Jeff Mason sends out a press release to alert is to the fact that Marjane Satrapi was not the only comics-type to win rexognition at the recent Canne Film Festival — Sometimes comics writer Etgar Keret won the Camera d’Or prize:
Israeli writers Etgar Keret and his wife Shira Geffen won the Camera d’Or prize, given to the best film by debut directors at the Cannes film festival for their film “Meduzot” (“Jellyfish”). The film, based on a script written by Geffen and directed by her and Keret, is about the life of three women in Tel Aviv. “Everything here is so far from our lives,” said Keret, wearing a tuxedo and bow tie at the glittering red-carpet award ceremony Sunday, May 27. “I haven’t worn a suit since my bar mitzvah.” Keret and Gefen also won the “Young Critics” award and the French Artist and Writers Guild (Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques) award for best directors.
The Camera d’Or Prize is considered the most prestigious for debut directors – it is for first features in the entire festival, regardless of category. Thirty-three other films were nominated in that category.
“The film and our firstborn son were born at the same time,” said Gefen, “the new baby was easier to deal with than the movie that cost us many sleepless nights. Today we are very proud of both.”
The movie’s producer, Amir Harel, was thrilled by the news. “The award is an extremely important accomplishment. The financial award (of about $200,000) will help us with the distribution and is an incentive to create another film. There’s no doubt this has been a very good year for Israeli cinema.”
Etgar Keret’s other most recent full length film enterprise is “Wristcutters: A Love Story,” directed by Goran Dukic and starring Patrick Fugit, Shannyn Sossamon, Will Arnett and Tom Waits, scheduled for August 2007 release from Lionsgate. “Wristcutters” is the film adaptation of bestselling Israeli author Etgar Keret’s short story “Kneller’s Happy Campers” which has also been adapted as the graphic novel Pizzeria Kamikaze illustrated by Asaf Hanuka, released by Alternative Comics.
Originally serialized in the award winning Bipolar comic, and previously translated into 13 languages, Pizzeria Kamikaze is a worldwide bestseller. Pizzeria Kamikaze was just recently nominated for the coveted 2007 Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards for the category “Best U.S. Edition of International Material.” The 2007 Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards results will be announced in a gala awards ceremony on the evening of Friday, July 27 at the San Diego Convention Center during the wildly popular Comic-Con International.
“Wristcutters” debuted at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win best feature honors at last year’s Gen Art Film Festival. It earned a nomination for best film not playing at a theater near you at fall’s Gotham Awards and nominations for best first feature and best first screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards in February.