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Academy grounds Holland’s ‘Bluebird’

Pic disqualified due to tube preem

The Academy on Monday disqualified a fourth foreign-language film, Holland’s “Bluebird,” because it had aired previously on television.

Under Academy rules, a film may air on TV only after its theatrical release. But the Mijke de Jong-helmed film was a made-for-TV pic, said awards coordinator Torene Svitil.

The Egmond Film and Television production, which broadcaster NCRV aired in the Netherlands in 2004, also unspooled at the Toronto Film Festival that September.

The film was edited slightly and released commercially in 2005, Svitil said, but it was essentially the same movie with the same characters. Oscar rules allow for 10 minutes or 10% of a film to be recut, but in this case there was more of an overlap.

The Acad had previously disqualified Bolivia’s “Say Good Morning to Dad” and Tajikistan’s “Sex & Philosophy” for missing the deadline on submitting prints with proper subtitles.

Earlier Italian entry “Private” was ruled ineligible because it was in Arabic. But Italy had time to send replacement “Don’t Tell.”

The Netherlands will not have such an option. “We’re way too late in the process,” Svitil said. “We’re almost done with the screenings.”

Nominations for the 78th Academy Awards are scheduled to be announced Jan. 31, and the kudofest is set for March 5.

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