Israel names 'Manager' as Oscar hopeful

Eran Riklis' 'The Human Resources Manager' chosen

ZURICH -- Israel has chosen Eran Riklis' tragic-comedy "The Human Resources Manager," as its Foreign Language Oscar hopeful for 2011.

The film, which swept the Israeli Film Awards, or Ophirs, earlier this year, winning, five trophies, is a bizarre road movie. After a suicide bomber kills an immigrant worker at one of Israeli's largest bakeries, the company's human resources manager, fearing a PR scandal, tries to find the worker's relatives. In the end, he has to travel, with the coffin, to her homeland, where he uncovers intimate details of her life.

The combination of hot button political issues with human drama is a common one for Riklis, whose films include "The Syrian Bride" (2004) and "Lemon Tree" (2008). Riklis is currently in post-production on the English-language feature "Playoff" starring Danny Huston.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the shortlist for Best Foreign Language Film on Jan. 18 and the final five nominees on Jan. 25. The 2011 Oscars will be awarded on Feb. 27.
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