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Israel scoops Oscar by: Tamar Trabelsi-Hadad, Ynetnews

Israel is on the map, no only when comes to the European basketball league but also in the Oscars. Not the "grownups" Oscar ceremony, but an Oscar awards ceremony, no less, for young filmmakers.

The honor was achieved by the 12th grade students of the filmmaking school at Ehad Ha’am high school in Petah Tikva, and former students from Rabin High school in Kfar Saba, who already graduated and joined the IDF.

The entire event looked like the real deal. The ceremony was held on Sunday in Hollywood, at the same theatre where the Academy Awards ceremony is held every year with all the famous Tinseltown movie stars.

The excited students who arrived from 100 schools all over world, walked on the famous red carpet. Actor John Voight (Angelina Jolie’s dad) was the MC for the evening, and the young winners received small statuettes as well as a prize of 3,000 euros for each film. It is the first time that students from Israel participated in the ceremony, which is held annually.

The movie "Our War" by 11th graders from Ehad Ha’am high school in Petah Tikva won Best Film for the17 and under category. It also won first place in the People's Choice category. The movie depicts the story of a teen who emigrated from the former Soviet Union to Israel, and after his brother was killed by friendly fire during his IDF service, the teen becomes estranged from Israel and adopts neo-Nazi conduct. The movie ends in a scene where the teen walks on streets laden with Israeli flags.

"We are very excited and happy. We had no doubt that we're going to win the Oscar. We hope that we brought pride to the State of Israel on the eve of Independence Day," said exhilarated producer Yuval Osher, who accepted the award along with director Igor Rochlin and editor Itai Goren. Film photographer Ran Yaakobi said: "We knew it was a quality film, but we never dreamt about the Oscar."

The second award, in the category of Best Film for nominees 15 and under was awarded to students from Rabin High school in Kfar Saba, for their movie "Golem."

The filmmakers – director Brit Harel, producer Aviel Gandler, photographer Roee Goldman, and editor Gil Shoham – did not attend the ceremony as they are already in the midst of their military service. The prize was accepted by a high school student on their behalf.

The movie "Golem" tells the story of a teen that is looking for love with all his might. He falls for a girl who collects butterflies, but eventually love fades and he is left broken hearted.

The school's students and staff were very excited about the Oscar. Ehad Ha'am high school Principal Nili Liroz said: "This is international recognition and it's very meaningful."

Rabin high school Principal Roth Lazar phoned the school’s graduates and informed them of the Oscar. "This achievement is a result of the students' hard and serious work,” she said. A schoolmate of the Oscar winners said: "There is a future generation to Israel. We are on the map, in films too."

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