Israeli film ‘Footnote’ nominated for Oscar

Israeli film ‘Footnote’ nominated for Oscar

Iran and Israel to face off in the land of cinema, along with Poland, Belgium and Canada

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

Footnote (photo credit: official poster)
Footnote (photo credit: official poster)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Tuesday that Joseph Cedar’s movie “Footnote” is one of five nominees chosen for Best Foreign Language film. The winner will be announced in a ceremony held in Los Angeles this February.

Footnote (photo credit: official poster)

Cedar’s movie focuses on the dynamics between a father and son, both Talmudic scholars at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The film premiered in competition at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, where it took the Best Screenplay Award. It later won nine prizes at the 2011 Ophir Awards, thus becoming Israel’s candidate for Best Foreign Language film at the Oscars. This is Cedar’s second nomination, after his 2007 film “Beaufort”, a movie dealing with Cedar’s experience in Lebanon.

This year’s other nominated films for ‘best foreign language film’ come from Poland, Belgium, Canada and Iran. The Iranian-Israeli contest is already a topic of discussion, with Cedar exclaiming “We’re against the Iranians,” after hearing the panel’s choice.

In the movie titled “A separation,” Iranian film maker Asghar Farhadi tells the story of a couple who separate prior to their divorce. The separation turns out to be a turning point not only for the couple, but also for both of their families. Farhadi’s film  won the Golden Globe Award for 2011, and received multiple awards at the Berlin Film Festival.

The full list of nominations in all categories can be seen at the official Oscar website.

Israel has been hoping for a Best Foreign Language film Oscar since 1964, when “Sallah Shabati” – which tells the story of immigrants to Israel in the early ’50s – became the first local film nominated for an Academy Award.

Even though Israel has a relatively small film industry, Cedar’s movie earned the country its tenth nomination. None of the films have managed to bring home the golden statuette, though. Will this year see an Israeli film’s name pulled out of the envelope?


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