Israel submits ‘Bashir’ to Oscars

'Waltz' also likely to contend for animated prize

Ari Folman’s “Waltz With Bashir” has been submitted by Israel as its contender for the foreign-language Oscar.

The film is also eligible for animated feature, but not for docu. The pic uses hand-drawn animation to illustrate Folman’s interviews with participants of the 1980s Lebanese war, including the massacre of Palestinian civilians.

“Bashir” was videotaped and sound-recorded first, then hand-drawn from start to finish; no rotoscoping was involved.

A Sony Pictures Classics release domestically, “Bashir” won best pic Tuesday at the Ophir Awards in Tel Aviv. Israel traditionally submits the Ophir winner as its Oscar entry, though last year’s winner, “The Band’s Visit,” was disqualified by the Acad because its dialogue was more than 50% in English.

“Bashir” debuted in the Cannes competition and played Telluride and Toronto before the New York Film Festival.

The Academy has invited 96 countries to submit films for foreign-language Oscar consideration. Deadline for submission is Oct. 1.

Completed entries for both foreign-language entries as well as live-action and animated shorts must be received by 5 p.m. PT at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences HQ in Beverly Hills.

Nominations will be announced Jan. 22, and the 81st annual Academy Awards will be presented Feb. 22 at the Kodak Theater.

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