of spectators at Misheknot Shaananim, Jerusalem.

Yesterday morning, founding director, Renen Schorr, along with the eight jury members, inaugurated the new name the JSFS unique hanging garden in the Talpiyot industrial zone of Jerusalem: The Jungle of Generosity in Honor of John Cassavetes, "for his inspiring activism for world cinema's Don Quixotes... and young Israeli filmmakers".


The 2019 JSLF first prize in the amount of $50,000 was awarded to Gentle Monster, writer-directors Anna Nemes and Laszlo Csuja, Hungary.

The jury statement: "Reading this script about female body building was a physical experience, affecting our biceps and other muscles, eventually moving to our minds and imagination. This is an uncompromising, compassionate, and bold, script and pitching - and we are certain that the best is yet to come". 



The big winners of the 2019 JSFL Anna Nemes and Laszlo Csuja (Hungary) won $50,000 donated by the Beracha Foundation



The 2019 JSFL second prize in the amount of $20,000 was divided between two projects:

  • This is The Country, Ireland

The jury statement: "The $10,000 prize is granted to director Mark Noonan and producer Jessie Fisk. This script tells the larger story of a country - Ireland. In the form of a passionate love story that juxtaposes an ingrained tradition of lyricism and violence, and leaves a bittersweet taste in your mouth - much like a burst of Guinness".

  • Postcard, Belgium/Ghana

The jury statement: "The $10,000 prize is granted to director Anthony Nti, co-writer Chingiz Karibekov and producer Dimitri Verbeeck. Immersing us in a world of prostitution not often seen, and finding moments of joy and grace amidst great harshness, and with a narratively and visually fresh approach to social drama".



Director Anthony Nti (Ghana/Belgium) and screenwriter Chingiz Karibekov (Belgium) winners of the 2019 JSFL prize.

In the background: jury chair Kim Yutani (USA) and producer Janine Jackowski (Germany) on the left


The prestigious Jean-Claude Carriere Slow Food Dinner Award was granted to Yehonatan Indursky, Israel for The Cantonist. The prize is an inspiring one-on-one meeting in Paris at the home of the legendary French screenwriter. The jury statement: "This one of a kind script grew from the unique mind of its creator. We swallowed it with extreme pleasure, moaning from joy, wishing for more. We can hardly wait for his unimaginable encounter with the greatest living world screenwriter".



Yehonatan Indursky (Israel), winner of the Jean-Claude Carriere Slow Food Dinner Award flanked by director Nadav Lapid and Stephanie Robourdin of the French Institute, Tel Aviv


The prestigious jury included: Chair Kim Yutani,- director, Sundance Film Festival, USA; Jan Mojto CEO, Beta Film, Germany; Nadav Lapid, Director-Writer Israel; Sharon Harel - Distributor, Producer, Westend Films, UK; Koby Gal Raday - Chief Content Officer, YES Satellite, Israel ;Thomas Pibarot -Distributor, La Pacte, France; Janine Jackowski -Producer, Komplizen Film, Germany; Nashen Moodley - Director, Sydney Film Festival, Australia

The big winner of the Wip (Work in Progress) platform was Brighton 4 (USA, Ukraine), director Levan Koguashvili (Georgia) producer Olena Yershova (Ukraine). The film won both the $25,000 Lab Wip award and the $25,000 ARP Selection award.


A new platform initiated by New Mandate Films, Los Angeles for advancing projects that take on Jewish and Israeli themes in the amount of $50,000 was granted to the film Pinhas, by director Pini Tavger and producer Haim Meckelberg. Pinhas won the 2017 JSFL first prize and will begin shooting in August.


This year, for the second time, the JSFL granted the Force-of-Nature in Filmmaking Award to a major cinematic master-builder. This year's recipient is Michael Barker co-president and co-founder of Sony Pictures Classics, who came to Israel for the first time. Barker is responsible for distribution of and for leading numerous films to the Academy Awards including the Israeli features, Waltz with Bashir, The Band's Visit, Footnote, The Gate Keepers, and international triumphs such as Call Me By Your Name, Whiplash, Talk to Her, and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.


A new award this year was set up by the JSFL in memory of legendary financier John Heyman. The Almost 40 Award for a daring / inspirational / innovative persona in the realm of the platforms: education, finance, industry and exhibition. In a moving ceremony the award was granted to Jovan Marjanovic?, head of industry at the Sarajevo Film Festival. "For his successes in numerous capacities to create with partners the Sarajevo Film Festival a central light-house of European industry. With a passion for cinema and emotional continuity, he is an agent of change for Bosnian, Balkan and European cinema".



JSFL 2019 winners

From left to right: Levan Koguashvili (Georgia); Mark Noonan (Ireland); Chingiz Karibekov (Belgium); Yehonatan Indursky (Israel); Anthony Nti (Ghana/Belgium); Laszlo Csuja and Anna Nemes (Hungary); Tonislav Hristo (Bulgaria)



Key supporters: the Beracha Foundation, the Jerusalem Film and Television Fund at the Jerusalem Development Authority, Mifayal Hapayis, the Sam Spiegel Foundation, The Jerusalem Foundation, New Mandate Films Los Angeles, ARP Selection France. 

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