The race for the 80th annual Academy Awards kicked off on Tuesday with the announcement of the final nominees vying for the coveted Oscar statuette in 24 categories.
Israeli film 'Beaufort', directed by Joseph Cedar and based on the best-selling novel 'If Heaven Exists' by journalist Ron Leshem is among the five films nominated for Best Foreign Film.
The movie centers on a unit of IDF soldiers in southern Lebanon in the lead-up to Israel's withdrawal from the territory in 2000.
However Beaufort's journey to the prestigious awards has been fraught with controversy. After loosing to Eran Kolirin's 'The Band's Visit' at the Israeli Film Academy Awards Ceremony, it fell out of the Oscar's run. But after further reviewing 'The Band's Visit', the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences ruled it was ineligible to participate as its percentage of English-language dialogue was too high.
Beaufort, as the runner-up, replaced Kolirin's film amidst rumors that the war movie's producers had been the ones to point out the potential ineligibility of their former competitors.
Cedar has already picked up the Best Director award at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Beaufort is the seventh Israeli picture to advance so far in the Oscars race, it was preceded by 'Sallah Shabati' (1965), The Policeman (1971), I Love You Rosa (1972), The House on Chelouche Street (1973), Operation Thunderbolt (1977) and Beyond the Walls (1984).
Beaufort will be competing against 'The Counterfeiters' (Austria), 'Katyn' (Poland), 'Mongol' (Kazakhstan) and '12' (Russia).