Israeli film-maker and screenwriter Tom Shoval has won rave reviews for his sharp visual style and storytelling abilities. Influenced by his father who was passionate about film and, among other cinema adventures, took his 13-year-old son on a life-changing trip to Hollywood, Shoval became a devoted cinephile early on. He was a film major in high school, served in the army’s film unit and co-founded the Baboon Group of young, Israeli short-film directors. In 2007, he graduated from Jerusalem’s Sam Spiegel Film & TV School where the founding-director, film-personality Renen Schorr, described him as “one of the most significant and committed talents I have ever seen”. Shoval’s award-winning, short films, including The Hungry Heart (2005), Shred of Hope (2007) and I will drink my tears (2011), have been screened at film festivals worldwide. His debut feature, Youth (2013), a social drama and thriller depicting the challenges of middle-class life in Israel, premiered at the Berlinale and was, among other awards, named Best Film at the Jerusalem Film Festival. Shoval, currently a cinema teacher and TV writer, looks to mentor Alejandro G. Iñárritu – whose film Amores Perros was an early inspiration – to help him develop his second feature.
March 2016 Alejandro G. Iñárritu has become one of three people to win Best Director in consecutive years.
December 2015 The closing ceremony honouring the mentors and protégés of 2014–2015 capped off a brilliant Rolex Arts Weekend.