'Don't Tell' new Italo entry after 'Private' rejected

ROME — Helmer Cristina Comencini’s incest psychodrama “La bestia nel cuore” (Don’t Tell) is Italy’s new candidate for foreign-language Oscar consideration after AMPAS rejected “Private” because it’s not in Italian.

Co-produced by Cattleya and RAI Cinema, “Don’t Tell” is in release in Italy, where it has pulled in a respectable E5 million ($6 million) to date, after scooping actress nod for Giovanna Mezzogiorno at last month’s Venice Film Festival.

“Don’t Tell,” which is set in Italy and the U.S., is being sold by Gaul’s TF1 at November’s AFM in Santa Monica.

“I thought ‘Private’ was a good choice,” said Comencini. “But since it was not deemed a viable one, I now hope ‘Don’t Tell’ will be given full honors and consideration.”

“Private,” a drama in Arabic, Hebrew and English about a Palestinian family’s plight in the occupied territories, was ruled ineligible by the Academy last week.

The rejection piqued many in the Italian film community who have launched a campaign for a rule change regarding eligibility of foreign films, claiming they are too restrictive and don’t reflect the industry’s increasingly global nature.

The Academy is due to announce the list of eligible films in the category today before revealing the five-pic shortlist on Jan. 31. The 78th Oscar ceremony will take place March 5.

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