About the event
Breakthrough Star: Shira Haas
Streaming 48 Hours
Danny Boyle and William Hurt, two jury members of the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, wrote of Shira Haas: “Her face is a never-ending landscape in which even the tiniest expression is heartbreaking. She’s an incredibly honest and present actress who brings depth to everything she does.” Remarking on Haas’ assured performance in ASIA, it is no wonder the Israeli actress took home the festival’s prestigious award for Best Actress in an International Narrative Feature. After being cast in supporting roles in critically acclaimed Israeli indies like Foxtrot (2017) and Princess (2014), her role in the universally beloved Shtisel (2013 – ) propelled her career to new heights. While the show was the vehicle that put Haas on the map, it was the talented actor’s principal role in another Netflix sensation, Unorthodox (2020), that confirmed her as GPJFF40’s Breakthrough Star.
In ASIA, Haas plays Vika, the daughter of the titular Asia (Alena Yiv), a Russian immigrant, single mother and nurse. To those who know them, Asia and Vika look and behave more like sisters than mother and daughter. However, as Vika enters an age when privacy and independence are inherent in coming into one’s own and developing one’s identity, her relationship with her mother strains. As she experiments with boundaries and begins to defy her mother’s unique parenting style, Asia realizes that she may be responsible for pushing her daughter away. Her epiphany is central to how she navigates her daughter’s dire diagnosis and the fact that Vika will soon need a caregiver 24-7. Though Vika has been battling severe health issues for most of her life, her mother and she have never given up hope that she would live to realize her dreams. Asia sees the truth in her daughter’s eyes. Perhaps what her daughter needs more than anything now was the space to live her life on her terms.
Official Selection of the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival as well, Ruthy Pribar’s beautiful debut feature is a poignant character study and rumination on motherhood, desire, and mortality.
- Toronto International Film Festival
- Tribeca Film Festival
- Best Actress, Best Cinematography & Nora Ephron Prize | Tribeca Film Festival