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Jewish News doc wins Cannes World Film Festival award

December 01, 2021

By Justin Cohen

Finding Abraham, directed by filmmaker Malcolm Green, is named best documentary short at the prestigious film festival 

A film exploring the people-to-people contacts between young Israelis and Arabs following the signing of the Abraham Accords has scooped awards at major film festivals around the globe.

Finding Abraham, directed by acclaimed British filmmaker Malcolm Green and executive produced by Jewish News, was named best documentary short at the prestigious Cannes World Film Festival last week to cap a triumphant month.

Despite the year-long covid-delayed project only completing in October, it has also scooped prizes in the Paris Cinema Awards, New York Independent Cinema Awards, Hollywood Gold Awards, Tokyo International Film Festival and Athens International Art Film Festival.

The 30-minute film – featuring a cast of Emiratis, Bahrainis, Moroccans and Egyptians on their first visit to Israel, a visit organised by the NGO Israel-is – is not an exercise in “high fives and handshakes”, according to Green.

Delving beneath the headlines, it seeks to explore the potential and durability of the historic agreements and to look at sceptical voices in the region alongside advocates. During their journey, the group and their Israel counterparts – drawn from across israeli society – visited a yeshiva, the Peres Centre for Peace and even spent time on an ambulance shift with Magen David Adom.

Green said the project is not just “a quest to find the substance behind the spectacle of the Abraham Accords, but to also explore issues of Identity and Belonging in a digital, post-Covid world.  We’ve tried to present as honest a picture as possible from a six-day road trip.

“On a personal note, to make an award-winning film with a shooting crew of just five is a an achievement I’m proud of and a testimony to their talents.  To have the benefit of a brilliant and passionate post-production team, particularly the genius of Kevin Pollard, who composed all the music, has been a real blessing.”

Finding Abraham – for which a sequel is already in the planning – is also a semi finalist in the forthcoming Phoenix, Rome and London Independent Film festivals.  It is also an Official selection at the Miami Art Festival, LA Independent Shorts Awards, LA Independent Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Awards.

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