LOS ANGELES – Israel’s streak of Oscar nominations ended Friday when Fill the
Void, the country’s entry, failed to make the list of nine semifinalists in the
foreign-language film category.
This year’s entries from 71 countries
showed a renewed interest in Holocaust and World War II themes.
also shut out from the semifinal list, five movies dealt with the Jewish fate
during the Nazi era and its aftermath, one film with talmudic roots, and one on
the wartime clashes between Soviet and German forces.
Fill the Void by
director Rana Burshtein centered on the haredi community in Tel
Among the nine entries still in the race, Austria’s Amour and
France’s The Intouchables are considered the frontrunners to walk away with the
Other countries making the shortlist are Canada, Chile,
Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Romania and Switzerland. The Palestinian film, When I
Saw You, also failed to make the cut.
Israel’s entries had made the elite
list of five finalists in four of the last five years, though always falling
short of the top prize.
Last year’s submission was Joseph Cedar’s
Footnote, representing one of the strongest bids by the Israeli film industry,
but the trophy went to Iran’s A Separation.
Israel’s remaining hope lies
in the documentary feature category. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences earlier announced the titles of 15 chosen semifinalists, including The
Gatekeepers by Israeli director Dror Moreh, and 5 Broken Cameras by directors
Emud Burnat, a Palestinian, and Guy Davidi, an Israeli.
shortlist of five foreign- language film nominees will be announced January 10,
and the Oscar winner will be crowned by the Academy on February 24 in Hollywood.