Israeli film makes Oscar short-list

Joseph Cedar’s 'Footnote' named to short-list in running for Best Foreign Language Film.

Footnote 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Footnote 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Israel’s official entry for Academy Award consideration, Joseph Cedar’s Footnote, was named to the short-list of productions in the running for a Best Foreign Language Film nomination, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday in Los Angeles.
The nine films on the shortlist will be winnowed down to five when the Oscar nominations are announced on January 24.
“We are happy and excited to be in the nine [films on the short-list],” Cedar said on Wednesday in a statement released through his publicist. “But the real meaning of it is another week of tension, until the next round.”
This is the second time one of Cedar’s films has made the Oscar shortlist. The first time was in 2008, when his film, Beaufort, was on the short-list and went on to receive a nomination.
Footnote, which stars Shlomo Bar-Aba and Lior Ashkenazi, is about the rivalry between a father and son who are Talmud scholars in Jerusalem. In addition to the Ophir Award for Best Picture, which made it eligible for the Oscars, it won the Best Screenplay Award at the Cannes Film Festival last spring.
The Best Foreign Language Film category has a set of special rules. Every country may submit one film for consideration. In Israel and many other countries, that film is the one named Best Picture in the local film awards. This year, 63 countries submitted films for consideration.
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The other films on the short-list are: Belgium – Bullhead, Michael R.
Roskam, director; Canada – Monsieur Lazhar, Philippe Falardeau, director; Denmark – Superclásico, Ole Christian Madsen, director; Germany – Pina, Wim Wenders, director; Iran – A Separation, Asghar Farhadi, director; Morocco – Omar Killed Me, Roschdy Zem, director; Poland – In Darkness, Agnieszka Holland, director; and Taiwan – Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale, Wei Te-sheng, director.
Over the weekend, two panels of Academy members – a 20-person committee in Los Angeles and a 10- person committee in New York – will watch the nine short-listed films, three each day, and then vote for the five nominees.
Since Beaufort’s nomination in 2008, two other Israeli films have been nominated: Ari Folman’s Waltz with Bashir in 2009, and Yaron Shani and Scandar Copti’s Ajami in 2010.
If Footnote receives a nomination, it will be Israel’s 10th film to do so, although no Israeli film has ever won the Oscar.
The Academy Awards ceremony will be held this year in Los Angeles on February 26.