Advocate Wins Israeli Academy Award for Best Documentary

24 November 2020

Last week, the Israeli Academy Awards – the Ophir Awards – took place online and presented Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaïche with the award for Best Documentary for their film Advocate, about Israeli human rights defender Lea Tsemel.

Lea Tsemel defends Palestinians: from feminists to fundamentalists, from non-violent demonstrators to armed militants. Advocate follows Tsemel’s caseload in real-time, including the high-profile trial of a 13-year-old boy — her youngest client to date — while also revisiting her landmark cases and reflecting on the political significance of her work as well as the personal price one pays for taking on the role of “devil’s advocate.”

The Ophir Awards, are film awards for excellence in the Israeli film industry awarded by the Israeli Academy of Film and Television. The award, named after actor Shaike Ophir, has been granted since 1990.

We are thrilled that a film on this subject matter received this honor – and we congratulate the filmmakers, who have been attendees at Other Israel Film Festival, including last year’s screening of Advocate, and who have been regulars at NIF’s Film Club.