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Last Updated: Monday, 3 July 2006, 09:23 GMT 10:23 UK
Academy amends foreign film rules
Presley Chweneyagae in Tsotsi
South African drama Tsotsi won last year's foreign film Oscar
Films submitted for the Oscars' foreign language feature award need no longer be in the country's official language, under new rules approved this week.

As long as the dominant language is not English, a film from any country may be in any number of tongues.

Last year Italian submission Private was considered ineligible because it featured only Middle Eastern languages.

In another amendment, the nominations in the sound editing category will be raised in 2007 from three to five.

Bruce Davis, executive director of the Academy for Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said the alteration to the foreign language film award was not "a profound change" but a response to a situation that "didn't seem fair".

"If the Taiwanese want to send us a picture with exclusively Portuguese dialogue this year, we're ready for them," he said.

Last year's winner, South African film Tsotsi, featured Afrikaans and Tsotsi-Taal, the street patois spoken in the country's townships.

The selection process will be divided into two parts this year, with a Los Angeles-based committee preparing a nine-film shortlist and a second committee whittling it down to five.

Tsotsi takes foreign film Oscar
06 Mar 06 |  Entertainment
Foreign film barred from Oscars
23 Dec 05 |  Entertainment
Record entries for foreign Oscar
26 Oct 05 |  Entertainment

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