Films from Cambodia, Palestine, and Bosnia and Herzegovina made the short list
of candidates vying for an Oscar nomination in the best foreign language film
category, the Academy Awards organizer said on Friday.
Bethlehem, from director Yuval Adler, failed to make the list. Adler co-wrote
the screenplay with Ali Waked, an Arab journalist once based in the West Bank.
The movie focuses on the relationship between Razi, an Israeli Secret Service
officer, and his teenage Palestinian informant, Sanfur, whose brother is a
Palestinian militant leader wanted by Israel.
The Academy of Motion
Picture Arts and Sciences chose nine foreign films, in the first phase of the
nomination process, from an original 76. The five nominees will be announced on
Cambodia’s French-language documentary The Missing Picture,
which uses clay figurines to tell the story of the bloody reign of the Khmer
Rouge government, made the list, taking a step closer to becoming the country’s
first film to score an Oscar nomination.
Director Hany Abu-Assad, whose
2005 film Paradise Now earned Palestine’s only Oscar foreign-language
nomination, made the list with thriller Omar.
Bosnia and Herzegovina,
which won the Oscar statuette in 2002 for No Man’s Land, made the short list
with the drama An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker.
Drama The Great
Beauty from Italy, which has won a record 13 best foreign picture Oscars as a
country, and Danish drama The Hunt starring Mads Mikkelsen also made the list a
week after both films picked up Golden Globe award nominations for best foreign
Belgian Flemish-language drama The Broken Circle
Breakdown, German thriller Two Lives and Hungarian drama The Notebook also made
the short list.
Acclaimed Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai’s ode to Kung
Fu, The Grandmaster, made the list.
The art house director, considered
one of the world’s top filmmakers and best-known for dramas Chungking Express
and In the Mood for Love, has never had a film nominated for an
Notably absent from the list was Iranian domestic drama The Past
starring French actress Berenice Bejo and directed by Asghar Farhadi, whose 2011
drama A Separation won the best foreign language Oscar.
coming-of-age lesbian love story Blue Is the Warmest Color was also absent as
its release in France did not make the September 30 deadline to be eligible for
The annual Academy Awards, Hollywood’s top film honors, will
be handed out on March 2.
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