The Israel Film Fund Collection

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95 Minutes, 1997
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Directed by: Julie Shles
Cast: Esti Zakheim, Orly Perl, Evelyn Kaplun
Production:Assaf Amir
Production Company:Norma Productions, Tel Aviv
Photographer: Izak Portal
Language: Hebrew
Subtitles: English, Hebrew

Batya and David leave the sleepy, small town of Afula and head off to the big city – Tel Aviv; with their hearts set on fulfilling David’s lifelong dream of becoming a magician. Life in the buzzing metropolis, however, is not easy and David struggles to get his career off the ground. The fact is, he just isn’t a very good magician, but this is a reality he refuses to own up to. The pursuit of his dream, along with an inability to admit defeat, cause friction between the couple and ultimately lead Batya to move out of their tiny, dilapidated South Tel Aviv flat. It is only then, out of the blue and against all odds, that David suddenly has his big break as a magician. Julie Shles’ ‘little comedy that could’ about a Middle Israel couple went on to become a huge success: Afula Express made the official selection for the Berlin International Film Festival whilst in Israel, it won six Ophir awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Lead Actress (Esti Zakheim), and a pair of Best Supporting Actor and Actress awards that went to Aryeh Moskona and Orli Perl, respectively. The film also won a Wolgin Prize at the Jerusalem Film Festival whilst the song Geshem (‘rain’) from the film’s original soundtrack, performed by Israeli Middle Eastern pop singer, Eli Luzon was also a big hit in the charts.

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