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AMPAS Axes "The Band's Visit" and Other Stories from Oscar's Foreign Frontlines

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik October 12, 2007 at 4:31AM

AMPAS Axes "The Band's Visit" and Other Stories from Oscar's Foreign Frontlines
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Just days after I filed my annual story on this year's race for the Foreign-Language Oscar -- "The Foreign Language Oscar Race: Where (Almost) Anything Can Happen" -- one of the frontrunners has been axed by AMPAS. According to reports, Israel's entry "The Band's Visit" was disqualified for containing too much English-language dialogue.

Last week, Sony Pictures Classics' Michael Barker told me that he wasn't worried about the film's eligibility. "It is keeping in a long tradition of foreign language films that have some English in them," he said. "Look at 'No Man's Land'; look at 'Four Days in September.'" Apparently, AMPAS has disagreed. Though the Israelis will appeal the decision -- and no doubt Barker will be making some calls, as well -- it looks like "Band's Visit" is the first major casaulty of AMPAS's hard-nosed regulators.