Film on Israeli school nominated for Oscar

Jan. 27, 2011 at 9:07 AM
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TEL AVIV, Israel, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- An American filmmaker said he is thrilled a documentary on the lives of pupils and teachers at a Tel Aviv school received an Oscar nomination.

"This nomination is very special to me, as I've grown very close to both the teachers and students at the Bialik-Rogozin school," filmmaker Kirk Simon told The Jerusalem Post. "I also feel that the added recognition that comes from an Academy Award nomination will help bring needed attention to the issue of helping to keep the children of immigrant workers in Israel. I believe that the mission of the school is worthy of worldwide recognition, and these children should be able to stay and be educated at the school."

Simon and Karen Goodman filmed the 40-minute documentary "Strangers No More," which follows the lives of school Principal Keren Tal, teacher Smadar Moeres and three students -- Johannes from Ethiopia, Muhammad from Darfur and Esther from South Africa.

The film covers a full school year and describes the hardships faced by the children of foreign workers and asylum-seekers facing possible deportation, the newspaper said. The film focuses on the southern Tel Aviv school that has become a safe haven for more than 800 children from 48 countries.

The film was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Documentary Short category to be awarded at the 83rd Academy Awards on Feb. 27.

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