Best boy

Veteran filmmaker rolls out prize to fete those behind the scenes

Longtime industry professional Jay ‘Shish’ Koller teams up with actress Gila Almagor and others to create award and ‘correct historical injustice’

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

Veteran film professional Jay 'Shish' Koller created a new set of film and television prizes being awarded on February 3, 2023. (Courtesy: PR)
Veteran film professional Jay 'Shish' Koller created a new set of film and television prizes being awarded on February 3, 2023. (Courtesy: PR)

Israel’s Ofir Prize is often compared to America’s Academy Awards. But there is no Israeli parallel to the Oscar’s scientific and technical awards, until now.

A new prize created by veteran film and television professional Jay ‘Shish’ Koller, and named for himself, is set to correct what he calls “a historical injustice” in the local industry recognizing its own key players operating behind the scenes.

On February 3, Koller, actress Gila Almagor-Agmon and other industry pros will award the Shish Koller Prize for Excellence in Film and Television to seven recipients at a ceremony at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque.

Prizes will be given for director’s assistant, script manager, photography assistant, editor, main grip, lighting and teacher/lecturer.

Koller, now 83, has been involved in film, television and stage from a young age, working as an actor, producer and distributor.

He said he was bothered by the thought of the lack of professional respect for those who do much of the behind-the-scenes work in the industry.

“I’m happy to leave behind this legacy that will correct a historical injustice and will continue to operate for many years,” said Koller in a statement.

The award, created without any institutional support, is being financed by a group of Koller’s supporters, and will include a NIS 10,000 ($2,900) award to each recipient.

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