Tisch Film School Alumna Wins Student Oscar®

Maya Sarfaty's The Most Beautiful Woman is first Israeli documentary to win a Student Academy Award
19 September 2016
Maya Sarfaty

Maya Sarfaty, a graduate of Tel Aviv University’s Steve Tisch School of Film and Television, has won the Student Academy Award for Best Foreign Documentary for her film, The Most Beautiful Woman. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that Sarfaty would be receiving a gold medal for her film and that she can submit her film for the Hollywood Oscar race later this year.


Sarfaty, a native of Netanya, earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from the Tisch School. Her work is the first Israeli documentary and the second Israeli film to win a Student Oscar. The first, Paris on Water (2014), was also written and directed by a TAU graduate, Hadas Ayalon.


The Most Beautiful Woman tells the true story of Helena and Rosinka Citronova, sisters who were deported from their native Slovakia to Auschwitz together with Rosinka's two children. Once in the death camp, Helena captured the amorous attentions of SS officer and camp guard Franz Wunsch, who ultimately saved her and her sister from certain death in the gas chambers. Tragically, Rosinka's two children were not spared.


The film first made waves last year when it won grants from the David Perlov Film Fund, the Rabinowitz Tel-Aviv Foundation, Gesher Israel and the Bernstein Family Foundation.


This year the Academy selected 17 student nominees out of a record number of entries — 1,749 films submitted by US students and 95 films from colleges and universities in other countries — in seven categories. The nominees will be flown to Los Angeles a week before the September 22 award ceremony for seven days of studio activities and networking events.



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