$9.99 and Glass doco shortlisted for Oscar noms

By Zona Marie Tan

AFI award-winning director Scott Hicks (Shine) has moved a step closer to another Oscar nomination as his documentary, Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts, gets shortlisted to compete for the final five nomination places at the 81st Academy Awards.

Last night, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that 15 films in the Documentary Feature category will advance in the voting process for the 81st Academy Awards, after shortlisting from a record of 94 qualified films.

Hicks was previously nominated for an Oscar in 1997 for his film Shine, which he directed and co-wrote with Jan Sardi.

The other contenders are At the Death House Door, The Betrayal (Nerakhoon), Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh, Encounters at the End of the World, Fuel, The Garden, I.O.U.S.A., In a Dream, Made in America, Man on Wire, Pray the Devil Back to Hell, Standard Operating Procedure, They Killed Sister Dorothy and Trouble the Water.

Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts is a documentary following the life of composer Philip Glass leading up to the celebration of his 70th anniversary in 2007. For over 18 months, Scott followed Philip across three continents – from his annual ride on the Coney Island “Cyclone” roller coaster, to the world premiere of his new opera in Germany and in performance with a didgeridoo virtuoso in Australia.

Another film also set for Oscar nominations is the Australian-Israeli co-production, $9.99 by director Tatia Rosenthal. Although $9.99 has not made its required Los Angeles qualifying run, it competes with thirteen other features submitted for consideration in the Animated Feature Film category.

An animated story about people living in a Syndey apartment complex looking for meaning in their lives, $9.99 features the voices of Australians Anthony LaPaglia, Barry Otto, Ben Mendelsohn, Claudia Karvan, Joel Edgerton and Geoffrey Rush. $9.99 will be competing against WALL-E, Bolt, Delgo, Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!, Dragon Hunters, Fly Me to the Moon, Igor, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, The Sky Crawlers, Sword of the Stranger, The Tale of Despereaux and Waltz with Bashir.

The 81st Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Friday, January 23, 2009, at 12:30am AEST in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverley Hills, California.

The Academy Awards will be presented on February 22, 2009, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.