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The other Oscars: 'Aya' wonders what if you drove the wrong person home




"Aya" stars Sarah Adler as a woman who, by accident, drives a man from the airport when he mistakes her for his driver.
Cassis Films

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What extent would you go in order to make a human connection with another person?

"Aya" tells the story of a young woman waiting at the airport, but when an arriving passenger confuses her for his driver, Aya goes along for the ride and takes him.

The film is one of this year's Oscar nominated live action shorts.

Israeli filmmakers Mihal Brezis and Oded Binnun got the inspiration because they thought airport waiting areas were intense and filled with emotion. 

"What if some stranger accidentally came up to me and I'd play the role?" wondered Brezis.


Binnun says they purposefully kept Aya's intentions a mystery. 

"She just seizes the moment. This is be something that can make you feel alive."

It's never fully explained why she pretended to be the man's driver. What is clear, however, is that this is not a movie about coincidental romance. 

"It's not the romantic relationship as we're used to seeing in movies," says Brezis. "They don't even kiss, and it's not a friendship because they don't know much about each other."

Instead, the filmmakers wanted to explore a relationship between characters that centered on a pure, human connection.

The film became an unprecedented success in Israel. Although it was too short to be a feature film shown in most theaters and too long to be included in many film festivals.

"The surprising thing about this movie is that it was actually commercially in theaters," says Binnan. "People actually went to the cinema, bought a ticket and watched a 39-minute film."

They say it was the first time it happened in the country.

Brezis and Binnun say now, the momentum is strong to make a longer movie about Aya

"We're back to the plan of taking her character and making it into a feature," says Brezis.