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February 25, 2019 5:12 pm

Guy Nattiv’s Oscar Win for Short Film ‘Skin’ Celebrated in His Native Israel

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Guy Nattiv, center, and his wife Jaime Ray Newman on stage accepting the Oscar for best live action short at the Academy Awards on Feb. 24, 2019. Photo: Screenshot.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin congratulated Israeli filmmaker Guy Nattiv for winning the Academy Award for best live action short film on Sunday night for his film “Skin.”

The 20-minute movie centers around two gangs who engage in a war after a black man smiles at a 10-year-old white boy inside a supermarket located in a blue collar town.

Nattiv, who also co-produced the film alongside his wife Jaime Ray Newman, was the first Israeli to win an Oscar in 41 years.

Rivlin on Monday took to Twitter to describe the English-language movie as “a gift to our children and grandchildren and for the future we wish for them.”

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He added, “Proud to be Israeli! Mazal Tov!”

In his acceptance speech, Nattiv, who was joined on stage by his wife, began by saying,“Layla tov, Israel.” He then talked about his Holocaust survivor grandparents, noting, “The bigotry that they experienced in the Holocaust, we see that everywhere today in America, in Europe. And this film is about education; it’s about teaching your kids a better way.”

At a press conference following the ceremony, Nattiv revealed that a full-length film based on “Skin” would be released in July.

He later told Israel’s Channel 12 news via video link from the award ceremony after-party that he would bring the Oscar to Israel because his movie was “half Israeli.”

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein also tweeted about Nattiv’s Oscar win. He wrote on Monday, “Warm congratulations to Guy Nattiv on his winning an Oscar! I heard Guy speak excitedly this morning about the Israeli production and the great achievement for Israel, and we are all excited with him. Great pride!”

Israel’s Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz welcomed the win, tweeting, “Guy, you made us very proud. Thank you.”

Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon tweeted a message to Nattiv, saying, “You have brought great honor to us and all of Israel at the Oscar ceremony. An exciting and inspiring moment. I hope that many more Israeli children will follow in your footsteps and continue to produce quality groundbreaking cinema for us and the whole world.”

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