Oscar nominations for Ajami, Reitman and Coens
The Coen Brothers A Serious Man has two Oscar nominations
Joel and Ethan Coen have received two Academy Award nominations for their Jewish black comedy A Serious Man.
The brothers are nominated for Best Film and Best Original Screenplay for the film which follows the tribulations of a Jewish university professor in Minneapolis in the late 1960s.
Juno director Jason Reitman received five nominations for his latest film Up In The Air, which stars George Clooney. Mr Reitman is up for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. George Clooney is nominated as Best Actor and two other members of the cast are up for Best Supporting Actress.
Mr Reitman told the LA Jewish Journal that he believes his Jewish upbringing has helped him tell visual stories. He said: “I think Jewish people are great storytellers. Celebrating our heritage and our holidays has so much to do to with storytelling. We've survived so long, partly on our ability to tell stories. I love to make people laugh, and I've always had an attraction to telling stories."
Israeli film Ajami is nominated for an Oscar
Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, which centres on Jewish fighters seeking bloody revenge on the Nazis, has been nominated for six awards; Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Sound Mixing and Best Editing. Austrian actor Christoph Waltz, who plays Nazi Hans Landa in the film, is nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
The Israeli film Ajami has been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, the third consecutive year an Israeli film has been nominated. The film was recently screened in London as part of the UK Jewish Film Festival.
Last year, Israeli animated film Waltz With Bashir was hotly tipped to win the prize but was beaten by Japanese film Departures.
Ajami, which is co-directed by Palestinian Scandar Copti and Israeli Yaron Shani, follows the lives of Jews and Arabs in Jaffa.
Judy Ironside, Director of the UK Jewish Film Festival said: “We were delighted to have been able to bring Ajami to our Festival in November 2009 and to enable audiences to see this exhilarating film which played to a sell out Tricycle Theatre.
"In terms of entertainment this is a great festival film which delivers a strong story line that has tension and intrigue in equal measure. We congratulate the directors and writers and wish them lots of luck with their much deserved Oscar nomination.”
The Academy Awards ceremony will take place on March 7.