Israeli film, director take top awards

The Israeli film “Policeman” won best film at the Buenos Aires International Film Festival, riding a wave of worldwide critical acclaim. The film’s creator, Nadav Lapid, also took home the best director award in South America’s biggest film festival, which ended April 22. This was the first time in festival history that best film and best director went to one movie.

First screened last year, “Policeman” tells the story of an officer in Israel’s counterterrorism unit and his encounter with a group of anti-capitalist anarchists who kidnap a billionaire.

The film sparked mixed reviews in Israel amid the backdrop of last summer’s social protest.

“Policeman” is Lapid’s first feature film. His short films have been screened in the past in the Berlin, Cannes and Locarno festivals.

“Policeman” screens in San Francisco at 9 p.m. Sunday, April 29 at the Kabuki, 1881 Post St.; 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, May 2 and 8:15 p.m. Thursday, May 3 at the S.F. Film Society Cinema, 1746 Post St., as part of the San Francisco International Film Festival (

The movie debuted at the Jerusalem Film Festival, where it won the Van Leer prize for best first or second film by an Israeli director. —