Joy and emotion were in the air last Saturday during the 75th 'Mostra internazionale d'arte cinematografica di Venezia'. Kais Nashif, a Palestinian actor, was awarded the 'Orizzonti Prize for Best Actor' for his role in the Luxembourg co-production 'Tel Aviv on Fire'. This second feature film by Palestinian Director Sameh Zoabi was produced by Samsa Film and TS Production (France) in co-production with Lama Films (Israel) and Artémis Production (Belgium).
Further, the film won the 'Award for Promoting Interreligious Dialogue'.
An Israeli-Palestinian conflict beneath the surface
Mainly filmed in a studio in Luxembourg (over 70% was filmed on the stages of Filmland in Kehlen), the film involved a large number of Luxembourgish technicians. The film tells the story of Salam, a Palestinian man (played by Nashif), whose fate changes forever after he meets an Israeli soldier. In fact, he will become a screenwriter for a successful TV series. Yet his professional advancement will be jeopardised when it comes to developing a climax at the end of the series that is supposed to make everyone reach an agreement: producers, the soldier and Salam's conscience.
Samsa Film - accustomed to winning Venetian awards
It's the sixth feature film of Samsa Film selected at the Mostra after 'Une liaison pornographique', 'Tango libre' and 'La femme de Gilles', all by Frédéric Fonteyne, 'Un honnête commerçant' by Philippe Blasband and 'Nha Fala' by Flora Gomes. It's also the third Venetian award after Nathalie Baye won the 'Best actress award' in 'Une liaison pornographique' in 1999 and the 'Special Jury Prize' for 'Tango Libre' in 2012.
(Article written by the editorial team of the portal luxembourg.lu / Source: News release from Film Fund Luxembourg / Samsa Film)