In May, Cedar won the best screenplay prize in Cannes for "Footnote" about the rivalry between a father-son pair of Talmudic scholars.
The film stars Shlomo Bar Aba, Lior Ashkenazi, Alma Zack and Yuval Scharf. Sony Pictures Classics acquired the rights to distribute the film in North and South America.
Director Joseph Cedar (L) with 'Footnote' cast in Cannes (Photo: Getty Images)
"Footnote" will compete against award-winning Iranian film "A Separation", which tells the story of a couple struggling with the decision of whether to leave their country.
The Iranian movie won a slew of awards for the year's best foreign language film, including the Golden Globe, the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics.
Joseph Cider said following the announcement, "There is something poetic about competing against Iran. Like in the film, there is a constant double sensation – on the one hand excitement and pride, and on the other hand fear."
The other three films nominated in the best foreign film category are "Bullhead" by Belgium's Michael R. Roskam, "In Darkness" by Poland's Agnieszka Holland, and "Monsieur Lazhar" from Canada's Philippe Falardeau and
Martin Scorsese's Paris adventure "Hugo" led the Academy Awards with 11 nominations, among them best picture and the latest director nod for the Oscar-winning filmmaker.
Also nominated for best picture: The silent film "The Artist"; the family drama "The Descendants"; the September 11 tale "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"; the Deep South drama "The Help"; the romantic fantasy "Midnight in Paris"; the sports tale "Moneyball"; the family chronicle "The Tree of Life"; and the World War I epic "War Horse."
The nominations set up a best-picture showdown between the top films at the Golden Globes: best musical or comedy recipient "The Artist" and best drama winner "The Descendants."
"The Artist" ran second with 10 nominations.
Winners of the 84th annual Oscars will be announced at a February 26 ceremony at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre