One thing is for sure: The Israeli creators of “Waltz with Bashir” are no sore losers.
Director Ari Folman and his crew of producers and animators managed to keep their spirits up even after hearing that the Oscar for best foreign language film went to “Departures” from Japan. This was not an easy task given the higher-then-ever expectations back home in Israel, where a whole country went wild over the possibility of a first Oscar for the Jewish state.
It was even more difficult for two members of the crew, who watched the event at the viewing dinner hosted by Children Uniting Nations — a charity founded by Daphna Ziman, a prominent member of the Los Angeles Jewish community. Animators Osnat Wald and Neta Holzer were surrounded by reporters and TV crews, all trying to get their first reaction after watching the opening of the envelope on the large screen. “We’re disappointed, but it’s not that bad” they repeated over and over again, until all of the reporters got their share.
Relief came only an hour later, when director Ari Folman and the rest of the crew returned from the Kodak Theater and joined the crowd at the event, which took place at the Beverly Hilton. “It looks as if you guys are taking the news worse than I did,” Folman joked with the reporters blocking his way.
Art director David Polonsky and the director of animation, Yoni Goodman came out of the limousine smiling. “They had great food over there, really,” Goodman summed up his Oscar experience and Polonsky added: “and a real wonderful bar, too. That really helps deal with the sorrow.”
And there is also some good news for the Bashir team. Driving back from the Oscars to the hotel, the group already began discussing their next project. It’s going to be a science-fiction film. Animated, of course. Work is slated to begin in two months.
Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
‘Bashir’ Team Noshing Away Their Sorrows