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Palestinian filmmaker fears for Oscar after outcry

Written by: Staff
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JERUSALEM, March 3 (Reuters) The director of an Oscar-nominated film exploring motivations of Palestinian suicide bombers said in an interview pubished today that he thought pro-Israel lobbying would prevent him winning a prize.

''Paradise Now'' has already won a Golden Globe as best foreign film, boosting its chances of taking Hollywood's top honour in the same category at Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony.

Israelis who lost relatives during a 5-year-old Palestinian revolt have lobbied against the nomination of ''Paradise Now'', accusing it of glorifying terrorism. Some reviewers have argued that despite a pro-Palestinian tone the film is not propaganda.

While the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is not expected to drop ''Paradise Now'' from its roster, director Hany Abu-Assad said he thought the outcry would influence the vote.

''I can write off an Oscar win right now,'' Abu-Assad told Israel's biggest newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth.

''The Oscars are a complex matter, and I believe that in the end, if there is a close call, what will work against me will be two or three conservatives, even if the majority votes with its heart,'' he said.

REUTERS SHB RN1544

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