JERUSALEM (JTA) – Two Israeli films are on the Academy Awards’ short list in the best documentary category.
"5 Broken Cameras," directed by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi, and "The Gatekeepers," directed by Dror Moreh, were among the 15 finalists culled from 126 films in the category, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday.
"5 Broken Cameras" documents the first years of life for Burnat’s baby against the backdrop of the West Bank village of Bil’in’s battle against the Israeli security fence. Five of Burnat’s cameras were smashed by the Israeli army as he documented friends and family members being shot and injured by Israeli troops. The film won the documentary director’s award this year at the Sundance Film Festival.
"The Gatekeepers" features interviews with six former directors of Israel’s Shin Bet security service.
Other documentaries on the short list include "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry," about a persecuted Chinese artist; "Bully," about high school students abusing their friends; "This Is Not A Film," by Iranian director Jafar Panahi, who was forbidden to make films; "Chasing Ice," a study of climate change; and "Ethel" a documentary about Ethel Kennedy.
The rest of the nominees are "Detropia," "The House I Live In," "How to Survive a Plague," "The Imposter," "The Invisible War," "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God," "Searching for Sugar Man," and "The Waiting Room."
The list of five finalists in the category will be announced Jan. 10. The Academy Awards ceremony will be held Feb. 24.