Banksy film included in Oscar documentary longlist

Image caption,
Exit through the Gift Shop takes its name from the title of one of Banksy's works

UK graffiti artist Banksy's film Exit through the Gift Shop is in the running for next year's Academy Award for best documentary feature.

It is one of 15 titles that will be whittled down to five in time for the Oscar nominations on 25 January.

The documentary tells of an amateur film-maker who attempts to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the elusive artist turn the camera on him.

The 2011 Oscars will be presented on 27 February in Hollywood, California.

Other documentaries that have been longlisted include Inside Job, an analysis of the 2008 global financial crisis narrated by the actor Matt Damon.

Also in contention is Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer - a film about the former New York Governor who was revealed in 2008 to have been using an escort service.

British director Lucy Walker has also made the cut with Waste Land, a film about a Brazilian artist who joined forces with Rio's "garbage pickers" to make rubbish-based portraits.

The Cove, a hard-hitting film about the slaughter of dolphins in Japan, was named best documentary feature at the 2010 Oscars in March.

Banksy, who hides his real identity, made headlines in October by creating a controversial title sequence for US animation series The Simpsons.

Earlier this month Exit through the Gift Shop was named most entertaining documentary at the Grierson Trust awards.

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