Israeli-Ethiopian director wins Toronto film prize for ‘Fig Tree’
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Israeli-Ethiopian director wins Toronto film prize for ‘Fig Tree’

Alamork Marsha snags prestigious Audentia Prize for best female director with film exploring Jewish girl’s last days in rural Ethiopia

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Mina, the protagonist of 'Fig Tree,' about the emotional drama facing a 14-year-old Ethiopian girl (Courtesy Daniel Miller)
Mina, the protagonist of 'Fig Tree,' about the emotional drama facing a 14-year-old Ethiopian girl (Courtesy Daniel Miller)

“Fig Tree,” the debut film by Israeli-Ethiopian director Alamork Marsha, won the prestigious Audentia Prize at the Toronto International Film Festival Sunday.

The prize, which includes a €30,000 award, is given by the European foundation Eurimages to the best film directed by a woman.

“Fig Tree” was screened as part of the Discovery Section of the 2018 Toronto Film Festival.

Filmed entirely in Ethiopia, “Fig Tree” tells the story of 14-year-old Mina, a Jewish girl attempting to navigate the final days of her youth in pastoral Ethiopia, where she spends her time with her friends and Christian boyfriend Eli.

Alamork Marsha (Courtesy Alamork Marsha Facebook page)

The 93-minute-film won the $50,000 top prize at the 2014 Sam Spiegel International Film Lab.

The film s in Amharic with translation to Hebrew and English.

Marsha shot the film in Ethiopia, and cast it with amateurs and actors from the local theater scene in Addis Ababa.

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