The Band's Visit, the Ophir Award-winning film that seemed to many cognoscenti a shoo-in for a place in the final five candidates for a Best Foreign Film Oscar, has been disqualified for containing too much English-language dialogue, Channel 2 reported Thursday.
The film, which tells the story of an Egyptian band that arrives by mistake in a town in southern Israel, apparently failed to meet the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences's criterion that at least 50 percent of the dialogue in a "foreign film" be in a language other than English.
According to Channel 2, Israeli officials intend to appeal the decision and will try to convince Academy members that the film's English-language dialogue is a reflection of the complex reality of the Middle East.
If the Academy stands firm against allowing The Band's Visit to compete in the Best Foreign Film category, the Ophir Award runner-up, Beaufort, will represent Israel at the Oscars.
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