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Friday, 29 November, 2002, 14:07 GMT
UK Hindi film causes Oscar trouble
A scene from The Warrior
The Warrior is an epic tale about the search for peace
A debate over the eligibility of a Hindi film from the UK has delayed the selection of movies being put forward for the foreign language Oscar at 2003's Academy Awards.

The Warrior is the debut feature of Asif Kapadia and marks the first time the UK has submitted a film for the award that is not in a tongue indigenous to the country.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences postponed its publication of the official list of entries after it could not decide whether to allow The Warrior through.

It is one of a number of films that have prevented the posting of the list on the academy internet site.

Chinese actress Michelle Yeoh
Michelle Yeoh stars in the Hong Kong entry

Members also wanted more time to debate the language and nation status of films from Afghanistan, Palestine and Hong Kong.

The academy's submission rules for foreign language films are strict.

They say a country's film must be mainly in one of its languages, except where the story dictates that another language should dominate.

In 2000, the UK's official Oscar selection - and eventual nominee - was the Welsh-language movie Solomon and Gaenor.

Terrorism

The Warrior recounts an epic journey from the deserts of Rajasthan to the snow capped peaks of the Himalayas as the warrior - played by Irfan Khan - sets off in search of peace.

Last year it won the London Film Festival's Sutherland trophy for best debut feature.

The other films holding up the process are Divine Intervention from Palestine. The academy does not recognise Palestine as a nation.

Welsh-language film Solomon and Gaenor
Welsh-language film Solomon and Gaenor was accepted

The film from Hong Kong is The Touch, starring Michelle Yeoh who was also in the foreign language Oscar winner Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

The Touch is thought unlikely to get through as most of the dialogue is in English, not Mandarin.

If the film from Afghanistan is accepted, it could spark controversy because the region is still considered by the US Government as a source of terrorism.

The Academy Awards jury will announce the five foreign language nominees on 11 February.

The Oscar ceremony is scheduled for 23 March.


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04 May 02 | Entertainment
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25 Mar 02 | Oscars 2002
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