Israeli Oscar entry eliminated from contention, one more still in play

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Israel’s 2012 Academy Award entry failed to make the list of nine semi-finalists among foreign-language films.

Israel’s entry, "Fill the Void," was eliminted from contention on Friday. The country’s Oscar hopes now rest in the documentary feature category, where "The Gatekeepers," from director Dror Moreh, and "5 Broken Cameras," a collaboration between Emud Burnat and Guy Davidi, a Palestinian and an Israeli respectively, are among the 15 semi-finalists. 

Israeli entries had made the elite list of five finalists for best foreign-language film in four of the last five years, but without garnering the top prize. Last year’s submission was Joseph Cedar’s “Footnote,” one of the strongest bids ever by the Israeli film industry, but the trophy went to Iran’s “A Separation.” 

Also shut out of foreign language contention this year were five movies that 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 Israel’s haredi Orthodox community in Tel Aviv.

A Palestinian film, “When I Saw You,” also failed to make the cut.

The Academy Awards ceremony will be held Feb. 24 in Los Angeles. 

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