Director Eran Kolirin Talks The Two Levels Of His Israeli Oscar Entry Let It Be Morning Contenders International

At Deadline’s Contenders Film: International award-season event, director Eran Kolirin (The Band’s Visit) explained why he chose to adapt Sayed Kashua’s novel Let It be Morning, the film that has become Israel’s submission into the International Feature Oscar race.

“I really like this situation where people are being thrown out of time and out of context in a very close, stressful atmosphere where you can have funny things going on,” he said during the virtual panel for the film, which will be released by Cohen Media Group in the U.S. next year. “The Band’s Visit, for example, took place overnight where people are stranded somewhere. I think that’s a very cinematic setup.”

Let It Be Morning stars Alex Bakri as Sami, a city boy from Jerusalem who is stranded in a village when it’s put into lockdown by Israeli soldiers. Bakri, who is also a director, joined Kolirin on the panel and spoke of his desire to work with him and learn from the filmmaker. He was also thrilled to film near his childhood home.

“It was a wonderful experience. It was it was in a village nearby to where I grew up. For me, it was always a dream to have a cinematic happening in a place where I grew up,” he said. “And was my first time where I’m playing the main role in a film, so was very exciting. It was very new to me.”

The source novel by Palestinian author Kashua was written against the backdrop of conflict in October 2000 after 13 Palestinian citizens were killed by Israeli police. Kolirin spoke of using a metaphorical approach to the film’s political themes. “I want my films to always have two levels: one more ironical and one which is more deep,” he said.

Check back Monday for the panel video.

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