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America-Israel Cultural Foundation Reveals ICA Awards Winners

Five iconic visionary artists are the inaugural recipients of the Israeli Culture & Arts Awards, honoring the most impactful Israeli artists. Hanna Azoulay Hasfari (Theatre), Vania Heymann(Visual Arts), Ron Leshem (Film/TV), Ohad Naharin (Dance) and Idan Raichel (Music) will be fêted during the America-Israel Cultural Foundation’s (AICF) 80th anniversary celebration on Sunday, November 17 at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York.

The ICA Award winners were selected out of nearly 20 finalists by an esteemed panel of judges including artists, actors and musicians: David Broza, Judy Collins, Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, Mindy Lang, Liev Schreiber and Edna Landau, as well as a public vote of over 4,000 people worldwide.

“This remarkable list of accomplished talent has not only made an impact on the arts, but on the entire state of Israeland global cultural landscape,” said Josh Tanenbaum, President, Board of Directors, AICF. “We are proud to honor them with the first-ever ICA Awards and continue our mission of supporting Israeli arts for another 80 years and beyond.”

The 2019 ICA Awards Winners:

  • (Theatre): Hanna Azoulay Hasfari is an actress, screenwriter, playwright, film director and winner of the Ophir Award, Jerusalem Film Festival Best Actress, Chamber of Critics Best Actress, Festroia International Film Festival Best Screenplay and Berlin Film Festival Special Mention Sh’Chur. She has appeared in many stage productions in leading theaters in Israel.

  • (Visual Arts): Vania Heymann is a Grammy-nominated film director and artist. His work includes music videos for artists such as Coldplay, Bob Dylan, DJ Snake, and Tove Lo, videos created during his studies at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem that have received critical acclaim, a TV series composed of two-minute episodes broadcast on Israeli TV and short films. He also directs commercials, including spots for Apple, Google, and Nike. His videos have been viewed over 400 million times on YouTube.

  • (Film/TV): Ron Leshem is a TV and film writer and producer, best known for the series Euphoria, and for the book and film Beaufort, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and the Sapir Prize. From 2006 to 2009, he served as head of content and programming for Keshet Broadcasting where he developed and produced popular Israeli TV series. The film Incitement which he co-wrote won the 2019 Ophir Award for Best Picture.

  • (Dance): Ohad Naharin is the current House Choreographer of Batsheva Dance Company, where he also served as Artistic Director until 2018. He has created over 30 works for leading companies. In addition to his stage work, Ohad also developed GAGA, an innovative movement language based on research into heightening sensation and imagination, becoming aware of form, finding new movement habits, and going beyond familiar limits. GAGA is the daily training of Batsheva’s dancers and has spread globally among both dancers and non-dancers. His work has been featured in several films.

  • (Music): Idan Rachel is a producer, keyboardist, lyricist, composer and performer, who has brought his inspiring example and soul-stirring music to some of the planet’s biggest stages. As the leader of The Idan Raichel Project, Idan acts as a musical ambassador representing a hopeful world in which artistic collaboration breaks down barriers between people of different backgrounds and beliefs. Over the past 13 years, he has collaborated with top American and international pop stars and headlined in venues worldwide.

For 80 years, AICF has identified, catalyzed, and developed the top emerging Israeli artistic talent. Since its founding in 1939, AICF has impacted 18,000 artists and dispersed over $160 million to benefit Israeli culture. AICF has supported Israeli arts and culture around Israel’s periphery, mainland and around the world, and in the process has created ambassadors for Israel and put the country on the global stage. The ICA Awards were inaugurated in celebration of the 80th anniversary of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and to recognize Israel’s greatest artistic contributors.

For more information about the ICA Awards and to purchase tickets, please visit: aicf.org/event/anniversary-celebration/.

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