- Title: VARIOUS: Oscar nominated foreign film directors enjoy the spotlight
- Date: 26th February 2008
- Summary: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (FEBRUARY 22, 2008) (REUTERS) WIDE SHOT WITH PAN TO DIRECTOR NIKITA MIKHALKOV MIKHALKOV STANDING NEXT O POSTER OF "12" (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) NIKITA MIKHALKOV ON THE CONTROVERSY OF SOME FOREIGN FILMS THAT WERE NOT PICKED, SAYING: "I'm forced in this situation to be political and say that all the pictures are wonderful. In any case, this is the choice of American Academy of Motion Pictures." PAN FROM MEDIA TO MIKHALKOV IN FRONT OF MOVIE POSTER "12."
- Embargoed: 12th March 2008 12:00
- Reuters ID: LVADHN7W41DHTAGOJ6ZQVW66CQKQ
- Story Text: Oscar nominated directors in the Foreign Language Film category enjoy the spotlight during photo op.
The Oscar for best foreign language film has taken on increasing importance with the emergence of the potent global box office. On Friday (February 22), the Oscar nominated foreign directors gathered at the Academy's Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study with a clear understanding of what it all means.
"Of course, as a filmmaker, this is the biggest childhood dream," said Stefan Ruzowitzky, director of "The Counterfeiters." "Part from all these things, it is really going to be a great help for the movie, that is opening these days not only in the states, but in all of the Americas. An Academy Award nominee is a great marketing tool and more people will see the movie and that is what filmmaking is all about. The more people go to see my movie, the more I can communicate with."
Fellow nominee, Israeli director Joseph Cedar, told Reuters that being nominated has opened doors for the young filmmaker.
"It has been very intense," explained Cedar, whose film, "Beaufort" looks at the last soldiers retreating in 2001 from a famous fort in Lebanon captured by Israel in 1982 and the futility of their mission. "There is a sense, that this is the window of opportunity that you have to take advantage of and by taking advantage, I mean really using every minute. I've been waking up early and going from one meeting to another and in between meetings I've been speaking to the press. By the end of the day I'm completely exhausted."
No matter which movie wins the Oscar for best foreign language film on Sunday (February 22, 2008), this year will be remembered for several acclaimed films in world cinema that failed to earn nominations.
The most conspicuous absence is Romanian abortion drama "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" which won top honors at the Cannes film festival in May and numerous critics awards.
Perhaps the most controversial absence involved the disqualification of Israel's "The Band's Visit" because more than 50 percent of the dialogue between an Egyptian band and Israeli villagers is in English, albeit mostly broken English.
All week long, the nominated directors have fielded uncomfortable questions about how their movies stack up to those snubbed.
"I'm forced in this situation to be political and say that all the pictures are wonderful," explained Russian director Nikita Mikhalkov, who has the chance to earn a second Oscar with his latest film "12."
"In any case, this is the choice of American Academy of Motion Pictures."
The five films that did earn nominations were "The Counterfeiters" from Austria, Israel's "Beaufort," Russia's "12," Poland's "Katyn" and Kazakhstan's "Mongol."
The 80th Annual Academy Awards will take place at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood on Sunday, February 24, 2008.
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