December 14, 2005

Oscar shoots down Dutch ‘Bluebird’

By Ab Zagt

AMSTERDAM (Hollywood Reporter) - The Netherlands' official
entry for foreign-language Oscar consideration has been
disqualified because it has been shown on television, the
country's film marketing and promotion agency said Wednesday.

Director Mijke de Jong's "Bluebird," about a 13-year-old
girl who faces up to bullying at school, previously aired on
Dutch television -- breaking one of the Academy of Motion
Picture Arts & Sciences' cardinal rules.

"The fact that the film has been newly edited for cinema
was not accepted. According to the Academy, there was not
enough difference between the two versions," Holland Film
spokesperson Marlies Baltus said.

Because of the late notification at the end of November,
Holland Film has not been able to submit a new entry.

The only Dutch film that has an Oscar chance is immigrant
director Hany Abu Assad's "Paradise Now," about two potential
Palestinian suicide bombers. The
Dutch-German-French-Israeli-Palestinian co-production nabbed a
Golden Globe nomination this week. Oscar nominations in all
categories will be announced on January 31.

The Netherlands has had its foreign-language Oscar
submission rejected once before. In 1988, the original version
of "The Vanishing" (Spoorloos) by George Sluizer was
disqualified because the film, set primarily in France, did not
contain enough Dutch dialogue.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter