Israeli Film Nominated for an Oscar

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Joseph Cedar's Footnote, Israel's official entry for Academy Award consideration, received a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday in Los Angeles.

This is the tenth nomination for an Israeli film in this category, though none has ever won a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

It is also the second nomination for American-born Cedar, whose film, Beaufort, was nominated in 2008. The Israeli films Waltz with Bashir by Ari Folman and Ajami by Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani were Oscar nominees in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

The Oscars will be awarded on February 26 at a ceremony in Los Angeles.

The other nominated films are: Belgium, Bullhead, Michael R. Roskam, director; Canada, Monsieur Lazhar, Philippe Falardeau, director; Iran, A Separation, and Poland, In Darkness, Agnieszka Holland, director. This will be the first year that an Israeli film has been nominated in the same category with an Iranian film.

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 that has won the Best Picture Award in its nation's local film awards, which in Israel are the Ophir Awards, given in September. This year, 63 countries submitted films for consideration. Nine films were chosen for the Foreign Film shortlist, which was announced last week.

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 Israel's official entry for the Oscars, it won the Best Screenplay Award at the Cannes Film Festival last spring.

In addition to Footnote and Beaufort, Cedar made two films that focused on Orthodox Jews in the West Bank and Jerusalem, Time of Favor (Ha Hesder) in 2000 and Campfire in 2004.

For a slideshow of previous Israeli Oscar nominees click here