Israeli Filmmaker Haim Tabakman’s Feature Film EYES WIDE OPEN, about a Taboo Love Affair Between Two Religious Men in Tel Aviv, wins the Best New Feature Award at this year’s Palm Springs Film Festival.
OPENS FRIDAY FEBRUARY 5, 2010 at New York’s Cinema Village, additional screenings at the NY Jewish Film Festival on January 19-24, 2010
Aaron, a respectable butcher in Jerusalem’s ultra-orthodox Jewish community, is married to Rivka and is a dedicated father of four children. One day, he hires Ezri, a handsome twenty-two year old student, as an apprentice and soon develops feelings for him. As the relationship grows, Aaron starts to neglect his family and community life, swept away by his love–and lust–for Ezri. But a foreboding guilt, inner torment and intense condemnation from the community catch up with him, leading him to make a radical decision.
Variety says, “Recalling Amos Gitai’s “Kadosh” and David Volach’s “My Father My Lord” (which Tabakman edited), the soberly fascinating pic shows the attractions and disadvantages of life in a closed religious community. The taboo-breaking “Eyes Wide Open” is an intense, restrained drama.”
Director Haim Tabakman: ”Religious people do not consider homosexuality a sin; it just does not exist. I really want to help break the silence, to be part of the evolution of the orthodox world. There is a way to convince people, through movies, without using force, to say: “Look, this exists.” I think our heroes are diving into this romance whereas they know there is no real chance to live it. It’s just like accepting faith. I see EYES WIDE OPEN as a car rushing towards you, but you keep on walking in the same direction.”
Born in 1975, Haim Tabakman studied Cinema and Television at the University of Tel Aviv. Two of his early short films, Free Loaders and The Poet’s Home, were selected by the Cannes Film Festival (Cinefondation), as well as by the Karlovi Vary and Montpellier ﬁlm festivals. Tabakman has also edited several ﬁlms, including My Father, My Lord (by David Volach). Eyes Wide Open is his ﬁrst feature ﬁlm.
Founded in late 2004, New American Vision (NAV) has emerged as one of Hollywood’s leading niche entertainment firms dedicated to bring new independent and specialty films to new American audiences. Pursuing a vision of a 21st century America marked by many languages, ethnicities, political interests and sub-cultures, NAV encompasses the distribution, marketing and creation of niche-oriented content that reaches out to traditionally underserved markets in both the entertainment and educational arenas.
Official selection: 2009 Cannes Film Festival – Un Certain Regard
Toronto International Film Festival
EYES WIDE OPEN / Eynayim Pekuhot
2009, Israel, 90 min, digital
DIRECTOR: Haim Tabakman
producer: Rafael KATZ, PIMPA PRODUCTIONS
screenwriter: Merav Doster
cinematographer: Axel SCHNEPPAT
editor: Dov SHTOYER