Oscars: Israel Selects 'The Cakemaker' for Foreign-Language Category

Courtesy of KVIFF
'The Cakemaker'

The drama premiered in July 2017 at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, where it won the Ecumenical Jury Prize.

Israel has selected Ophir Raul Grazier’s The Cakemaker as its official submission for the best foreign-language film category at the Oscars.

The Israel-Germany co-production, which entangles and strangely unites a gay man and a straight woman over the loss of a shared loved one, won seven Ophir Awards from the Israeli Academy of Film and Television, including best lead actress Sarah Adler (Foxtrot, Aya); best screenplay; best director for Grazier, in what was his feature debut; and the all-important best film. The annual ceremony took place Thursday evening in the city of Ashdod.

The Cakemaker stars German actor Tim Kalkhof as a young baker who travels to Jerusalem seeking answers following the death of his lover, an Israeli businessman he met in Berlin. Trying to befriend his widow (Adler), he starts working at her café, not exposing his real identity and true connection to her late husband.

This is a rare submission of a film that has long been released locally and has also had a limited run starting in June in select cities across the U.S. The Cakemaker premiered back in July 2017 at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, where it won the Ecumenical Jury Prize, and has since been screened at numerous Jewish film festivals, as well.

This is Israel’s 51st submission to the best foreign-language film category; 10 of those movies received a nomination, but none scored a win. Last year’s fall festival early favorite Foxtrot made the Academy’s shortlist, but did not end up with a nomination.