An Israeli correspondent has forwarded a 10.11.07 Hebrew- language news story from Haaretz, the Israeli news agency, that Eran Kolirin‘s The Band’s Visit has been disqualified from competing for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. The Academy’s foreign branch has determined that more than 50% of the dialogue is English and therefore, according to the rules, not eligible.

Israeli film blogger Yair Raveh is reporting the same situation also. (Ditto the Jerusalem Post.) Raveh says the Israeli Academy is planning to appeal to reverse the decision, but if the Academy won’t budge Israel will submit Joseph Cedar‘s Beaufort, the runner-up for Best Picture with Israel’s Ophir Award, asa replacement. Cedar won Best Director at this year’s Berlin Film Festival for this film, and Beaufort is also Israel’s biggest natively-produced ticket seller so far this year.

Sony Pictures Classics will distribute The Band’s Visit in early ’08. SPC co-chiefs Tom Bernard and Michael Barker were unavailable for comment. Torene Svitl, the Motion Picture Academy’s foreign film liason/adminstrator, didn’t pick up.