The Israeli Film Academy is in an uproar over the 2008 Oscars, as the country's expected contender was disqualified and a replacement has now been submitted.

Eran Kolirin's The Band's Visit, which has been voted hands down by the Academy as the best Israeli film of the year, has been disqualified for the Best Foreign Film Oscar category.

The film was disqualified because more than half its dialogue is not in Hebrew - the dialogue is also in English because the film is the tale of Egyptians meeting Israelis, so that is their shared communication.

The risk of the film being turned down as an Oscar contender was already mentioned in Cannes, where it premiered, but Sony Pictures Classics, its American distributor, had hoped until the last moment to squeeze it in.

Informed last week that The Band's Visit is not being considered for nomination, the board of the Israeli Academy decided, without asking its members, to send instead Josef Cedar's Beaufort, the runner-up in the last vote, as its replacement.

Now, some Academy members, who claim this is an arbitrary act, say the Board has no authority to pick any film on its own.

Several angry producers are demanding that Beaufort be withdrawn until it the submission can be confirmed (or not) by another vote, others members claim it is far too late for such a procedure.