Speculation is gearing up over whether reclusive British street artist Banksy will appear at the Oscars as Sunday's ceremony approaches.
Banksy's film, Exit Through the Gift Shop, is one of five films up for an Academy Award in the best documentary category.
Jamie D'Cruz, a producer of the film, has said he has no idea as to whether the mysterious Banksy will turn up for the film world honour.
"I don't have anything to say about that. I don't know where he is or whether he will be there on Sunday or what he is going to do. I probably should know, but I don't. I will have to disappoint you on this one," he said.
Discussion intensified when several Banksy-like graffiti artworks sprung up in prominent locations around Los Angeles this month.
The graffiti artist and filmmaker, who has so far avoided being identified, reportedly asked to appear incognito to accept the award if he won. Various entertainment blogs suggested that Banksy might wear the monkey mask he has been rumoured to sport in public.
'We said if he wants to come up, of course he should come up. No, we'd rather he not wear a mask' —Tom Sherak
Academy officials initially turned him down.
"The fun, but disquieting scenario is that if the film wins and five guys in monkey masks come to the stage all saying, 'I'm Banksy,' who the hell do we give it to?" executive director Bruce Davis told media earlier in February.
However, academy president Tom Sherak has seemingly relented.
"We said if he wants to come up of course he should come up. No, we'd rather he not wear a mask. There's no rule. We asked him to respect the night and respect the honour," Sherak told the Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday.
Banksy is best known for his pop culture-inspired public graffiti artworks. He decided to take on Exit Through the Gift Shop when he came across thousands of hours of footage of various street artists at work. He turned the footage around into an 89-minute film that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010 and has been making its way to the top of critics's lists ever since.
"This is a big surprise," he said in a statement upon being nominated for an Oscar.
"I don't agree with the concept of award ceremonies, but I'm prepared to make an exception for the ones I'm nominated for. The last time there was a naked man covered in gold paint in my house, it was me."
Banksy's documentary competition includes the war chronicle Restrepo, the financial crisis exposé Inside Job, the environmental film Gasland and Waste Land, which examines a Brazilian landfill art project.
The 83rd annual Academy Awards will be broadcast live Sunday evening from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.