Pawel overjoyed about Oscar

LEAP OF FAITH: Director Pawel Pawlikowski jumps for joy after winning the Oscar for best foreign film with Ida

A POLISH film about a 'Jewish' nun led the accolades at the Academy Awards on Sunday.

Ida, which won the Oscar for best foreign language film, is about a Catholic novitiate who learns she is the daughter of Jewish parents killed by the Nazis.

Director Pawel Pawlikowski, whose paternal grandmother was Jewish and died in Auschwitz, was asked during a backstage interview whether he considers the Holocaust and the fate of the Jewish people one aspect of post-Second World War Poland.

Pawlikowski, in his response, tried to shift the emphasis.

"Of course, Polish-Jewish relations are difficult," he said. "And the two lead characters, Ida and (her aunt) Wanda, who are Jewish, but for me they are Polish.

"I don't like people who attack the film from various sides and say 'Oh, it's about Jews and Poles and stuff'."

When Pawlikowski started his speech on stage, the orchestra drowned him.

But Pawlikowski continued talking over the music, thanking his crew, and then his loved ones, including "my late wife".

He finished his speech as the orchestra started to play a second tune.

Israel's losing streak at the Oscars continued as Aya, co-written and co-directed by Mihal Brezis and Oded Binnun and starring Sarah Adler, failed to win for best short film.

The Grand Budapest Hotel, which won four Oscars, was, according to director Wes Anderson, inspired by the writings of the Austrian-Jewish novelist Stefan Zweig.

Mexican-Jewish cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki accepted the Academy Award for Birdman, repeating his victory of last year for Gravity.

Graham Moore won best adapted screenplay for the script for The Imitation Game, and he used his acceptance speech to make a plea for gay rights.

His mother, Susan Sher, served as President Obama's liaison to the Jewish community and as chief of staff for First Lady Michelle Obama.

Patricia Arquette won best supporting actress for her role in Boyhood.

The evening's 'In Memoriam' segment included, among others, Israeli filmmaker Menachem Golan, director Mike Nichols and legendary film actress Lauren Bacall.

But there was no mention of comedian Joan Rivers.

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