Laya brought this short film to our attention back in 2005. Since then, the film has been invited to another 75 film festivals and has won awards at 25 of them. Tonight it won the biggie with the prize for Best Live Action Short Film at the Academy Awards. Congratulations to the filmmakers, Ari Sandel (whose father is Israeli), Kim Ray, and the rest of their team on their success.

Here’s a shortened list of their awards as listed on the film’s website:

Total Festivals: 112
Festivals Won: 25
Total Number of Countries Screened in 21, including: USA, Canada, China, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, UK, Spain, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Croatia, India, Poland, Denmark, Russia


Malibu Film Festival
Winner “Special Jury Prize Best Live Action Short”

Santa Cruz Film Festival
Winner “Best Comedy”

USA Film Festival
Winner “Best Student Film”

Indianapolis Film Festival
Winner “Best Short”

Starz 1st Look Student Film Festival
Winner “Best Narrative”

Boston Film Festival
Winner “Indie Soul Best Picture Award”

Cinema Jove Int. Film Festival (Spain)
Winner “International Canal+ Award”

Boulder International Film Fest,
Winner “Best Short Film”

Tiburon International Short Film Fest
Winner “Best Musical Short”

Stony Brook Film Festival
Winner “Best of Festival”

San Diego Jewish Film Festival
Winner “Audience Choice Award”

Lucerne Film Festival (Switzerland)
Winner “Silver Leopard”

Cinema Tout Ecran – Geneva, Switzerland
Winner “Best Short Film”

Int Short Film Fest Winterthur – Switzerland,
Winner “Audience Choice Award”

9th Shortfilmnight of Lausanne – Switzerland
Winner “Audience Award”

International Jewish Film Festival in Argentina
Winner “First Prize”

Nashville Jewish Film Festival

Intl Stdnt Film Fest of Beijing Film Academy – China
Winner “Audience Choice Award”

About the author



  • Ari is a member of Peace Now and refuses to condemn Arab terrorism against Israel. Why give press to someone as despicable as this?

  • I have no idea whether he’s a wonderful or “despicable” person. People who belong to Peace Now can be very fine people. However, I know nothing about this director’s politics, this movie is being listed here because he is Jewish and this is a very successful musical comedy about peace between Jews and Arabs that has resonated with large audiences around the world.

  • I have to be honest, folks, the use of the word “deranged” in this instance, makes the user of the word look bad.

  • themiddle said:
    February 27th, 2007 at 6:04 pm
    I have to be honest, folks, the use of the word “deranged” in this instance, makes the user of the word look bad.

    I have no problem with Schlussel’s use of the word ‘deranged’ to describe Sandel. To quote:

    “He (Sandel) said he refuses to take a position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and would not condemn Palestinian homicide bombings as evil on their own. He insisted that the Israelis were equally evil in killing Palestinians. I asked him if there’s a difference between Palestinians who deliberately blow up innocent civilians in a pizza shop and Israeli soldiers who accidentally hit civilians when they are trying to target terrorists and save lives. He refused to respond.”

    I see a much bigger problem with TM’s use of the word ‘congratulations’.