(fwd from Mike Friedman) Exclusion of Palestinian film

Les Schaffer schaffer at optonline.net
Wed Dec 11 07:40:29 MST 2002

Just in case you had any doubt about Hollywood...

>           The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of
>                     Global Dialogue & Democracy
>The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Refuses
>Palestinian Film to Enter the Oscar Race
>By Al-Awda
>December 07, 2002
>The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has refused to allow
>any Palestinian-made films to enter into the Oscars foreign film race
>because it does not accept Palestine as a "nation". The Palestinian
>Authority tried to submit Elia Solaiman's film, "Divine Intervention", but
>was refused, even though the film was highly awarded at the Cannes
>Film Festival this year.
>Below is a response from a Hollywood Producer on this news lightly
>mentioned in the film industry trade magazine, Variety.
>You may write/contact the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
>Sciences at:
>Academy Foundation
>8949 Wilshire Blvd.
>Beverly Hills, CA 90211
>Phone: 310-247-3000
>Fax: 310-859-9351
>www.oscars.org <http://www.oscars.org>
>Email: ampas at oscars.org
>     The Academy Goes to War with the Bush Administration in the
>                             Oscar Race
>The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided to
>refuse the Palestinian entry, "Divine Intervention", for the nomination
>of Best Foreign Film, while accepting submissions from countries like
>Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Chad.
>This decision has been expedited under the false pretext that the
>Academy doesn't recognize Palestine as a nation. It would be
>interesting to read the definition of "nation" as seen by the Academy of
>Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
>What the Academy knows and therefore reminds everybody, is that the
>government of each nation is allowed to submit one film to represent
>its country. This more or less defines the right for a film to be
>presented. Therefore, as long as the Palestinian government had
>agreed to submit "Divine Intervention" by Elie Souleimane, the
>Academy had no right to refuse to include it in the selection, unless the
>Academy, sitting atop its unchallenged power and authority doesn't
>recognize the Palestinian government. That would be unfortunate.
>Even the Bush administration, although they would prefer that such
>government doesn't exist, was able to communicate and negotiate with
>Palestine, thus recognizing its existence. If Palestine doesn't exist in
>the movie world, why then was the same "Divine Intervention" selected
>as a Palestinian entry at the Cannes Film Festival this year? I'm sure
>that by now, Palestinian filmmakers - and there are a few, very
>talented people - wonder what nationality they are. Israeli? How ironic!
>As we very well know, the Israeli government would never choose to
>send to Hollywood, a Palestinian film to represent its country. So for
>the Academy, it's probable that Palestinian films simply cannot be
>submitted, denying in a way, their right to exist.
>Sounds familiar? Isn't it in the Constitution of the Academy, or at least
>in its principles, to promote art without any distinction of race, religion
>or politics? Well, sometimes, the Bush administration would use the
>phrase "in times of war."
>Now that art has to be put to the service of politics, it seems to me that
>the Academy and the entire Hollywood film industry has lost yet
>another piece of its credibility.
>By Phil Ed for Au-Cinema.com <http://www.au-cinema.com/>
>------- End of forwarded message -------

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