Set in Tel Aviv during the Gulf War, director Arik Kaplun’s debut is a light comedy about romance and culture shock. Yana (played by Evelyne Kaplun, the director’s wife) and her new husband arrive in Israel from Russia, only to have her spouse split town with the immigration money. Naïve, vulnerable, and three months pregnant, Yana is forced to fend for herself. Fortunately, she finds company with an eccentric fledgling filmmaker, Eli (Nir Levi), who videotapes everything. With the fear of Iraqi scuds an ever-present threat, the two inch slowly toward a relationship. This film was screened at the 1999 Toronto and Thessaloniki Film Festivals.
Yana’s Friends (Hebrew: החברים של יאנה, HaHaverim shel Yana) is a 1999 Israeli film directed by Arik Kaplun. script editor: Savi Gabizon. Critically acclaimed, it won 10 Israeli Academy Awards including the Ophir Award for Best Picture. It also won the Crystal Globe at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 1999. The film has a very rare 100% rating on the film website Rotten Tomatoes based on 30 reviews.
Yana’s Friends (1999)
Directed by: Arik Kaplun
Starring: Evelyn Kaplun, Nir Levy, Shmil Ben Ari, Mosko Alkalai, Dalia Friedland, Vladimir Friedman, Israel Sasha Demidov, Lena Sachanova, Jenya Fleisher, Lucy Dubinchik
Screenplay by: Arik Kaplun, Simon Vinokur
Cinematography by: Valentin Belonogov
Film Editing by: Einat Glaser-Zarhin
Costume Design by: Laura Dinolesko
Art Direction by: Ariel Roshko
Music by: Avi Benjamin
Distributed by: Friends of Film
Release Date: November 4, 1999 (Israel)