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Armenia’s Oscar entry creators explain Academy’s disqualification

Armenia’s Oscar entry creators explain Academy’s disqualification

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Academy has disqualified Armenia's submission in the best foreign-language film race, “Earthquake”. The “Earthquake” creators issued an official statement explaining the disqualification.

85 films were longlisted for consideration to score a Foreign Language Oscar nom.

According to the statement, on October 7, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences notified Armenia’s National Film Academy that “Earthquake” did not meet submission requirements.

“The Academy cited a limited number of Armenians and the excess of Russians on the film’s team,” the statement said.

As it was further noted, the film producers – Ruben Didishyan, Aram Movsesyan, Ghevond and Sarik Andreasyan, as well as actors – Victor Stepanyan, Hrant Tokhatyan, Mikael Poghosyan and composer Hayk Hakobyan expressed disagreement over the claim.

“Armenia’s National Film Center and Ministry of Culture shared the sentiment. With the support of the latter, additional documents were sent to the Academy, confirming that the film was an Armenian-Russian effort, with the balance of creative control preserved in the production,” the statement said.

It was also noted that the documents were sent on October 10 morning, which was a day off in the U.S.; the papers were not given adequate attention which is why the longlist was released to the press on October 11, without giving proper consideration to Armenia’s entry.

“At present, the Academy confirms receiving the Armenia-sent documents, and we’re hoping to be included in the longlist. We wouldn’t like to think that the decision was politically motivated. The movie credits clearly show that it’s 90% Armenian-made, involving Armenians from Armenia, France, and Russia,” Ruben Didishyan said.

“Earthquake,” a $3 million disaster movie directed by Sarik Andreasyan, is a dramatized recreation of one of the Soviet Union's most devastating natural disasters — the Spitak earthquake in northern Armenia in December 1988.

The pic was Armenia's fifth submission in the best foreign-language film Oscar category since the country gained independence in 1991.

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