Washington, DC, February 21, 2006–The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is concerned with reports of alleged pressure being exerted on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences‘ upcoming Academy Awards (the Oscars) with regard to the movie “Paradise Now” by Hany Abu Assad. “Paradise Now” is nominated by the Academy for Best Foreign Film Oscar, and last month was awarded the Best Foreign Film Golden Globe award.
According to numerous news reports, some individuals have lobbied the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to label the movie as coming from the Palestinian Authority, rather than Palestine, because “a formal creation of the state of Palestine has not been declared.”
However, news reports also suggest that Oscar organizers have yet to make a decision on how to designate the film during the March 5 ceremony. During the official Oscar nominations announcement held on January 31, “Paradise Now” was designated as submitted by the Palestinian Authority, but was listed as coming from Palestine on the Academy‘s website.
To be clear, Palestine has maintained observer status in the United Nations since 1974 and is recognized as a nation by over 115 countries around the world. Additionally, in past years the Academy has accepted entries, without much controversy, from Taiwan, Puerto Rico, and Hong Kong, none of which are part of the UN List of Member Nations. Moreover, the Taiwanese entry “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2001.
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