We Won the Gold Dolphin

Sometimes the stars just perfectly align. I just spent 4 days in Cannes with my wife Nicole. We came here because I had been advised that we had won a Silver or a Gold Dolphin at the Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards. In their 4th year, the awards are fast becoming for documentaries and corporate videos what the film festival is for feature films. The wonderful thing about it is that the festival is still small enough and human enough to really enjoy, network and meet interesting people from over 40 participating countries. I don’t normally go to awards ceremonies but I didn’t want to miss out and I even managed to convince my wife to come.

It’s been a while since I’ve been in Cannes and I forgot how absolutely magical the French Riviera is. I also didn’t realize how many food options my wife and I, who are vegetarian and kosher, would have. The camembert pizza was out of this world!

And then there was the event itself. We won the Gold Dolphin! Out of over 700 entries, only 33 Gold Dolphins were awarded. It literally weighs 5 kilos, so it wasn’t easy to take home but certainly worth it. The most refreshing thing about the win was the acclamation for our film “The Resurrection Tomb Mystery”/ “The Jesus Discovery”. In 2010, we pushed the envelope of Jerusalem based archaeology by building a robotic arm outfitted with a GE HiDef camera and a snake camera that could sneak in between ossuaries (bone boxes) that were only 1 inch apart. Using this technology, we explored a sealed Jesus-era tomb in Jerusalem. The camera sent back images carved on ossuaries relating to the first days of the birth of Christianity. There’s a 1st century cross on one of the ossuaries, a fish on another side, an image of the prophet Jonah (complete with his inscribed name) emerging out of the mouth of the fish (both the fish and Jonah were early symbols of the Jesus movement), and the first ever statement of resurrection faith inscribed on an ossuary.

You would think that an achievement such as this would have been embraced by the worldwide scholarly community. After all, the image of the fish, for example, is endorsed by some of the greatest scholars on the planet e.g., James Charlesworth, James Tabor, Rachel Hachlili and Father Emile Puech. But because the new findings threaten people’s Paul-based theology or academic standing, they prefer to either ignore the findings or attempt to discredit the finders. More than this, the discovery of the earliest symbols of Jesus’ original movement, only 60 meters from the controversial Jesus family tomb (see my films “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” and “The Resurrection Tomb Mystery” and co-written books “The Jesus Family Tomb” and “The Jesus Discovery”) reinforces the obvious conclusion that the man called “Jesus, son of Joseph” buried in Talpiot, Jerusalem is Jesus of Nazareth. It’s hard to conceive that, coincidentally, it’s another Jesus who is buried next to the earliest Christian symbols ever found.

So while underwear bloggers continue to do their unseemly internet campaigns against our findings, how refreshing it was to be among people – Oscar and Emmy winners – who judged our work on its merit. How gratifying to win a Gold in the category of science.

Didn’t sleep all night, just got home and celebrated with the kids. As I said, sometimes the stars perfectly align.

About the Author
Simcha Jacobovici is a Canadian-Israeli filmmaker and journalist. He is a three-time Emmy winner for “Outstanding Investigative Journalism” and a New York Times best selling author. He’s also an adjunct professor in the Department of Religion at Huntington University, Ontario.