Israeli director Guy Nattiv and his wife, actress Jaime Ray Newman, won an Oscar for their short film “Skin” at the 91st Academy Awards on Sunday night in Los Angeles, a rare win for an Israeli director at the prestigious event.
The film explores racism and white supremacy in the United States, telling the story of a hate crime and its unfolding consequences from the point of view of two children, one black and one white.
Wishing viewers in Israel (where it was the middle of the night) “layla tov” (good night) during his acceptance speech, Nattiv spoke of his grandparents who are Holocaust survivors and said “the bigotry that they experienced in the Holocaust, we see that everywhere today, in America, in Europe.”
“This film is about education, it’s about teaching your kids a better way,” he said.
Newman added: “We dedicate this to our five-month-old baby who’s sitting at home with my parents watching this. We hope that you grow up in a world where these things don’t happen because people learn to love and accept each other.”
Nattiv grew up in Israel and moved to Los Angeles five years ago. He wrote “Skin” with fellow Israeli Sharon Maymon. Newman produced the film.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin congratulated the trio on the win, saying “the movie is a gift to our children and grandchildren and for the future we wish for them. Proud to be Israeli! Mazal Tov!”