September 12, 2009
For the first time since the award was introduced in 1949, an Israeli film, “Lebanon,” won the Golden Lion Award at the 66th annual Venice International Film Festival. The festival is one of the The Venice festival is the oldest international film festival in the world and the Golden Lion is considered one the film industry’s top prizes.
The film, which follows the perspective of the members of a tank brigade during their various missions through southern Lebanon during the First Lebanon War was written and directed by Samuel Maoz. Despite its victory in Venice, the film did not win the Best Film prize at the 2009 Ophir Awards (Israel’s Academy Awards), although it was nominated and did win for Best Cinematography and Art Direction. As a result, “Ajami” the Best Film winner was Israel’s nominee for best Foreign Language Film at the 2010 Oscars.