January 18, 2019

‘The Cakemaker’ Wins Best Israeli Picture, Has Shot at Oscar

Tim Kalkhof in The Cakemaker. Photo by Strand Releasing

“The Cakemaker” may be going to the Academy Awards. The Israeli-German drama won six of the 11 Ophir Awards—the Israeli Oscar—for which it was nominated, including best picture, making it Israel’s submission for the best foreign language Oscar. It now goes to a committee that selects the official nominees.

Written and directed by Berlin-based Israeli Ofir Raul Graizer, who won Ophirs for his direction and script, the film is about a German baker named Thomas (Tim Kalkhof) who begins an affair with Oren, a married, visiting Israeli businessman (Roy Miller). When Oren is killed in an accident in Israel, Thomas travels to Jerusalem and goes to work for Oren’s wife (Ophir winner Sarah Adler) at her café, keeping his connection to Oren secret.

The Ophir ceremony was not without controversy. Conservative Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev, who has clashed with filmmakers in the past, was not invited this year, for the second year in a row. The last time Regev attended, she stormed out of the ceremony in protest of a performance by a Palestinian poet. Several winners at the Sept. 6 event criticized Regev and the Israeli government, including best supporting actor Dov Glickman. “We have an amazing industry here and we won’t let it be destroyed,” he said.

Israeli producer Uri Singer (“Marjorie Prime”) has optioned the remake rights to “The Cakemaker” and will team with Graizer on the U.S. adaptation. He called the film “a delicate and moving human story about love and loss that can leave audiences all over the world reaching for their handkerchiefs.”

“The Cakemaker” is playing at Laemmle’s Music Hall through Sept. 12.