Foxtrot’ makes Oscars shortlist for foreign films Academy selects nine countries – including Lebanon – from 92 entries • By AMY SPIRO Controversial Israeli film Foxtrot has made the Academy Awards shortlist for best foreign language picture.
Foxtrot, directed by Samuel Maoz, made the cut alongside eight other films from around the world. A record 92 films from across the globe were submitted to the Oscars to compete in the category. They will be narrowed down to five when the nominations are announced on January 23. Israel has never won the category, though it has been nominated 10 times.
The film, which tells the story of a family hearing the terrible news that their son was killed during his IDF service, has created a firestorm within Israel.
Culture Minister Miri Regev has vocally and repeatedly criticized the film for what she says is a negative depiction of the IDF and its soldiers.
The film, she said in September, “received state funding, and portrays soldiers as murderers and white-washers of the truth.” Anybody who wants, Regev continued, “can make films like this with their own money. Not with public funds, with our money, which includes that of the families of soldiers.”
Foxtrot won the award for best foreign language film from the New York-based National Board of Review of Motion Pictures last month. Earlier this year it took the Silver Lion at the Venice International Film Festival.
Another film that made the shortlist is Lebanon’s The Insult, which caused controversy because of its director’s past visits to Israel. Ziad Doueiri, the French-Lebanese film’s director, was detained in Beirut in September when he returned from the Venice Film Festival, over charges that part of his last film, The Attack, was filmed in Israel, where it is illegal for Lebanese citizens to visit.
Also on the shortlist are Chile’s A Fantastic Woman
; Germany’s In the Fade
; Hungary’s On Body and Soul
; Russia’s Loveless
; Senegal’s Félicité
; South Africa’s The Wound
and Sweden’s The Square.