Even though the Israeli director has already experienced the sparkling Hollywood atmosphere four years ago when he was nominated for "Beaufort," there was still a lot of excitement for the director and the Israeli team behind "Footnote," Israel's nominee for best foreign film.
Ynet's reporter joined the Israeli director and actors as they held meetings with influential Hollywood showbiz VIPs and spoke to the media, all the while trying to maintain a calm exterior. "I'm embarrassed that I'm used to it all," said Cedar.
Will this be Israel's Oscar win? No one can make that promise, and there is some serious competition in the running. Leading the race is the Iranian movie "A Separation" directed by Asghar Farhadi.
Even Israeli star Shlomo Bar-Aba was impressed with the movie: "There are wonderful movies, the Iranian first and foremost, especially the fact that a movie like that was made in Iran. So liberal, so open, one that deals with such similar problems. We are quite a lot like them at the end of the day."
Actor Lior Ashkenazi is leaving the decision to members of the academy. "This is no war between Israel and Iran," he said, and Cedar seems to agree.
Cedar: Will he come home with the gold statue? (Photo: EPA)
The director believes that politics won't be the decisive factor in the vote: "The movies selected as nominees and the movie that eventually wins are movies that suit the artistic taste of those selecting the category and no other context is involved other than the specific taste of that group."
Yet in spite of his attempts to leave political matters outside the Oscar race, the absence of Iranian director Asghar Farhadi from last weekend's publicity events were testimony to his reluctance to meet members of the Israeli delegation.
He did however show up for the joint symposium for best foreign film nominees with the rest of the movie's delegation, though no contact was made between the Iranian and Israeli delegations. At the end of the symposium, Farhadi was almost forced to join the rest of the nominees for a joint photograph with the other directors.
The Footnote cast (Photo: AFP)
Notwithstanding the tensions at the symposium, Farhadi expressed himself in a way that could have been interpreted as a statement on Iran's struggle in the international arena. "I believe that big problems can be solved much faster than small problems," he said.
"Big problems are something that everyone can see, while small problems are much harder to pinpoint. It's the small things that interfere in our day to day lives and we don't always recognize them."