(San Francisco, CA)—ITVS announced today that its ITVS International funded film WALTZ WITH BAHIR has been nominated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for an Oscar Award® for Best Foreign Language Film. The Academy Awards presentation will take place on Sunday, February 22, 2009, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California, and will be hosted by actor Hugh Jackman.
This nomination is the latest in a long line of accolades, nominations and awards for the critically acclaimed film. Earlier this month, WALTZ WITH BASHIR was named Best Foreign Language Film at the 66th annual Golden Globe Awards. That prestigious award came just days after its win for the film as Best Foreign Language Film at 14th Annual Broadcast Film Critics Association’s Critics’ Choice Awards.
The film has also won several other awards including: British Independent Film Awards Best Foreign Independent Film, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, Best Animated Film, and was named Best Picture by the National Society of Film Critics. The film was also recently nominated for the prestigious British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards for Best Film not in the English Language.
“WALTZ WITH BASHIR embodies ITVS International’s mission to bring independently produced documentaries telling often unknown, and yet vitally important, stories to audiences around the world,” said Sally Jo Fifer, ITVS President and CEO. “We are so proud that the Academy has agreed that this film is worthy of one of the industry’s highest honors—both for the quality of the film and for the untold history it shares with the world in such a unique way.”
WALTZ WITH BASHIR, directed by Ari Folman, is an animated documentary that deals with the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre in war-torn Lebanon. One night in September 1982, Christian militia members invaded refugee camps in the heart of Beirut and massacred more than three thousand Palestinians while Israeli soldiers surrounded the area. Ari Folman was one of these soldiers. WALTZ WITH BASHIR is Folman's attempt to decipher the horror of that night.
The film is part of the ITVS International initiative and received production funding from the organization through its international media development fund. After its upcoming theatrical distribution through Sony Classic Films, WALTZ WITH BASHIR will join the slate of more than 70 ITVS International programs ITVS is delivering to U.S. audiences. The Academy Award nomination builds on ITVS’s prior Academy nominations: OPERATION HOMECOMING: Writing the Wartime Experience, by Richard E. Robbins and Tom Yellin (2008), MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY, by Laura Poitras and Jocelyn Glatzer (2007); STREET FIGHT, by Marshall Curry (2006); ENRON: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2006), by Alex Gibney; WEATHER UNDERGROUND, by Sam Green and Bill Siegel (2004); DAUGHTER FROM DANANG, by Gail Dolgin and Vicente Franco (2003); PROMISES, by B.Z. Goldberg, Justine Shapiro and Carlos Bolado (2002);WHY CAN’T WE BE A FAMILY AGAIN, by Roger Weisberg and Murray Nossel (2002); and FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE, by David Collier (1993).
WALTZ WITH BASHIR is a production of Bridgit Folman Film Gang (Israel), Les Film D'ici (France) and Razor Film Produktion (Germany), in co-production with Arte France and ITVS International.
The Independent Television Service (ITVS) funds and presents award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television, innovative new media projects on the Web and the Emmy Award-winning weekly series Independent Lens on Tuesday nights at 10pm on PBS. ITVS is a miracle of public policy created by media activists, citizens and politicians seeking to foster plurality and diversity in public television. ITVS was established by a historic mandate of Congress to champion independently produced programs that take creative risks, spark public dialogue and serve underserved audiences. Since its inception in 1991, ITVS programs have revitalized the relationship between the public and public television, bringing TV audiences face-to-face with the lives and concerns of their fellow Americans. More information about ITVS can be obtained by visiting itvs.org. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, funds ITVS.
ABOUT ITVS INTERNATIONAL
ITVS International is a division of the Independent Television Service that promotes an international exchange of documentary films made by independent producers, bringing international voices to U.S. audiences, and American stories to audiences abroad.
Through a unique public-private partnership called the Global Perspectives Project, ITVS International administers the International Media Development Fund (IMDF) and True Stories: Life in the USA. The IMDF funds international producers and supports the American broadcast of their programs. True Stories: Life in the USA promotes a series of American independent films to audiences around the world.
ITVS created the Global Perspectives Project in 2005 with support from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Ford Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the U.S. Department of State. More information about ITVS International is available online at itvs.org/international. The deadline for the next International Call is February 6, 2009.
Voleine Amilcar, ITVS: firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-356-8383, ext 244 (USA)
Randall Cole, ITVS International: email@example.com, +44 7538 476 283 (UK)