Five films competing for chance at Oscar entry

LONDON — Israel’s Film Academy has announced five best picture nominees for the Ophir Awards, the annual film competish that leads to the selection of Israel’s official entry for the best foreign language film category at the Academy Awards.

The noms include Reshef Levy’s “Lost Islands,” a laffer about a tight-knit family set in the 1980s; Marco Carmel’s “Like Your Father,” about an Israeli family that relocates to Paris; and Igal Burstyn’s “Out of the Blue,” about two Tel Aviv salesmen who become involved with a model.

The final two slots go to Ari Folman’s critically-feted animated doc “Waltz With Bashir,” which recounts Israel’s ill-fated invasion of Lebanon in 1982; and Ronit Elkabetz and Shlomi Elkabetz’s “The Seven Days,” about a Moroccan family mourning the loss of a family member during the first Gulf War. The latter pic won the Wolgin Award at the Jerusalem Film Festival on July 19.

Last year’s Ophir winner, helmer Eran Riklis’ “The Band’s Visit,” was ruled ineligible for the foreign language Oscar category after the Academy deemed it had too much English dialogue. Israel’s subsequent entry “Beaufort,” directed by Joseph Cedar, went on to become the first Israeli film nominated for an Oscar in 24 years.

This year’s Ophir Awards ceremony will take place in Tel Aviv on Sept. 23. Following is a list of the nominees.

Best Picture: “Lost Islands,” directed by Reshef Levy; “The Seven Days,” directed by Ronit Elkabetz and Shlomi Elkabetz; “Waltz With Bashir,” directed by Ari Folman; “Like Your Father,” directed by Marco Carmel; and “Out of the Blue,” directed by Igal Burtsyn.

Best Director: Reshef Levi, “Lost Islands”; Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz, “The Seven Days”; Ari Folman, “Waltz With Bashir”; Marco Carmel, “Like Your Father”; and Eran Riklis, “Lemon Tree.”

Best Actor: Moshe Ivgy, “Out of the Blue”; Moshe Igvy, “Restless”; Michael Moshonov, “Lost Islands”; Albert Eloz, “The Seven Days”; and Shredi Jabarin, “For My Father.”

Best Actress: Ronit Elkabetz, “The Seven Days”; Hana Azoulay Hasfari, “The Seven Days”; Hiam Abbas, “Lemon Tree”; Yael Abecassis, “Like Your Father”; and Orly Silbersatz, “Lost Islands.”

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