Israeli director Alma Har’el took top honors at the Tribeca Film Festival in the documentary category.
“Bombay Beach,” her feature-length film, follows three down-and-out residents of a ghost town on the Salton Sea, a surrealistic landscape in Southern California filled with losers and dreamers.
Har’el, a Tel Aviv native now living in the United States, takes home $25,000 in prize money. She describes herself in her biography as a video artist and music video director.
The judges were unanimous in their decision, which was announced Thursday. They praised the film to reporters for its “beauty, lyricism, empathy and invention.”
Another Israeli, Dor Fadlon of Ramat Gan, also won special mention at the festival for “Eva—Working Title.” Fadlon, a graduate of the film and television department at Tel Aviv University, wrote and directed the 14-minute film.
The 12-day Tribeca Film Festival, founded in 2002, concludes May 1 in New York.