RAMALLAH, Jan. 31 (JMCC) - An Israeli film focusing on the lives of Israeli-Arabs living in Jaffa has been short listed for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Film category.
The film entitled Ajami
- after the Jaffa neighborhood where it is based - is the collaborative work of two longtime friends, Yaron Shani and Scandar Copti. The pair, an Israeli Jew (Shani) and an Israeli Arab (Copti) spent eight years putting the film together.
It was made with support from Israel's public film fund, but there is more Arabic than Hebrew spoken in it. Also unusual about this film is the way Shani and Copti shot it — with an amateur cast and in chronological order.
At every step, every decision about writing and editing was agreed on by the two of them.
Sometimes we spent three days arguing about a small scene, says Copti.
It's not only one point of view of one person. It's two persons discussing things artistically, politically, in order to come to this result.
When the film was released inside Israel it was a success among audiences and critics alike.
You could hear about people discussing it, says Shani. I think that it's also the first Israeli feature film that brought Arab audiences into the cinemas.Read more