Israeli documentary makers and Spielberg win Oscar nominations

By Sarah Pilchick, January 10, 2013
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Steven Spielberg at the Oscars in 2009 (Photo: AP)

Steven Spielberg at the Oscars in 2009 (Photo: AP)

Two Israeli documentaries and a number of Jewish entertainers are among the nominees for the 85th-annual Academy Awards.

Steven Spielberg was nominated for Best Director for the eighth time for Lincoln, his biographical portrait of US President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was nominated for 12 Oscars overall.

Daniel Day-Lewis, whose performance as the titular president has won numerous plaudits, was nominated for Best Lead Actor. This is his fifth nomination; he has won twice before for My Left Foot and There Will Be Blood. His mother is Jewish.

Alan Arkin, who won the Best Supporting Actor trophy in 2006 for Little Miss Sunshine, was nominated in the same category again for his performance in Argo.

David O Russell was nominated for the second year in a row for directing Silver Linings Playbook. He was nominated in 2012 for directing The Fighter. While Mr Russell is secular, his father is of Jewish descent.

Benh Zeitlin was nominated for directing Beasts of the Southern Wild. It is the 29-year-old Mr Zeitlin’s first feature film. Mr Zeitlin’s father is also Jewish.

Israeli-made 5 Broken Cameras and The Gatekeeper were both shortlisted as Best Documentary. 5 Broken Cameras details a Palestinian farmer’s struggle against the Israeli army, and The Gatekeepers features interviews with all the surviving directors of Shin Bet.

The Invisible War was another feature to make the Best Documentary nomination list. The film, which looks at sexual assault in the US military, was produced by British Jewish film producer Teddy Leifer, founder and managing director of RISE Films.

Mr Spielberg, Mr Day-Lewis and Mr Arkin were also nominated for Golden Globe awards in the same categories. The Golden Globes will air this Sunday while the Oscars will be presented on February 24th.

Last updated: 12:55pm, January 11 2013