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The Big Winners of The 2018 Sam Spiegel International Film Lab: "Anatolian Leopard” (Turkey), and “Born in Jerusalem and Still Alive” (Israel)

On July 8th at the Jerusalem Film Festival, the jury of the Sam Spiegel International Film Lab announced the winners of the Beracha Foundation prizes of $70,000 in production grants.


The first prize of $50,000 was awarded to the project "Anatolian Leopard" (Turkey) by director Emre Kayis and producer Olena Yershova.


Dieter Kosslick, legendary director of the Berlinale with the winners



The second prize of $20,000 was divided between two projects; "Checkout" (Israel), director Jonathan Dekel, writer Shai Satran, producers Chilik Michaeli and Avraham Pirchi and "The Heat of a Day" (Israel), director Or Sinai, producers Shlomi Elkabetz and Galit Kahlon.


Or Sinai, the winner of 2015 Cannes Cinefondation, will automatically be entered into Cannes when her current project is ready.


Checkout team with Jury Member Joana Vicente


Heat of A Day team



The stellar jury this year includes Frederic Boyer, artistic director Tribeca Film Festival USA; Claas Danielsen, MDM Fund Germany, Georges Goldenstern, Cannes Film Festival France; Keren Margalit, writer-director Israel; Fiorella Moretti distributor, France; Peter Rommel, producer, Germany; Katriel Schory, Israel Film Fund. The jury was chaired by director, writer, producer Oren Moverman, USA. Jury member Joana Vicente, USA shared the jury's reasons for their decision:  JURY 2018

"A film director with a unique vision and courage who tells a deeply human story within an original location, a metaphor of the harsh reality in his home country. The unanimous jury vote goes to Anatolian Leopard."


The exceptional award of the evening, the new Slow-Food Dinner Award is selected by the principal jury and is a once-in-a-life time prize where the winner will be welcomed in the home of 86-year old screenwriting legend Jean-Claude Carriere for a three-hour tete-a-tete this fall. 


JC Carriere and JSFS fresh graduate Danielle Chmelnick, Paris 2018


The award was granted to Moshe Rosenthal (Israel) for his project "Independence".  


An additional new level is the Work in Progress Award for Lab or JSFS graduates who have already shot their film. Voted on by 36 international decision makers, the Lab WiP Award in the amount of $25,000 is granted to Born in Jerusalem and Still Alive, directed by David Ofek and Yossi Atia and produced by Eitan Mansturi and Yonatan Dowek.

The ARP Selection $25,000 award for distribution in France was also granted to Born in Jerusalem and Still Alive.


winners David Ofek and Yossi Atia (JSFS grads)



This year the Lab granted its first ever Force-in-Nature in Filmmaking Award- a new annual award for a cultural master-builder who changed the infrastructure of world cinema.

The 2018 first honoree is the longtime Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick, who was a guest of the Lab and an active participant in the unique bonding of the Lab. The award ceremony opened with this inspiring piece: https://vimeo.com/277878659/56d33ec3cc


The Sam Spiegel International Film Lab was launched in December 2011 by Founding Director Renen Schorr. The Lab is co-directed by Lior Sasson.


Support for the JSFL is provided by the Beracha Foundation, The Jerusalem Film & Television Fund, The Sam Spiegel Foundation, and The Jerusalem Foundation.

Event supporters include: ARP Selection, France, Israel Film Fund, YES, Israel Film and Television Producers Association, the Schuster-Polakoff Foundation, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dov Baharav, Sharon Harel-Cohen


View complete news list >>
Tribeca Film Festival will screen two films by JSFS alumna
Dana Blankstein Cohen has taken over as the new director of the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School
Fourth annual Bloom/Spiegel Seminar was a great success
Listening In, by Omer Sternberg, was highly praised at the 2020 Berlinale
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