Ah, the Camera d’Or. Awarded to the best debut film, it is the best prize a young filmmaker can win at Cannes other than the top prize, the Palme d’Or. Thirty films from around the world competed for this prize in 2007, awarded to the film that the jury deems best among the three screening categories that aren’t in the main competition, namely from the Un Certain Regard, Directors’ Fortnight and Critics Week sections of the world’s foremost film festival.

This year’s Camera d’Or winner is Meduzot (Jellyfish) by Israeli author Edgar Keret and his wife, Shira Geffen. An unwieldy review of the film by Variety can be seen here. Edgar, being Israeli received the award and announced, “Everything here is so far from our lives. I haven’t worn a suit since my Bar Mitzvah.” The film was also awarded two other prizes this past week in Cannes, the Young Critics Prize and the French Artist and Writers Guild (SACD) award for best directors. At the SACD ceremony, Ynet reports that Keret said, “”This is the first time we make a movie, the first time we screen it in Cannes and the first time my wife lets me kiss such beautiful girls” (referring to the judges).

The script to Meduzot was written by Shira Geffen and directed by her together with Keret. Keret is a 39 year old writer who has achieved quite a bit of acclaim in recent years and now that he’s won this award, I’m going to have to read his latest book, an English translation of which I have sitting on my shelf thanks to my generous wife. He’s an interesting character and I found this interview with him to be informative. While I can’t find a similar interview with his wife, Shira, she is daughter to one of Israel’s finest satirical writers, poet, lyricists and translators, Yonatan Geffen. Shira is also sister to one of Israel’s top music stars, Aviv Geffen who really needs his own post to be described (these days he’s a partner in a band called Blackfield). This family is artistic royalty in Israel, and also connected through marriage to the Moshe Dayan family which has both prominent politicians and artists among its members.

Obviously Shira and Edgar are quite a talented couple and somehow they managed to make and market this film while having a first child. They deserve another prize for that. Mazal tov to them both and may they find a quality distributor so that we can actually see this movie on a cinema screen here in North America.

Photo source is Ynetnews.

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  • His name is Etgar Keret. It’s kind of a bummer that so many non-Israelis spell it Edgar, because it’s a really beautiful and unusual name in my opinion.
    Anyway he’s a fantastic writer, and a really funny and interesting speaker. He’s probably a great filmmaker too, and I can’t wait to see the movie. Mazal tov to both of them.

  • yeah – his name is etgar. and he is an amazing writer, one of the best short-form writers i have ever read.
    english speakers should read his THE BUS DRIVER WHO THOUGHT HE WAS GOD and THE NIMROD FLIPOUT. he also has a column on
    etgar means “challenge.”
    you guys should definitely mentioned his writing and background, if y’all care about israeli culture.

  • I just read that story, The Bus Driver who Thought he was God. It’s great, even if I read it in translation.