Palm Springs – January 18, 2008: Today, the Palm Springs International Film Festival named Waltz with Bashir as the winner of Cinema Without Borders “Bridging The Borders Award” at the 2009 Palm Springs International Film Festival.
The award luncheon for the 2009 Palm Springs International Film Festival was held at DST Studios in Palm Springs, California. Yael Bar-Tur, acting on behalf of the film’s director Ari Folman, accepted the award from Bijan Tehrani, Editor in Chief of Cinema Without Borders.
“At a time in which physical, religious, racial, cultural and economic borders divide the population of our planet and wars are threatening and destroying ordinary people—especially the future generations—any efforts to bridge those borders and bring people closer together should be appreciated.” said Bijan.
“In that spirit, Cinema Without Borders presents Bridging The Borders Award at the 2009 Palm Springs International Film Festival to the film that was most successful in promoting peace and bringing the people of our world closer together, Waltz With Bashir” Bijan added.
“ Waltz With Bashir not only shows the bravery of Ari Folman in investigating the truth of a war, but it also offers a new and interesting method in the language of filmmaking. The film presents fresh and unique takes on animated storytelling and elevates the genre to new heights.” said Richard Bluth, documentary filmmaker and president of Bluth Enterprises of Burbank, who led the film selection committee of CWB for the Bridging Borders Award.
Waltz With Bashir
One night at a bar, an old friend tells director Ari about a recurring nightmare in which he is chased by 26 vicious dogs. Every night, the same number of beasts. The two men conclude that there’s a connection to their Israeli Army mission in the first Lebanon War of the early eighties. Ari is surprised that he can’t remember anything else about that period of his life. Intrigued by this riddle, he decides to meet and interview old friends and comrades around the world. He needs to discover the truth about that time and about himself. As Ari delves deeper and deeper into the mystery, his memory begins to creep up in surreal images …
In the mid 1980s, after completing his military service, Ari Folman ventured out on his dream trip to circle the world with a backpack. Just two weeks and two countries into the trip, Ari realized that traveling was not for him, so he settled into small guesthouses in Southeast Asia and wrote letters to his friends at home, letters in which he totally fabricated the perfect trip. One whole year of being in one place and writing down the fruits of his fantastical imagination convinced him to return home and study cinema.
Between 1991–1996 Ari directed documentary specials for TV, mainly in the occupied territories. In 1996 he wrote and directed SAINT CLARA, a feature film based on a novel by Czech author Pavel Kohout. The film won seven Israeli Academy awards, including Best Director and Best Film. SAINT CLARA opened the Berlin Film Festival’s Panorama and won the People’s Choice Award. The film was screened throughout America and Europe to critical acclaim. Ari continued directing successful documentary series and took time off for his second feature in 2001. MADE IN ISRAEL is a futuristic fantasy that centers upon the pursuit of the world’s only remaining Nazi.
Ari made his initial attempt at animation in his series THE MATERIAL THAT LOVE IS MADE OF—each episode opens with five minutes of documentary animation which depicts scientists presenting their theories on the evolution of love. This successful attempt at documentary animation propelled Ari to develop the unique format of WALTZ WITH BASHIR, based on a true story.
* Bluth Enterprises Inc. a production and post house dedicated to independent and international filmmaking services, is the sponsor for the Cinema Without Borders, Bridging The Borders Award.