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Berlin 2012: Israel’s Rafael Balulu Wins Berlin Today Award With Topical Drama

European Film Market Berlin
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

The director took the Talent Campus top prize for his short 
Batman at the Checkpoint

BERLIN - Israeli filmmaker Rafael Balulu won the Berlin Today award, the top honor at the Berlin Film Festival’s Berlinale Talent Campus event for up-and-coming filmmakers, for his short Batman at the Checkpoint.

The film focuses on a fight between an Israeli and a Palestinian boy over a plastic Batman doll while their families’ cars 
are stuck at a security checkpoint 
outside Jerusalem.

“The film succeeds in showing us a well-known conflict by poetically re-setting it as a playful battle,” said the Berlin Today jury - composed of Bosnian director Jasmila Zbanic (Grbavica), German cinematographer Judith Kaufman (Four Minutes) and Canadian helmer Guy Maddin (Keyhole).

The jury also gave a special mention to White Lobster, a short documentary by British director David Lale.

The Berlin Today awards were announced at a ceremony Sunday night. All five nominees for the Berlin Today honors were screened earlier at the Colosseum theater in Berlin. The three jurors explained their decision. Batman at the Checkpoint was produced by Berlin-based production company Lichtblick Media.