The Israeli film “Foxtrot” by Samuel Maoz on Tuesday evening won the award for best picture of the year at the Ophir Awards, also known as the Israeli Oscars.
“Foxtrot” will now represent Israel in the Best Foreign Film category at the upcoming Academy Awards. The film also won awards in seven other categories at the Ophir Awards.
Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev (Likud) on Tuesday evening sharply criticized the selection of “Foxtrot”. Regev has previously criticized the film for presenting IDF soldiers as unethical due to the fact that it depicts IDF soldiers covering up the shooting of four Arab youths.
Some leftists have notably agreed with Regev’s comments on the film.
"The selection of Samuel Maoz, [lead actor] Lior Ashkenazi and the film ‘Foxtrot’ do not surprise me," Regev said on Tuesday night.
"I, as a minister in the Israeli government and as a mother of children who served in the IDF, am ashamed of the fact that the Israeli Academy of Film and Television places as our candidate for the Academy Awards a film that chose to lie about the Israel Defense Forces," she continued.
"I can only apologize to the IDF soldiers and their families. They do not deserve this. And as I said today, the distribution of government funding in the field of cinema will change," Regev added.
Regev was not invited to Tuesday’s ceremony, despite serving as Culture Minister, following the uproar she caused last year.
Regev stormed out of last year’s ceremony after performers played a song written by Arab ultranationalist poet Mahmoud Darwish, who was part of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and was an ardent opponent of Jewish self-determination.
She later wrote that "I have a lot of respect and patience for the other side, but I feel no patience for Darwish and for anyone who wants to destroy me or my country.”
Due to the Film and Television Academy’s decision not to invite her to the Ophir Awards, Regev gave her remarks via Facebook video instead.