A film exploring gay/queer issues in Israel has won the AICE $25,000 prize for best Israeli feature film

The AICE Israeli Film Festival has announced the winner of the $25,000 prize for the best Israeli feature film, or documentary. The groundbreaking short, Who’s Gonna Love Me Now?, explores gay/queer issues of identity in the Israeli community.

Produced by The Heymann Brothers, Barak and Tomer Heymann, Who’s Gonna Love Me Now? tells the story of Saar, an openly gay man, and his effort to reconcile his sexuality with his traditional religious Jewish family.

The AICE Israeli Film Festival’s top prize was awarded by a three person jury consisting of, critic Jan Epstein, LA based producer Howard Rosenman, and Artistic Director of the festival, Richard Moore.

The AICE prize isn’t the first award the intrepid short film has won, having recently taken home the 2016 Panorama Audience award at the Berlin Film Festival.

“As a jury our guiding principle was to award the prize to a film that best reflected the state of Israel as a vibrant and active democracy. Who’s Gonna Love Me Now? is a fine example of a film industry capable of engaging in a mature and tough debate about homosexuality: its also remarkable in the context of other Middle Eastern countries where even a hint of homosexual practice will be severely punished,” said Israeli Film Festival Director, Richard Moore.

The 2016 Israeli Film Festival concluded at the Cinema Nova in Melbourne, and Sydney’s Ritz Cinema last month.