Israeli film 'Fill the Void' falls short at Oscars

Streak of Oscar nominations ends as Israeli entry fails to make list of nine semi-finalists among foreign-language films.

Fill the Void 370 (photo credit: Courtesy Ora Lapidot)
Fill the Void 370
(photo credit: Courtesy Ora Lapidot)
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.
Although 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 Aviv.
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 Academy Award.
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.
The final 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.