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Palestinian filmmaker fears for Oscar after outcry

The director of Paradise Now feels that pro-Israel lobbying would prevent him winning a prize.

india Updated: Mar 03, 2006 21:04 IST

The director of an Oscar-nominated film exploring motivations of Palestinian suicide bombers said in an interview pubished on Friday that he thought pro-Israel lobbying would prevent him winning a prize.

Paradise Now has already won a Golden Globe as best foreign film, boosting its chances of taking Hollywood's top honour in the same category at Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony.

Israelis who lost relatives during a 5-year-old Palestinian revolt have lobbied against the nomination of Paradise Now, accusing it of glorifying terrorism. Some reviewers have argued that despite a pro-Palestinian tone the film is not propaganda.

While the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is not expected to drop Paradise Now from its roster, director Hany Abu-Assad said he thought the outcry would influence the vote.

"I can write off an Oscar win right now," Abu-Assad told Israel's biggest newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth.

"The Oscars are a complex matter, and I believe that in the end, if there is a close call, what will work against me will be two or three conservatives, even if the majority votes with its heart," he said.

First Published: Mar 03, 2006 21:02 IST