UFOs Unite Israelis and Palestinians?

Published: January 5th 2011
in Culture » Movies

Secular Quarter #3

Political leaders have been unable to solve the political and social issues plaguing the Middle East, but could these woes be solved by aliens? That is the vision of the winning film in the “Jerusalem 2111” short film competition, sponsored by the Israeli-based Association of Planning and Conservation, which creates architectural models of Jerusalem. The competition’s objective was to envisage the city a hundred years in the future.


The $10,000 top prize was awarded to U.S.-based cinema film maker David Gidali and cinematographer Itay Gross on New Year’s Eve. Their two minute long "Secular Quarter #3", depicts a couple, one religious and the other secular, meeting face-to-face as UFOs remove the huge cages cordoning off their neighborhoods.


"I ended the movie with an optimistic note, to start a thought-process and to get people to ask themselves, 'Wait a minute, do we actually need extra-terrestrial vehicles to come and lift the walls between us, or is it something that we can do by ourselves?'," Gidali said at the awards ceremony on Friday.


Daniel Wierkin, one of the organizers of “Jerusalem 2111” believes that the winning film and some of the additional entries will garner Hollywood attention, being converted into full-length features. He cited “Panic Attack”, the 5 minute film by Fede Alvarez depicting an alien invasion of Uruguay. The short went viral last year on Youtube, drawing the attention of director Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) who subsequently gave Alvarez a production deal to make it into a feature.


The competition’s jury included "Avatar" producer Jon Landau, "Asterix" animators Paul and Gaetan Brizzi, and German director Wim Wenders.


Related articles: (Film, Jerusalm 2111, Contest, Secular Quarter)
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