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Last Updated: Friday, 23 December 2005, 11:39 GMT
Foreign film barred from Oscars
Oscar statue
A record 58 countries submitted films for the foreign Oscar category
A Singapore film has been disqualified from the Oscar best foreign language category because the dialogue is mainly in English.

Be With Me by director Eric Khoo was banned after the Academy judges found English featured more than Mandarin and the regional Chinese dialect Hokkien.

Three other foreign films were barred after the official entry deadline.

Two were disqualified because copies failed to reach judges in time while another had previously aired on TV.

Academy spokesman Teni Melidonian said Be With Me was disqualified because "English isn't a foreign language".

The screen time for each language had been measured by the Academy, which concluded that English was used most frequently in the film.

Tajikistan's entry, Sex and Philosophy, and Say Good Morning to Dad from Bolivia were ruled out because copies did not arrive in time.

Oscar entries

An entry from the Netherlands was barred because a version of the film had been broadcast on TV.

Director Luc Jacquet
Filmmaker Luc Jacquet directed March of the Penguins

More than 50 entries have been put forward for the foreign language category.

The five finalists will be revealed when the shortlist is announced on 31 January, before the full ceremony on 5 March.

Among the contenders is The Child, from Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, which took top honours at last at Cannes Film Festival this year.

Hit documentary film March of the Penguins was not picked as France's entry for the best foreign language film, with World War I war movie Joyeux Noel being put forward instead.

March of the Penguins is in the running for the documentary Oscar.

Spain's The Sea Inside won the 2005 award.

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